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Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi

Events

  • Tue
    19
    Jan
    2021
    6:00 pmVia Zoom (connection details will follow!)

    Dr. Wayne Gray
    Department of Biology
    University of Mississippi

    Understanding Vaccines: Preventing Diseases from Smallpox to COVID-19

    These days everyone is talking about vaccines and hoping for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines are a miracle of modern medicine. At this month’s science café, we’ll address several questions concerning vaccines: How do they work to prevent disease? How safe are vaccines and why do some people have concerns about vaccines? What is herd immunity? What are the various types of vaccines? We’ll review the history of vaccines and discuss several of the more than 20 vaccines that are now routinely given to children and adults. Finally, we’ll examine the current COVID-19 vaccines and consider their effectiveness and safety. Issues regarding COVID-19 vaccine distribution will be discussed.

    January 19, 2021, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
    Via Zoom (connection details will follow!)

  • Tue
    26
    Jan
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Karl Warburton
    Department of Physics and Astronomy
    Iowa State University

    Machine Learning in Long-Baseline Neutrino Oscillation Experiments

    Neutrinos, the most abundant massive particle in the Universe have profoundly influenced its evolution, but are still the least understood fermion in the Standard Model (SM). The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to T. Kajita and A. McDonald following numerous experimental observations of neutrino oscillations, the process by which neutrinos created in one flavor state are observed interacting as different flavor states after traveling a given distance. This colloquium will cover two experiments focused on furthering our understanding of this phenomenon. NOνA is the current flagship long-baseline neutrino experiment in the USA and consists of two functionally identical, finely granulated detectors that are separated by 809 km. The NOνA three flavor neutrino oscillation results presented in June 2020 will be discussed with particular focus given to the impact that machine learning algorithms had increasing the sensitivity of the analysis. These algorithms use topological features for the reconstruction of neutrino interaction flavor and particle identification. The colloquium will conclude with an exploration of how machine learning tools will inform the physics reach of DUNE, a planned long-baseline neutrino experiment, which will begin data-taking in the mid-2020s.

     

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    02
    Feb
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Deep Medhi
    Department of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering
    University of Missouri — Kansas City

    Interdisciplinary Science: Connecting Physics, Computer Science and Statistics with Computer Networking

    The image of a black hole from April 2019 was widely seen by millions of people all over the world. To make this happen, it transcended traditional boundaries of a scientific discipline. In this talk, I will discuss examples such as black hole imaging and Large Hadron Collider for high energy physics, and connect them with computer science and statistics, and how computer networking plays a role.

     

     

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    09
    Feb
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Katelin Schutz
    Department of Physics
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Making Dark Matter out of Light

    Dark matter could be a “thermal-ish” relic of freeze-in, where the dark matter is produced by extremely feeble interactions with Standard Model particles dominantly at low temperatures. In this talk, I will discuss how sub-MeV dark matter can be made through freeze-in, accounting for a dominant channel where the dark matter gets produced by the decay of plasmons (photons that have an in-medium mass in the primordial plasma of our Universe). I will also explain how the resulting non-thermal dark matter velocity distribution can impact cosmological observables.

     

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    16
    Feb
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Mike Wallbank
    Physics Department
    University of Cincinnati
    Searching for Sterile Neutrinos using Antineutrino Oscillations with the NOνA Experiment

    The NOνA experiment consists of two functionally identical liquid scintillator detectors to study neutrino oscillations over an 810 km baseline using Fermilab's NuMI neutrino beam. In additional to world- leading studies of oscillations between the three known neutrino flavors, NOνA is searching for evidence of oscillations involving an additional, sterile, neutrino. Despite observations of neutrino oscillations from the majority of experiments being consistent with a 3-neutrino mixing framework, results from LSND and MiniBooNE are incompatible with this model but could be explained by incorporating a sterile neutrino state. These intriguing results are not conclusive and are in tension with findings from other short-baseline and long-baseline experiments.
    I will describe the NOνA experiment and show the latest oscillation results, including a novel sterile search using antineutrinos, and discuss the allowed limits on the mixing angles governing the oscillations. I will also talk about future improvements to the oscillation analyses, in particular highlighting an ongoing test beam program designed to improve our understanding of the detectors and allow more precise analyses through a reduction of the uncertainties.

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    16
    Feb
    2021
    6:00 pmVia Zoom (connection details will follow!)

    Dr. Nicholas Timme
    Department of Psychology,
    Indiana University – Purdue University

    Examining Compulsive Drinking in a Rodent Model of Alcohol Use Disorder

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a devastating disease that negatively affects millions of Americans and costs billions of dollars a year. A key feature of AUD is compulsive drinking, wherein a person continues to consume alcohol despite negative consequences. In this month’s Science Café, we will discuss general theories of AUD and my research on compulsive drinking in a rodent model of AUD. In addition, I’ll talk about my somewhat unusual career path from physics to neuroscience.

     

    February 16, 2021, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
    Via Zoom (connection details will follow!)

  • Tue
    23
    Feb
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Carl Herickhoff
    Biomedical Engineering
    University of Memphis

    New Directions in Ultrasound Imaging Technology

    Ultrasound has become an established clinical imaging tool in recent decades due to its speed, safety, affordability, and portability, yet biomedical ultrasound technology continues to rapidly advance in new and exciting ways. This talk will give an introduction to ultrasound imaging systems and devices, while also highlighting some current fundamental and applied ultrasound research efforts: intravascular elasticity imaging, dual-frequency superharmonic contrast imaging, large-scale body scanner arrays, low-cost freehand 3D imaging, and integration with augmented-reality displays for live ultrasound image guidance.

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    02
    Mar
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Umberto Tamponi
    Particle Physics Group
    INFN — Torino and the University of Mississippi

    Bottomonium at the Super-B factories: QCD and new physics

    In the last 15 years, several experiments contributed to an explosion of new results on heavy QCD bound states. Today, we potentially stand at the beginning of a new wave of discoveries, with the Belle II experiment starting its data taking, BESIII moving forward into its program and the LHC experiments moving into their next phase. These new experiments, collecting much larger statistics, will not only allow to constrain the low energy QCD models, but also to study rare decays sensitive to new physics scenarios.

    In this seminar, I will first outline the basic ideas and the status of the bottomonium physics, and then describe more in detail the potential of the measurement that will be performed at the Belle II experiment, ranging from the spectroscopy of the tetraquark-like states to the study of New-physics signatures in rare and forbidden decays.

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    16
    Mar
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Eugenio Bianchi
    Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos
    Pennsylvania State University

    Quantum Aspects of Black Hole Physics

    I will discuss recent developments in black hole physics that are at the frontier of gravity, quantum field theory and quantum information. In particular I will discuss how thermal properties of black holes arise from energy eigenstates of the gravitational field in a manner similar to what happens in other isolated many-body quantum systems. I will also highlight how the observation of the statistical distribution of the spin of primordial black holes can provide the first observational test of black hole entropy.

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    16
    Mar
    2021
    6:00 pmVia Zoom (connection details will follow!)

    Dr. Gavin Davies
    Department of Physics and Astronomy,
    University of Mississippi

    Science Quiz Bowl

    We will be holding our first ever Science Quiz Bowl hosted by resident quiz-master Dr. Gavin Davies, Assistant Professor in Physics and Astronomy. Our attendees will have the chance to partake in the live quiz bowl as a player or as a spectator! This event will use the Zoom link as below.

     

    March 16, 2021, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
    Via Zoom (connection details will follow!)

  • Tue
    23
    Mar
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Wanwei Wu
    Neutrino Division
    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

    Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers for Neutrino Physics

    As the most abundant massive particles in our universe, neutrinos are elusive and provide a promising window to probe the fundamental physics. They are everywhere but almost never interact with matter. Questions about the nature of neutrinos and whether they are the reason that universe is made of matter rather than antimatter are still unanswered. One promising detector technology that can be used to study neutrinos in detail is the liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC), which has been adopted by many accelerator-based neutrino experiments including the Fermilab Short-Baseline Neutrino program and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. LArTPCs promise to have millimeter-scale spatial resolution and excellent calorimetric capabilities in the detection of particles traversing the liquid argon and the measurement of their properties. In this talk, the landscape of LArTPCs for neutrino physics will be discussed, along with the prospects and status of the LArTPC neutrino experiments at Fermilab.

     

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Thu
    25
    Mar
    2021
    5:30 pmVia Zoom (connection details will follow!)

    Dr. Staci Bilbo
    Department of Psychology & Neuroscience,
    Duke University

    The Mind-Body Connection and the Secret Life of your Immune System

    Activation of the immune system via illness, poor nutrition, or a stressful environment in youth can alter early brain development and impact adult mood, physical health, and ability to think and can influence health outcomes like obesity and drug use. Understanding how the immune system interacts with the body and brain to produce these results guides our ability to lessen their harm. Social factors like poverty, pollution, and addiction contribute to activation of the immune system. Thus, it is also important to work with communities to dampen the devastating influence of these social factors on the growing brain. Dr. Bilbo will talk about research in an animal model examining the impact of combined environmental stressors during pregnancy on offspring mental health outcomes, and how these impacts may be mitigated by targeting the immune system.

     

    March 25, 2021, 5:30 - 6:30 PM
    Via Zoom (connection details will follow!)

  • Tue
    30
    Mar
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Lan Quynh Nguyen
    Department of Physics
    University of Notre Dame

    Self Interacting Dark Matter and the Small-Scale Structure Problem

    The core-cusp problem remains as a challenging discrepancy between observations and simulations in the standard CDM model for the formation of galaxies. The problem is that CDM simulations predict a steep power-law mass density profile at the center of galactic dark matter halos. However, observations of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group reveal a density profile consistent with a nearly flat distribution of dark matter near the center. A number of solutions to this dilemma have been proposed. Here, we summarize investigations into the possibility that the dark matter particles themselves self-interact and scatter. Such self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) particles can smooth out the dark-matter profile in high-density regions. We also review the theoretical proposal that self-interacting dark matter may arise as an additional Higgs scalar in the 3-3-1 extension of the standard model. We present new simulations of galaxy formation and evolution for this formulation of self-interacting dark matter. Current constraints on this self-interacting dark matter are then summarized.

     

     

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    06
    Apr
    2021
    4:00 pmCanceled.

    Rachel Rosen
    Department of Physics
    Columbia University

    Gravity Meets Particle Physics

    Many of the most pressing open questions in fundamental physics today require a better understanding of the interplay between gravity and particle physics. In this talk, I will review what we learn by treating gravity as a theory of particle physics: what new theories emerge, what constraints they must obey, and what we might learn about gravitational phenomena such as black holes.

     

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    13
    Apr
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Christopher Berry
    Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics
    Northwestern University

    The Secret Lives of Black Holes

    Gravitational-wave astronomy provides a unique insight into the lives of black holes. Since the beginning of the advanced-detector era in September 2015, we have observed gravitational waves from over 40 binary black hole systems. From the measured gravitational-wave signal we can infer the properties of their source systems, and uncover new insights into their formation. There are currently many mysteries around how massive stars evolve and binaries form in order to create the population of binary black holes. I will explain how we can use the growing catalogue of gravitational-wave observations to unravel these mysteries and review our discoveries to date.

     

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Tue
    20
    Apr
    2021
    4:00 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Paul Elmore
    Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)
    Johns Hopkins University

    The Johns Hopkins University — Applied Physics Laboratory and the KTY Group & The Physics Career from the Mid-Career Perspective

    This talk, intended for both undergraduate and graduate students, is dual purpose. The first part is a short recruitment talk on Johns Hopkins University — Applied Physics Laboratory and the Acoustics and Electromagnetics Group. The laboratory and group employ physics graduates at the Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. levels. The second part of this talk is centered on general advice for a career in physics. I will use my personal career path as an illustration of what, in my opinion (which is admittedly biased), are the biggest advantages of being a physicist vs an engineer or specialized physical scientist. These advantages are

    A. Being a “generalist” in the physical sciences, which can provide flexibility in job opportunities and specialization choices in your early career

    B. Formal training and general capability to solve hard analytic problems

    There are trade-offs, of course (e.g., lack of specialization for jobs that require it, lack of training in engineering approaches, etc.), but the advantages can outweigh the trade-offs. In addition, this talk will provide some discussion for the following topics and time for Q&A:

    • Whether or not to get your Ph.D. or perhaps enter the workforce at the Bachelor's or Master's degree level.
    • The importance of publications and in structuring your publication for readability and information flow in order to enhance potential citation count.
    • The importance of public speaking and going to conferences.
    • A few bits of career “self-care” advice.

     

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Thu
    22
    Apr
    2021
    2:30 pmZoom Meeting. See Below.

    Meghna Bhattacharya
    Department of Physics and Astronomy
    University of Mississippi

    First Results from the Muon g-2 Experiment at Fermilab — Muons Leading the Way

    The first results from the Muon g-2 experiment at Fermilab will be presented in this talk. The latest result from the Fermilab confirms the discrepancy between the theoretical prediction and the experimental measurement earlier reported by the Brookhaven experiment. The aim of the Fermilab experiment is to measure the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon, aμ = (g-2)/2, to a groundbreaking precision of 140 ppb, obtaining a near four-fold increase in precision over BNL. This is an incredibly challenging experiment with a unique opportunity to provide new insight into nature. An overview of this ultra-high precision measurement will be discussed in this talk.

     

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/91928227187

    Meeting ID: 919 282 27187

  • Thu
    22
    Apr
    2021
    4:00 pmOutside In Front of Lewis Hall

    Department of Physics and Astronomy
    University of Mississippi

    Research Poster Session

    Despite the pandemic, student researchers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy have continued to do some excellent work. In the spirit of scientific discourse, we will be holding a research poster session tomorrow, Thursday April 22 at 4 pm in front of Lewis Hall. Please join us to hear about ongoing research in the department, and maybe get some ideas for a new project!

    The web page can be found here.

     

  • Fri
    30
    Apr
    2021
    1:00 pmZoom Meeting: https://fnal.zoom.us/j/5343416792

    You are invited to attend Meghna Bhattacharya's Ph.D. dissertation defense at 1:00 PM on Friday, April 30th via Zoom Meeting: https://fnal.zoom.us/j/5343416792 .
    The dissertation title is: “Testing Fundamental Symmetries of Nature Using Muon g-2 Data.”

  • Thu
    15
    Jul
    2021
    10:00 amLewis Hall 109

    You are invited to attend Huu Do Tran's Ph.D. dissertation defense at 10:00 AM on Thursday, July 15th in Lewis Hall Room 109 or via Zoom: https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/99131547891?pwd=Qmc0NnozL1RiOWtVanFsaXFZN291QT09 .
    The dissertation title is: “A Valence-Bond Operator Algebra for Quantum Spin Models and Its Applications.”

  • Thu
    29
    Jul
    2021
    1:00 pmVia Zoom

    You are invited to attend BB Pilgrim's Ph.D. dissertation defense at 1:00 PM on Thursday, July 29th via Zoom: https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/5151994554 .
    The dissertation title is: “Dynamics for Discretized Gravity in the Causal Set Approach.”