Archived

CSULB Colloquium- Dec 4

PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM
California State University Long Beach
Monday, December 4, 2017
11:15 am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCl-224)
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The Next Questions in Neutrino Physics
Prof. Ryan Patterson
California Institute of Technology

The discovery that neutrinos are massive particles has opened up a host of new questions with connections to particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology.  The NOvA long-baseline neutrino experiment is addressing the next unknowns in the neutrino sector, including the ordering of the neutrino masses, details of flavor mixing, and whether neutrinos respect CP symmetry.  After a review of the physics context, I will discuss NOvA’s experimental design, physics program, and recent results.  I will also introduce the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), an ambitious next-generation project for neutrino science and nucleon decay searches.

Please consider donating to SCAAPT

The Southern California Association of Physics Teachers is the oldest and largest organization of physics teachers in SoCal. Our traditional Spring and Fall Meetings enable physics teachers to come together to share ideas and learn from each other. Along with these popular events, we are expanding the wildly popular New Physics Teacher Workshops and can use additional support.  We have also recently established the SCAAPT Physics Library (books, lab equipment and other items) and can use financial and equipment donations to strengthen this resource for local teachers and students.

In order to serve our members better, we are a federally recognized non-profit organization which means that your financial donations are tax-deductible. We ask that you consider making a donation to SCAAPT so we may continue helping physics teachers and students throughout the region.

To donate online, visit the SCAAPT website.  If you prefer, you can mail a check to:

SCAAPT
PO Box 11032
Newport Beach, CA
92658

CSULB colloquium- Nov 27

PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM
California State University Long Beach
Monday, November 27, 2017
11:15 am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCl-224)
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A Curious Supergravity Story
Prof. Zvi Bern Physics & Astronomy Department University of California Los Angeles

For the past 35 years nearly all theoretical physicists have believed that all quantum gravity theories based on Einstein’s general relativity necessarily must be ill defined. This is the well-known nonrenormalizability problem of gravity. But is it actually true in general? We describe recent calculations that cast doubt on this simple picture and show that quantum gravity is much tamer than believed possible. The new calculations make use of enormous advances in our ability to compute scattering amplitudes in quantum field theory, including exploiting nontrivial “double copy” relations between gravity theories and gauge theories.

High school physics free event at UCR

High School Physics Educators are cordially invited in a 1-day FREE event taking place at the UC Riverside Alumni Center on Saturday December 9, 2017.
This event is meant to be an opportunity to meet past participants of the UCR Summer Physics Academy and learn new strategies for your classroom.

Registration:  https://goo.gl/forms/NCHi3xGn5hhlg4Fn1

Here are some of the anticipated topics:

Review of summer experience and feedback
New and improved resources for the HS physics classroom
Collaborative activity planning and Demo Sharing
Key note speakers:

Dr. Anderson- What Freshmen Need to be Prepared for Success in College Science Classes.
Dr. Barsukov Spintronics presentation and demos

Please, share this information with other physics educators.

CSULB Colloquium- Nov 13

PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM
California State University Long Beach
Monday, November 13, 2017
11:15 am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCl-224)
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Density Functional Theory and its Applications to Physics and Chemistry

Dr. Kurt Fredrickson
Applied Materials (Sunnyvale, CA)

Density functional theory (DFT) is a widely-used computational tool in academia and industry that has been successful in predicting a wide variety of physical phenomena. Its ability to balance computational cost and accuracy allows to it be used for a wide variety of technologically important properties at the atomic scale, such as band gaps, band offsets, and binding energies. In this talk, I will present my doctoral and postdoctoral work in DFT and its applications in physics, chemistry, and engineering, including interface modeling, chemical deposition, and catalysis. I will also mention its importance to industry and some applications to industrial problems.

Winter AAPT Meeting Registration Deadline

The 2018 AAPT Winter Meeting will be held January 6-9 in San Diego. Join your fellow SoCal colleagues at this wonderful international meeting of physics teachers. There will be wonderful plenary speakers, workshops, special activities and lots of networking opportunities.

The registration costs go up November 8.  Register now to take advantage of the Early Bird discounted rate. Also, encourage your students (high school and college) to attend; their registration costs are very reasonable- free for high school and $45 for college.

The website has information about the plenary speakers, hotel reservations, involvement of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, and special events for High School and Two Year College teachers.

CSULB Colloquium- Nov 6

PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM
California State University Long Beach
Monday, November 6, 2017
11:15 am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCl-224)
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Force Sensing by Bacteria
Prof. Albert Siryaporn
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Biology & Biochemistry
University of California Irvine

My lab explores how bacteria detect and respond to mechanical forces. During the course of an infection, bacteria encounter a variety of mechanical forces such as adhesive forces during contact with the host cells that they infect and shear stresses in fluidic environments. We have developed a biophysical approach to explore how bacteria interpret mechanical cues to detect the presence of host cells and to guide the expansion of large bacterial populations within host organisms. In particular, we found that the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa detects the presence of hosts using a mechano-sensitive mechanism, akin to a bacterial sense of touch. This response activates virulence and consequently P. aeruginosa, unlike other pathogens, relies on mechanical input rather than exclusively on chemical signals for infection. This model provides a long-sought explanation for understanding how P. aeruginosa can infect a broad range of hosts including humans, animals and plants. The ubiquity and diversity of mechanical forces in all aspects of a bacterium’s life have far-reaching consequences that we are just beginning to comprehend.

Adjunct Physics Instructors Wanted

The Division of Mathematics and Sciences of Rio Hondo College has an immediate need for an adjunct instructor for its instructional labs in the spring semester. One lab is for General Physics II: MW 12:50-2:15 pm; the other for Physics for Scientists and Engineers I: MW 4:00-5:25 pm. Classes begin on Jan. 29.

Apply at https://riohondo.peopleadmin.com/postings/773.

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

PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM
California State University Long Beach
Monday, October 30, 2017
11:15 am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCl-224)
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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.