About Jeff Phillips

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So far Jeff Phillips has created 223 entries.

Lunch reservations for fall meeting are due

Please complete the online form immediately if you are interested in reserving a box lunch (Rubios burrito and sides) for this Saturday’s SCAAPT meeting at Saddleback College. Lunch orders are due November 1 by noon.

See the meeting page for complete details on the schedule, parking, and order of magnitude question.

CSULB Colloquium- Oct 30

California State University Long Beach
Monday, October 30, 2017
11:15 am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCl-224)
What is a skyrmion?
Dr. Héctor Ochoa
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of California, Los Angeles

This question was a recurrent in-joke with my wife to make fun of people who uses ostentatious jargon when talking about Physics. Paradoxically (or not), I have become the object of my diffusion past jokes with the passage of time. As an act of contrition, I will try to answer this question in  simple terms, providing  also a historical background. In short: a skyrmion is an emergent particle associated with a whirling configuration of a vectorial order parameter. It was originally proposed by Tony Skyrme as a candidate for hadronic matter back in the early 60’s. However, skyrmions have been more profusely discussed in different contexts of Condensed Matter Physics. I will pay special attention to the case of magnetism, where skyrmions appear as textures of the spin-density field stabilized by relativistic interactions in some materials that receive the name of chiral magnets. I will describe the intriguing dynamics of these objects, which mimics the motion of charged particles in the presence of a strong magnetic field, and how this can be manipulated by non-equilibrium torques induced, for example, by electronic currents. In the last part of the talk, I will discuss quantum-size effects and connections with the quantum Hall effect.

Fall Meeting schedule is posted

The complete schedule for the upcoming SCAAPT Fall Meeting is now posted on the SCAAPT website. There is still time to reserve a box lunch.
SCAAPT Fall Meeting
November 4, 2018
Saddleback College
Complete schedule of contributed and invited talks (plus information about parking).
We look forward to seeing old and new friends at this meeting.


CSULB Colloquium- Oct 23

California State University Long Beach
Monday, October 23, 2017
11:15 am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCl-224)
Majorana Materializes
Prof. Jason Alicea
California Institute of Technology

In 1937 Ettore Majorana introduced the concept of what are now fittingly called Majorana fermions – fermionic particles that are their own antiparticles. Nowadays an active search for condensed-matter analogues of these elusive objects is well underway, motivated by both the prospect of revealing new facets of quantum mechanics and longer-term quantum computing applications. This talk will survey recent advances in this pursuit. In particular, I will describe strategies for “engineering” Majorana platforms from simple building blocks, preliminary experimental successes, and future milestones that reveal foundational aspects of Majorana physics directly relevant for quantum computation.

Lunch reservations for Fall Meeting

If you would like to reserve a box lunch for the November 4 meeting, please complete the online form by October 30. Lunches will be a burrito from Rubios, plus drinks.

(The complete meeting schedule will be posted soon!)

Exploring Your Universe at UCLA

Exploring Your Universe is UCLA’s annual science festival, educating and inspiring over 7,000 visitors each year! Launch bottle rockets, make comets, do chemistry and physics experiments, touch brains, see fossils, and much more! Exploring Your Universe will also offer planetarium shows, science talks, and telescope viewings! is free and appropriate for all ages!
SUNDAY, November 5, 2017
12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Night-time activities until 8:00 p.m.
UCLA Court of Sciences
Please join us for this family-friendly day of science exploration at UCLA. Visit the event website for a full schedule and directions. Admission is free. All ages are welcome.

Parking is available for $12 in Lot 2 and Lot 8.

CSULB Colloquium- Oct 16

California State University Long Beach

Monday, October 16, 2017
11:15 am in PH1-223

(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCl-224)

Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of Graphene:  Hydrogen Desorption and Nitrogen Doping
Prof. Li Gao
California State University, Northridge

Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) can provide atomic-scale insights into the properties of materials. Functionalization of graphene with adsorbates or dopants is important toward its practical applications. In this talk, I will discuss our recent STM studies of hydrogen-passivated graphene and nitrogen-doped graphene. First, we investigated electron-stimulated desorption of hydrogen from the graphene/SiC(0001) surface at room temperature. Two different desorption processes were observed. We also found that the curvature of graphene dramatically affects hydrogen desorption. Second, we investigated the synthesis of nitrogen doped graphene on metals from a nitrogen-containing sole precursor azafullerene. Three different metal surfaces have been used, including Ru(0001), Cu(111), and Ir(111). Our results indicate that azafullerene is an effective sole precursor for the controlled synthesis of nitrogen-doped graphene, and the growth substrate strongly influences the synthesis process and doping properties.

Deadline for Fall Meeting Submissions is Oct. 13

Please consider submitting an abstract for a presentation or Show & Tell at our upcoming meeting (November 4 at Saddleback College). You need to complete the online submission form by October 13, for your presentation to be considered.

CSULB Colloquium- Oct 9


California State University Long Beach

Monday, October 9, 2017
11:15 am in PH1-223

(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCl-224)

Career Opportunities in Physics Without a Doctorate

John Milligan
Logical Approach Engineering

The world of physics opens the doors to many, if not all, technical fields. All technical fields rely heavily on problem solving skills. Regardless of the field or problem to be solved, as I peel back the layers of the onion, I find physics at the core. According to the American Institute of Physics, new physics bachelors entering the workforce enjoy some of the highest paid starting salaries. Moreover, those entering the private sector STEM fields enjoy a high level of satisfaction. Yet, only 1-in-5 physics graduates enter the private workforce upon receiving their bachelors. We will examine the applicability of physics in the technical private sector and demonstrate that transitioning from the halls of HSCI to exo-academia is an easy and rewarding experience.

CSULB Colloquium- Oct 2


California State University, Long Beach
Monday, October 2, 2017 11:15am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCI-224)

Topological Order in Condensed Matter Physics
Prof. Michael R. Peterson
California State University Long Beach

In Landau’s theory of phase transitions, different phases of matter are understood and classified in terms of symmetry that can be locally probed. Since the early 1980’s new of phases of matter called topological phases have been discovered with the integer and fractional quantum Hall effects serving as the paradigmatic examples. Much of theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics has dedicated itself to the full understanding and classification of these newly discovered topological phases—the 2016 Physics Nobel prize in physics was awarded for “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter” to David Thouless, Duncan Haldane, and Michael Kosterlitz. As the name would suggest, topological phases are gapped phases that possess topological, or global, order that cannot be classified by a local symmetry. Additionally, they are characterized by particle fractionalization (so-called anyons with fractionally charged quasi-particle excitations and fractional braiding statistics) and particular ground state degeneracies. Fascinatingly, a special kind of anyon called a non-abelian anyon has potential applications in the construction of a fault-tolerant (topological) quantum computer. I will discuss the reality of so-called intrinsic topological phases in the fractional quantum Hall effect and frustrated spin systems where the strongly interacting constituents produce emergent topologically ordered phases.