Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Site Navigation Skip to Main Content

Physics SPS Seminar Series

The Sigma Pi Sigma Honors Society of the Physics Department presents seminars throughout the school year for both students and faculty. The seminars are given guest speakers, and Loyola professors, students and alumni. The seminars focus on trending topics related to physics and other sciences, as well as careers for physics graduates.


SPS Seminar: Seeing the Invisible

 

DATE: NOVEMBER 8, 2018

TIME: 12:30PM-1:45PM

LOCATION: MONROE HALL 628

SPEAKER: DR. JOSEPH PEREZ, PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS, AUBURN UNIVERSITY

We have all heard the expression the “vacuum of space”. But space is full of particles, waves, and fields. We just cannot see them. We will show how space scientists are able to make them visible and explain a variety of interesting phenomena. We will start with the solar wind that blows off of our star. The interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetic field produces a region around the Earth referred to as the magnetosphere. The Earth’s magnetic field forms a shield protecting life on Earth. But our shield is imperfect. The wind blows the magnetic field into a comet-like tail behind the Earth. Some of the particles that penetrate our shield produce the beautiful Aurora Borealis. They also create magnetic storms which can damage our satellites and produce currents in the Earth that are a threat to our power grids. We will show pictures and movies and explain the techniques used to see and study this fascinating region around the Earth. We will also show similar phenomena on other planets in our solar system.

Pizzas & Drinks will be served. Please arrive 10 minutes early!    
 

SPS Seminar: LIGO: Quantum Optics and Spacetime

DATE: NOVEMBER 1, 2018

TIME: 12:30PM-1:45PM

LOCATION: MONROE HALL 628

SPEAKER: SANDRINE FERRANS, LOYNO '19

Ripples in the fabric of spacetime, known as gravitational waves, were detected from the collision of black holes and neutron stars by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), ushering in a new era of astronomy. Gravitational waves offer a means of listening to events in the universe that were previously inaccessible, as well as a direct insight into earliest moments after the Big Bang.

LIGO detects gravitational waves with laser interferometry. The laser is transmitted and reflected with semi-transparent mirrors, and imperfections on the surfaces of the mirrors cause optical losses which can limit the sensitivity to gravitational waves. A new technique to reduce optical losses was tested on the LIGO prototype for my fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. Minimizing optical losses will be important for astronomers to allow them to 'see' deeper into space and therefore further back in time.

Pizzas & Drinks will be served. Please arrive 10 minutes early!    

 

SPS Seminar: Using Quantum Optics and Black Holes to Measure the Shape of the Universe

 

DATE: February 6, 2018

TIME: 12:30PM-1:45PM

LOCATION: MONROE HALL 152

SPEAKER: DR. RANA ADHIKARI, PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

The recent detections of black holes and neutron stars using LIGO, have given us new information about the number of black holes in the universe. Using Einstein's relativity, we can calibrate these black holes and use them to determine the shape of the universe as a function of cosmic time. To get to this next stage in experimental cosmology, we will have to make some advances in how we make quantum measurements of large objects. Surprisingly, all of this now seems possible - given a sufficiently motivated grad student workforce.

Pizzas & Drinks will be served. Please arrive 10 minutes early!              

 

SPS Seminar: Quantum Biology and the Solution of the Energy Problem

 

DATE: JANUARY 25, 2018

TIME: 12:30PM-1:45PM

LOCATION: MONROE HALL 152

PRESENTATION GIVEN BY: DR. GIUSEPPE L. CELARDO

The field of Quantum Biology aims to understand the role of quantum mechanical effects in biological systems.  There is no doubt that the behaviour of the microscopic constituents of Nature obey quantum mechanics, but on the macroscopic level, in everyday life, quantum behaviour is hard to observe. On the other hand, in the last decades, it has been shown that quantum devices able to work at ambient conditions could outperform classical devices currently used for applications such as computing, sensing, and light-harvesting. Surprisingly, evidence of quantum coherent effects has been found in photosynthetic systems even at room temperature. These findings raise many questions: how can quantum effects be preserved and how they can help the functionality of photosynthetic systems?  Understanding photosynthesis might help to build quantum devices able to operate at room temperature and able to efficiently harvest sun-light. Given that the amount of energy humans use annually is delivered to Earth by the Sun in one hour, efficient light-harvesting devices can be a fundamental step towards the solution of the Energy Problem.

Pizzas & Drinks will be served. Please arrive 10 minutes early!              

 

SPS Seminar:  Some of The Physics of EEG

 

DATE:TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2017
TIME: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
PLACE: MONROE HALL ROOM 628
SPEAKER: DR. DAVID VUMBACO

Please join us for our next SPS Seminar, Some of The Physics of EEG? presented by David Vumbaco.

We will have an informal discussion of neuroscience and common myths associated with the brain at the beginning that transitions into why we should care followed by a primer on EEG (electroencephalogram) with an emphasis on some of the simple physics concepts in EEG.

Pizzas & Drinks will be served. Please arrive 10 minutes early!              

 

 

SPS Seminar: Why Einstein being wrong might be good?

 

DATE:TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2017
TIME: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
PLACE: MONROE HALL ROOM 152
SPEAKER: DR. ARNALDO VARGAS

 

Please join us for our next SPS Seminar, Why Einstein being wrong might be good?, presented by Dr. Arnaldo Vargas of the Physics Department. The seminar will be held Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 12:30-1:30 in Monroe 152.

The principle of relativity is one of the most fundamental principles of physics.  This principle can be understood as the statement that the results of any experiment are independent of the absolute orientation and velocity of the experiment.   In recent years physicists have suggested that the principle of relativity might be violated. One of the motivations for this possibility is that some of theories that attempt to unify the ideas of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of general relativity might naturally allow for deviations from the principle of relativity.  Another motivation is the unexplained asymmetry on the amount of matter and antimatter observed in the universe.  Our most successful description of how elementary particles interact with each other suggests that we can predict the behavior of antimatter by studying the behavior of matter, however this theory fails to explain why we observe significantly more matter than antimatter in the universe. This matter-antimatter asymmetry could imply that the behavior of antimatter might be quite different from what is expected from our understanding of the fundamental interactions  and theories that deviate from the principle of relativity can easily reproduce an anomalous behavior for antimatter.  In this talk we will discuss what it means to break the principle of relativity and what kind signals experimentalists need to look for if they want to test this principle. 

Pizzas & Drinks will be served. Please arrive 10 minutes early!              

 

Previous Seminars
       

HERE