REU Pizza Seminars

Physics REU site arranges traditional pizza seminar series for summer undergraduate research students.
The seminars are aimed at multidisciplinary audience and aim to expose the participatins students of different majors to various areas of modern science.

Unless email announcement states otherwise, the seminars will take place every Wednesday during June and July in room PHYS 234. Refreshments (pizza+drinks) will be ready at 11:45 AM, and it is expected that the students will finish their food by the beginning of the talk at about 12:05. Talks last for about one hour.

2016 seminar schedule

  • June 8
    Prof. Rafael Lang, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    "Dark Matter"

    Abstract: We know Dark Matter exists, but what is it really made of? This talk will synthesize what we know about Dark Matter and what we don't know, and what we can learn with existing and upcoming experiments. A comprehensive overview over this bustling area of research will be given, from cosmological and astrophysical observations about the existence and nature of Dark Matter, to detectors in orbit and experiments deep underground. Rapid progress is made on all fronts, and with the most promising areas of parameter space currently being probed, the Quest for Dark Matter is in its most exciting phase.

  • June 15
    Prof. John Finley, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    VERITAS and the Indirect Search for Dark Matter

    Abstract: The VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) Observatory consists of an array of 4 12 meter diameter imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes sensitive to photons in the energy range from 100 GeVto 30 TeV. The collaboration is in the process of carrying out a long term science plan, to run through 2019, that addresses the nature of the Universe and the astrophysical objects that it contains. Foremost amongst the science areas is our search for dark matter by the indirect detection of its signature in astrophysical sources. I will first briefly outline our science program and then describe how we are able to detect very high energy photons from the ground using the imaging atmospheric Cherenkov technique. Then I will describe our indirect dark matter search that has been the focus of our research efforts over the past several years and finally I will elaborate on the next step forward in this field, CTA (the Cherenkov Telescope Array).

  • June 22
    Prof. Sergei Savikhin, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    "Quantum physics of photosynthesis"

    Abstract: We will discuss the physics of early processes in photosynthesis revealed by ultrafast laser spectroscopy. In particular, we will focus on the biological processes that can be only understood in terms of quantum physics.

  • June 29
    Prof. Andy Freed, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
    "Earthquakes' Silver Lining: Using the 2011 M9 Tohoku, Japan Earthquake to Probe the Earth's Deep Interior"

    Abstract: The release of tectonic stress during earthquakes produces shaking that causes great loss of life and property. But this stress release also provides a great opportunity to explore the Earth's interior. Earthquakes increase stress in the deep crust and mantle that, because of hot temperatures, cause these rocks to flow. This flow leads to deformation at the Earth's surface which can be observed by an array of GPS receivers for many years. These observations can then be used to constrain numerical models of postseismic flow that can illuminate the architecture and mechanical properties of rocks hundreds of kilometers below the surface. I will demonstrate this technique using postseismic deformation following the 2011 M9 Tohoku, Japan earthquake, illuminating what lies beneath Japan and what this teaches us about plate tectonics and earthquakes.

  • July 6
    Prof. Francis Robicheaux, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    "Adventures in AMOP Physics"

    Abstract: What does AMOP mean? Will there be a movie with the pizza? Am I going to describe real adventures or is that just hype? Does quantum mechanics have to be weird? Eighty years ago, didn't Dirac say that all of atomic physics and chemistry was understood? Why should I still be trying to understand atomic, molecular, and/or optical physics? Couldn't I find something more interesting to study? When do atoms in near vacuum have collective properties? How does energy flow through a strongly coupled atomic gas? Where will the photon go? How come this abstract is only questions?

  • July 13
    Prof. Marc Caffee, Department of Physics.
    Cosmic-ray-produced nuclides in extra-terrestrial materials

    Abstract: Since the condensation of the first solids in our solar system 4.56 Gyr ago galactic cosmic ray (GCR) and solar energetic particle (SEP) interactions have been responsible nuclear transmutations. These cosmic-ray-produced (cosmogenic) nuclides serve as a clock that can be used to determine chronologies. Cosmogenic 3He was first discovered in iron meteorites. Subsequently, many pioneering searches for cosmogenic nuclides in both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial materials were conducted; these studies established techniques for cosmogenic nuclide extraction and established linkages between the extra-terrestrial and terrestrial applications.

  • July 20
    Prof. Nicholas C Carpita, Botany and Plant Pathology.
    Prof. Maureen McCann, Biological Sciences, Director of the Energy Center
    "Tailoring biomass to fit the biofuels pipeline"

  • July 27
    Dr. Ken Ritchie, Department of Physics and Astronomy
    Janice Thomaz (Graduate Coordinator)
    Jointly present "Graduate School Talk"

    Abstract: The GRAD TALK is about information on Graduate Schools and very specific to graduate school in physics. We will have the speakers talk about what does the process look like from the faculty, the administrative and from the student's point of view. You will get a lot of information about our Purdue Physics and Astronomy Graduate Program and the application process geared towards any physics and astronomy graduate program.

  • August 3
    Prof. Gabor Csathy, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    Tentative title: Emergent Electronic Order in Two Dimensions
    Abstract: Electrons in two-dimensions are technologically important from computers to cell phones. When cooled to low temperatures and exposed to strong magnetic fields, electrons form intricate patterns with novel orders not seen in any other physical system. These electronic states have numerous intriguing properties and may prove useful in novel platforms of quantum computing.

2015 seminar schedule

  • June 3
    Prof. Ken Ritchie, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    Single molecule imaging in live cells
  • June 10
    Prof. Matthew Jones, Department of Physics.
    Tentative title: "Significance of the Higgs Observation"
  • June 17
    Prof. Rafael Lang, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    Tentative title: "Closing in on Dark Matter"
  • June 24
    Introduction to graduate program at Purdue
  • July 1
    Prof. Gabor Csathy, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    Tentative title: Emergent Electronic Order in Two Dimensions
    Abstract: Electrons in two-dimensions are technologically important from computers to cell phones. When cooled to low temperatures and exposed to strong magnetic fields, electrons form intricate patterns with novel orders not seen in any other physical system. These electronic states have numerous intriguing properties and may prove useful in novel platforms of quantum computing.
  • July 8
    Prof. Nicholas C Carpita, Botany and Plant Pathology.
    Prof. Maureen McCann, Biological Sciences, Director of the Energy Center
    "Tailoring biomass to fit the biofuels pipeline"
  • July 15
    Prof. Jay Melosh, Earth, and Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences & Department of Physics; University Distinguished Professor.
    Tentative title: From Earth to the Moon: Impact Ejection of Intact Rocks from the Surface of our Planet
  • July 22
    Prof. John Finley, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    VERITAS and the Indirect Search for Dark Matter
  • July 29
    Prof. Sergei Savikhin, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    "Quantum physics of photosynthesis"
    Abstract: We will discuss the physics of early processes in photosynthesis revealed by ultrafast laser spectroscopy.

2014 seminar schedule

  • May 28
    Prof. Sergei Savikhin, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    "Catching sunlight: lessons from photosynthesis"
    Abstract: We will discuss the physics of early processes in photosynthesis revealed by ultrafast laser spectroscopy.
  • June 4
    Prof. Erica Carlson, Department of Physics and Astonomy
    The secret life of electrons in high temperature superconductors
  • June 11
    Prof. Jay Melosh, Earth, and Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences & Department of Physics; University Distinguished Professor.
    From Earth to the Moon: Impact Ejection of Intact Rocks from the Surface of our Planet
    Abstract: We now know that rocks from the surface of Mars are ejected by impacts into interplanetary space. A few have eventually found their way into terrestrial meteorite collections. Although not yet proven, it seems likely that large impacts on the Earth also eject rocks from our planet into interplanetary space. Some of these ejecta must find their way to our Moon, among other places. The requirements for Earth ejection are more stringent than for Mars: Earth’s twice higher escape velocity and 100 times denser atmosphere limit possible ejection to much larger, and therefore rarer, events. Nevertheless, during the Archean era the cratering rate was much higher than at present and a record of impactors up to 70 km in diameter is inferred from thick spherule beds in our most ancient rocks. Because the Moon lacks an atmosphere, Earth ejecta must strike its surface at velocities of more than 2.5 km/sec, rendering it probable that Earth ejecta will be crushed and partially dispersed into the lunar regolith upon landing. Nevertheless, such velocities are too low to either melt or vaporize impacting Earth rocks, especially given the porous, easily crushed, lunar regolith. The Moon’s regolith may thus preserve a fragmental record of the Earth’s earliest crust.
  • June 18
    Prof. David Nolte, Depratment of Physics and Astronomy.
    Interferometry for Life
    (Abstract)
  • June 25
    Prof. Nicholas C Carpita, Botany and Plant Pathology.
    Prof. Maureen McCann, Biological Sciences, Director of the Energy Center
    "Tailoring biomass to fit the biofuels pipeline"
  • July 2
    Prof. Briony Horgan, Earth, and Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
    "Mineralogy for Physicists: Exploring Mars with Spectroscopy"
    Abstract: Planetary scientists use infrared spectroscopy from satellites in orbit around other planets to understand what planetary surfaces are made of. On Mars, identifying minerals has helped scientists to understand what kinds of environments once existed. In this talk, we'll learn about how to use spectroscopy to identify minerals, how different minerals tell us about geologic processes, and how this data is being used to decide where to send rovers to look for signs of ancient life on Mars.
  • July 9
    Prof. Ken Ritchie, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    Single molecule imaging in live cells
  • July 16
    Prof. Rafael Lang, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    "Closing in on Dark Matter"
  • July 23
    Prof. John Finley, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    VERITAS and the Indirect Search for Dark Matter
    Abstract: The past fifteen years have been a golden age in the field of gamma-ray astronomy. Space based observatories such as the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) and the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi satellite have opened the 30 MeV to 100 GeV energy domain to scientific investigation. In parallel, ground based gamma-ray astronomy, pioneered by the Whipple collaborations 10 m imaging telescope, has revealed that the night sky is alive with astrophysical objects emitting photons in the 100 GeV to 10 TeV energy domain. At these energy scales the instruments are probing the most energetic processes in the Universe involving compact objects, neutron stars and black holes, and large scale particle acceleration in astrophysical outflows. In this talk I will describe the techniques used in ground based gamma-ray astronomy and describe how the VERITAS array can be utilized to search for the telltale signature of dark matter in an astrophysical setting.
  • July 30
    Prof. Gabor Csathy, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
    Emergent Electronic Order in Two Dimensions
    Abstract: Electrons in two-dimensions are technologically important from computers to cell phones. When cooled to low temperatures and exposed to strong magnetic fields, electrons form intricate patterns with novel orders not seen in any other physical system. These electronic states have numerous intriguing properties and may prove useful in novel platforms of quantum computing.

2013 seminar schedule

  • May 29
    Prof. Sergei Savikhin, Department of Physics.
    "Catching sunlight: lessons from photosynthesis"
    Abstract: We will discuss the physics of early processes in photosynthesis revealed by ultrafast laser spectroscopy.
  • June 5
    Prof. Erica Carlson, Department of Physics
    The secret life of electrons in high temperature superconductors
  • June 12
    Prof. Jay Melosh, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences & Department of Physics; University Distinguished Professor.
    From Earth to the Moon: Impact Ejection of Intact Rocks from the Surface of our Planet
    Abstract: We now know that rocks from the surface of Mars are ejected by impacts into interplanetary space. A few have eventually found their way into terrestrial meteorite collections. Although not yet proven, it seems likely that large impacts on the Earth also eject rocks from our planet into interplanetary space. Some of these ejecta must find their way to our Moon, among other places. The requirements for Earth ejection are more stringent than for Mars: Earth’s twice higher escape velocity and 100 times denser atmosphere limit possible ejection to much larger, and therefore rarer, events. Nevertheless, during the Archean era the cratering rate was much higher than at present and a record of impactors up to 70 km in diameter is inferred from thick spherule beds in our most ancient rocks. Because the Moon lacks an atmosphere, Earth ejecta must strike its surface at velocities of more than 2.5 km/sec, rendering it probable that Earth ejecta will be crushed and partially dispersed into the lunar regolith upon landing. Nevertheless, such velocities are too low to either melt or vaporize impacting Earth rocks, especially given the porous, easily crushed, lunar regolith. The Moon’s regolith may thus preserve a fragmental record of the Earth’s earliest crust.
  • June 19
    Prof. Nick Giordano, Department of Physics; Hubert James Distinguished Professor of Physics and Department Head
    Physics of the piano
    Abstract
  • June 26
    Prof. Andy Freed, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
    The Origin of Lunar Mascon Basins.
    Abstract: High-resolution gravity data from the GRAIL spacecraft have enabled us to clarify the origin of lunar mascons. Free-air gravity anomalies over lunar impact basins display bulls-eye patterns consisting of a central positive (mascon) anomaly, a surrounding negative collar, and a positive outer annulus. How bolide impact, a process of mass removal leaving a topographic low, leads to the formation of basins with excess subsurface mass, was one of the oldest puzzles of planetary geophysics. I will show that this pattern results from impact basin excavation and collapse followed by isostatic adjustment and cooling and contraction of a voluminous melt pool. We employed a hydrocode to simulate the impact and a self-consistent finite-element model to simulate the subsequent viscoelastic relaxation and cooling. The primary parameters controlling the modeled gravity signatures of mascon basins are the impactor energy, the lunar thermal gradient at the time of impact, the crustal thickness, and the extent of volcanic fill.
  • July 3
    Prof. Ken Ritchie, Department of Physics.
    Single molecule imaging in live cells
  • July 10
    Prof. Matthew Jones, Department of Physics.
    Tentative title: "Significance of the Higgs Observation"
  • July 17
    Argonne-Fermi trip (Chicago, leaving at 7:30 AM)
  • July 24
    Prof. Rafael Lang, Department of Physics.
    "Closing in on Dark Matter"
  • July 31
    Prof. Maureen McCann, Biological Sciences, Director of the Energy Center
    "Tailoring biomass to fit the biofuels pipeline"

2012 seminar schedule

  • June 6
    Prof. Jay Melosh, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences & Department of Physics; University Distinguished Professor.
    "Protecting the Earth from alien invaders: Practical problems of Planetary Quarantine"
    Abstract: One of my current projects focuses on concerns that material returned from Mars by future sample return missions might contain potentially harmful microscopic lifeforms. This reports an effort initiated by the joint NASA and European Space Agencies to examine whether material returned from Mars' inner moon Phobos might also contain material recently launched from the surface of Mars by large impacts. Microbes, if there are any beneath the surface of Mars, may well have survived the conditions of launch and landing on Phobos: We already possess some 50 meteorites that traveled from Mars to Earth under conditions that could have allowed imbedded microbes to remain viable upon landing. It is practical because sample return missions from Phobos are currently in the planning stage and the question is what level of sample quarantine (if any!) is required to keep Earth safe.
    I will mainly discuss the evidence for launch of intact surface material from Mars and the probability that some of it has ended up on Phobos.
  • June 13
    Prof. Arden Bement, Department of Nuclear Engineering; Director of the Global Policy Research Institute
    Purdue University's international activities of the Global Policy Research Institute and the Global Council.
  • June 20
    Prof. Erica Carlson, Department of Physics
    A Fractal Nematic Superconductor
  • June 27
    Prof. Nick Giordano, Department of Physics; Hubert James Distinguished Professor of Physics and Department Head
    Physics of the piano
    Abstract
  • July 11
    Prof. Sergei Savikhin, Department of Physics.
    "Catching sunlight: lessons from photosynthesis"
    Abstract: We will discuss the physics of early processes in photosynthesis revealed by ultrafast laser spectroscopy.
  • July 18
    Prof. Wallace Tyner, James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    "Higher Energy Costs May Be Good for Your Health: Economic and Policy Choices for our Energy Future"
  • July 25
    Prof. Daniela Bortoletto, Department of Physics; Edward M. Purcell Distinguished Professor of Physics
    TBA
  • August 1
    TBA

Past year seminars

2011 seminar schedule

  • June 8
    Prof. Jay Melosh, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences & Department of Physics.
    "Tiny worlds of ice and grit: NASA's latest encounters with comets Hartley 2 and Tempel 1"
  • June 15
    Prof. Andy Freed, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
    "Using Earthquakes As Large Rock Squeezing Experiments To Infer the Rheology of the Mantle"
  • June 22
    Prof. Sergei Savikhin, Department of Physics.
    "Harvesting energy of sunlight: physics of photosynthesis"
  • June 29
    Prof. Matthew Jones, Department of Physics.
    "Fermi National Laboratory: Physics and History"
  • July 6
    Prof. Marc Caffee, Department of Physics.
    "Radioactive meteorites in Antarctica"
  • July 13
    Prof. Joseph Irudayaraj, Agricultural & Biological Engineering.
    "Nanoparticles in Biology"
    Abstract: Basic properties of nanoparticles will be described. Their application in basic medical sciences and biosecurity will be examined by using these particles as diagnostic probes.
  • July 20
    Prof. Maureen McCann, Biological Sciences.
    "Tailoring biomass to fit the biofuels pipeline"
  • July 27
    Prof. Brenda Bowen, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
    "A Geologic Perspective on CO2 Sequestration"
  • August 3
    Prof. John Finley, Department of Physics.
    Flashes in the Desert as a Window on the Extremes of Nature
    (Abstract)

2010 seminar schedule

  • June 2
    Prof. Daniela Bortoletto, Department of Physics.
    "Postcards from the TERASCALE" (about Large Hadron Collider, LHC)
  • June 9
    Prof. Maureen McCann, Biological Sciences.
    "Tailoring biomass to fit the biofuels pipeline"
  • June 16
    Prof. David Nolte, Depratment of Physics.
    Interferometry for Life
    (Abstract)
  • June 23
    Prof. John Finley, Department of Physics.
    Flashes in the Desert as a Window on the Extremes of Nature
    (Abstract)
  • June 30
    Prof. Daniel Suter, Department of Biological Sciences.
    A Novel Role for ROS in Neuronal Growth Cone Motility and Guidance.
    (Abstract)
  • July 7
    Prof. Jean-Christophe Rochet, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology.
    Genes and poisons involved in Parkinson's disease
    (Abstract)
  • July 14
    Prof. Joseph Irudayaraj, Agricultural & Biological Engineering.
    "Plasmon sensors in Biology"
    (Abstract)
  • July 21
    Prof. Mark Lundstrom, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
    "Thermoelectrics and Nanotechnology"
  • July 28
    TBA
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2017 2:31 PM