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PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM SCHEDULE

FALL 2021

The Colloquia Start at 3:00 pm on Thursdays. Note the change of time! See individual listings for mode of presentation, zoom or in person.

Contact: D. Tanner uftanner@ufl.edu)
Department of Physics Colloquium Committee:
David Tanner (chair), Paul Avery, Konstantin Matchev, Mark Meisel, Tarek Saab, Christopher Stanton, and BingKan Xue


September 2

  Speaker Laura Blecha
  Title Multi-scale Modeling of Supermassive Black Hole Evolution: toward the Dawn of Low-Frequency Gravitational Wave Astrophysics
Via Recording of the talk
  Abstract Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) reside in the centers of most galaxies, are millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun, and play a crucial role in galaxy evolution. In turn, mergers between galaxies can trigger powerful electromagnetic and gravitational-wave (GW) emission from inspiraling SMBH pairs. The study of such multi-messenger sources is currently undergoing explosive growth. Following the success of the LIGO and Virgo experiments in detecting GWs, we are on the cusp of the next major frontier: low-frequency GW astrophysics. I will summarize my group's recent and ongoing studies of SMBH formation, growth, feedback, and dynamics, primarily using multi-scale simulations of galaxies and cosmological volumes. This work addresses crucial questions about the origins of SMBHs, their coordinated evolution with galaxies, and the characteristics and multi-messenger signatures of GW sources.
  Host David Tanner

October 14

  Speaker Yong Yeol Ahn (Indiana University)
  Title Network epidemiology and effectiveness of contact tracing Via Zoom
  Abstract Epidemic spreading is fundamentally a network process because many infectious diseases spread through human interactions. This talk will explain key insights from network epidemiology and highlight a recent discovery about contact tracing. Although contact tracing has been one of the most widely employed methods for controlling an epidemic, the determinants of its efficacy have not been fully understood. I will explain why ‘backward’ tracing (tracing from whom disease spreads) can be profoundly more effective than ‘forward’ tracing (tracing to whom disease spreads) due to the nature of contact networks. I will also show that, even if the directionality of infection is unknown, it is possible to perform "backward-aiming" contact tracing. Combined with new, rapid digital contact tracing, our results may improve the effectiveness of contact tracing.
  Host Yoonseok Lee

October 21

  Speaker Izabella Barreto (UF Radiology)
  Title Exploring Medical Physics: The need for physicists in medicine   Recording of the talk
  Abstract Medical Physics is an applied branch of physics that utilizes physics concepts in the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Medical physicists enhance the effectiveness of radiological imaging procedures and ensure that cancer patients receive the prescribed radiation dose to the correct location. Unfortunately, few patients are aware that medical physicists contribute to their healthcare, and many students don’t know that it can be a rewarding career option. However, several medical physicists have reported satisfaction with the career, including time spent with patients, compensation, and teaching opportunities. Furthermore, the growing clinical demand for medical physicists has increased the number of graduate program and clinical residencies by more than seven-fold. This session will cover the historical development and importance of the medical physics field, typical tasks a medical physicist performs, including in clinical, research, academic, and industry settings, and pathways to become a medical physicist. We will also highlight the new Medical Physics Undergraduate Internship Program recently developed at UF.
  Host Kathryn McGill

October 28

  Speaker Sergei Gleyzer (University of Alabama)
  Title Deep Learning for High-Energy Physics and Strong Gravitational Lensing Cosmology
Talk is in 1002 NPB and via Zoom
  Abstract The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is delivering the highest energy proton-proton collisions ever recorded in the laboratory, permitting a detailed exploration of elementary particle physics at the highest energy frontier. It is uniquely positioned to detect and measure the rare phenomena that can shape our knowledge of new interactions and possibly resolve the present tensions of the Standard Model. LHC experiments have already observed the long-sought after Higgs boson and have achieved unprecedented levels of sensitivity to new particles at the TeV scale with on-going searches for new physics, including dark matter. This trend is expected to continue during the next LHC run and with the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-HLC), anticipated to start data taking in 2027. New ideas for event reconstruction and data analysis are required to address the experimental challenges posed by the complex experimental environment at the HL-LHC that arises from a significant increase in pile-up, or extra particle collisions of protons traveling in the same bunch, leading to far more complicated event signatures at the HL-LHC. In my talk, I will discuss the application of state-of-the-art machine learning methods to new physics searches at the LHC, detector reconstruction, event simulation and real-time event filtering at the LHC. I will also discuss related cross-over machine learning applications to searches for dark matter substructure with strong gravitational lensing with the upcoming Vera Rubin Observatory.
  Host Konstantin Matchev

November 4

  Speaker Simon Sponberg (Georgia Tech)
  Title Organismal physics: Resonance mechanics, self-excited oscillations and the multiscale physics of muscle underlying agile flight of insects via Recording of the talk
  Abstract The ability to move is a trait of all animals. Yet how do animals, including ourselves, get around in this complex and uncertain world with an ease and agility we find hard to recreate in engineered systems? Underlying these behaviors are compositions of immensely complex physiological subsystems (brains, muscles, bodies), yet what often emerges through evolutionary timescales and environmental interactions is a functional performance that can (sometimes) afford simple analysis on the scale of behavior. In this talk, I will use the agile locomotion of insects to show how an organismal physics approach can give insights into this emergent, functional simplicity. I will show how insects operate as resonant mechanical systems to power flight but do not necessarily operate at their resonant frequency because of consequences for control. We will explore how insects have evolved two different strategies for powering this resonant flight system using muscles that either provide periodic oscillatory forcing or use a stretch-responsive property to set up self-excited limit cycles. While these two strategies have been known for some time, we find that they can be unified in a single dynamic systems framework that shows how major evolutionary transitions reflect transition in this dynamical response. Finally, I will discuss how muscle’s ability to power movement is shaped by its unusual multiscale structure. High-speed x-ray diffraction through living muscles shows that living muscle is active crystalline matter – the regular arrangement of actin and myosin filaments produces a lattice that dynamically changes spacing as a muscle contracts. A single nanometer difference in muscle lattice spacing can account for how one muscle acts like a motor while another acts like a brake. We cannot yet emulate the motility seen in nature, nor derive behavior, but the emergent dynamics of animal locomotion is an exciting opportunity to explore how complexity gives way to function and the physical and physiological mechanisms that are the enablers of this performance.
  Host Zachary Jackson and BingKan Xue

November 18

  Speaker Tracy Slatyer (MIT)
  Title Dark Matter Signals Through Cosmic History Recording of the talk
  Abstract Dark matter constitutes more than 5/6 of the matter in the universe, but its nature and interactions remain one of the great puzzles of fundamental physics. Dark matter collisions or decays have the potential to produce high-energy particles; such particles may already have reshaped the history of our cosmos, leaving traces of their existence in ionization and heating of the intergalactic medium, in background radiation from the cosmic dark ages and the epoch of reionization, and in signals from our own Milky Way galaxy. I will describe new and improved tools to map out possible non-gravitational cosmic signatures of dark matter, for models ranging from light particle DM to primordial black holes, and discuss current constraints and plans for future directions.
  Host Wei Xue

December 2

  Speaker Jonathan Bloch (UF)
  Title Extinction of the Dinosaurs, Global warming and the Origin of Primates
Talk is in 1002 NPB and via Zoom
  Abstract The Age of Mammals began about 66 million years ago when the earth experienced a mass-extinction event that wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs and resulted in a major episode of evolution and diversification of mammals on land. Approximately 10-million years later a rapid and large scale global warming event again dramatically changed life on land, marking the first appearance of nearly one-half of the modern orders of mammals at the beginning of the Eocene including the ancestors of horses and primates. Past global warming events documented in the fossil record tell stories of shrinking mammals, giant snakes, and how we might plan for a future on a planet without ice on the poles.

Dr. Jonathan Bloch is Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology & Chair of the Department of Natural History in the Florida Museum of Natural History and is Affiliate Professor in the Departments of Biology, Anthropology, and Geological Sciences at the University of Florida. Dr. Bloch received his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences in 2001 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He did postdoctoral research in the Museum of Paleontology at the University of Michigan and as the Haslem Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the South Dakota Museum of Geology & Department of Geology & Geological Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City. He joined the faculty of the University of Florida in 2004. Dr. Bloch was awarded a University of Florida Term Professorship (2017-2020), a University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship(2011-2013), and was the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Environmental Scholar at the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies (YIBS) in 2013. Dr. Bloch studies fossil vertebrates from the Cenozoic with an emphasis on addressing questions surrounding the first appearance and early evolution of the modern orders of mammals, including Primates. He does related field-based research in the Miocene of Panama and Florida, the Paleocene and Eocene of the Clarks Fork, Bighorn, and Crazy Mountains basins of Wyoming and Montana, the Eocene of Indonesia, and the Paleocene-Eocene Cerrejon and Bogota formations of northern Colombia. He is an author on over 90 peer-reviewed articles and has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Human Evolution, Co-Editor for the journal Paleobiology, and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Mammalian Evolution.
  Host Konstantin Matchev

December 9

  Speaker Russell Hemley (U. Illinois - Chicago)
  Title Talk is in 1002 NPB and via Zoom
  Abstract
  Host James Hamlin and Peter Hirschfeld


PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM SCHEDULE

SPRING 2022

The Colloquia Start at 3:00 pm on Thursdays. Note the change of time! See individual listings for mode of presentation, zoom or in person.

Contact: D. Tanner uftanner@ufl.edu)
Department of Physics Colloquium Committee:
David Tanner (chair), Paul Avery, Konstantin Matchev, Mark Meisel, Tarek Saab, Christopher Stanton, and BingKan Xue


January 6

  Speaker AI Search
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January 11 - Special Colloquium at 3:00pm

  Speaker Craig Group (University of Virginia)
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  Host Andrey Korytov

January 13

  Speaker HEP Search
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January 20

  Speaker AI Search
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January 27

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February 3

  Speaker AI Search
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February 10

  Speaker HEP Search
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February 17

  Speaker AI Search
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February 24

  Speaker HEP Search
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March 3

  Speaker Kent Blackburn (Caltech)
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March 10 - Spring Break - No Colloquium

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March 17 - March Meeting - No Colloquium

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March 24

  Speaker Wei Xue (UF)
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March 31

  Speaker Nick Bonesteel
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  Host Chris Stanton

April 7

  Speaker TBA
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Aril 14

  Speaker Jonathan Feng (UC Irvine)
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  Host Konstantin Matchev