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Colloquia Archive

Physics Colloquia

April, 04/20/2014
Events and times subject to change

April 24, 2014 Thursday 11:00 AM  +
Meyer 6th Floor CSMR
Physics Colloquia (colloquia)


Beate Heinemann
UC Berkeley

LHC: The First Three Years and the Next Two Decades

Following a design and construction phase of about 20 years, in summer 2012 the ATLAS and CMS experiments at Large Hadron Collider have discovered a Higgs boson. Following this discovery more data were analyzed and first measurements of the properties have been made, suggesting that it indeed looks very much like the Higgs boson expected in the Standard Model of particle physics. The other major observation of the LHC is that no deviations from the Standard Model have been found, neither in precision measurements nor in direct searches for new particles. The presence of a Higgs boson and lack of other new particles puzzles in particular the theorists as it seems extremely unnatural. In 2015, after a 2-year shutdown, the LHC will start up again at nearly twice the previous energy, and will greatly increase the discovery potential for new particles. The collision rate will also continue to be increased in the future, further extending the discovery potential and enabling a precision measurement program for the Higgs boson. Throughout the talk I will focus in particular on the Higgs boson and the naturalness problem, what we have learned so far and what we hope to learn from the future LHC data.


April 24, 2014 Thursday 4:00 PM  +
Meyer 122
Physics Colloquia (colloquia)


Rush Holt
United States House of Representatives

Political Science and Scientific Politics: Advancing Scientific Research



May 1, 2014 Thursday 2:00 PM  +
Meyer 122
Physics Colloquia (colloquia)


Chung-Pei Ma
UC Berkeley

Supermassive Black Holes in Nearby Galaxies

Black holes are among the most fascinating astrophysical objects and have long entranced the public. For over three decades, the giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 has hosted the most massive known black hole in the local universe. New kinematic data and improved models in the past few years have substantially expanded and revised dynamical measurements of black hole masses at the centers of nearby galaxies. I will describe recent progress in discovering black holes up to ten billion solar masses in ongoing surveys of massive elliptical galaxies. I will present updated scaling relations between the black hole mass and host galaxy properties, and discuss the implications of these correlations for the formation of massive galaxies and the predicted gravity waves from merging supermassive black hole binaries.


May 1, 2014 Thursday 4:00 PM  +
Meyer 122
Physics Colloquia (colloquia)


Chung-Pei Ma
UC Berkeley

Supermassive Black Holes in Nearby Galaxies

Black holes are among the most fascinating astrophysical objects and have long entranced the public. For over three decades, the giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 has hosted the most massive known black hole in the local universe. New kinematic data and improved models in the past few years have substantially expanded and revised dynamical measurements of black hole masses at the centers of nearby galaxies. I will describe recent progress in discovering black holes up to ten billion solar masses in ongoing surveys of massive elliptical galaxies. I will present updated scaling relations between the black hole mass and host galaxy properties, and discuss the implications of these correlations for the formation of massive galaxies and the predicted gravity waves from merging supermassive black hole binaries.


May 8, 2014 Thursday 4:00 PM  +
Meyer 122
Physics Colloquia (colloquia)


Ali Yazdani

Visualizing Topological Quantum States in Novel Materials & Nanostructures

Soon after the discovery of quantum mechanics it was realized why some solids are insulating (like diamond) and others are highly conducting (like graphite), even though they could be comprised of the same element. Now, 80 years later, the concept of insulators and metals is again being fundamentally revised. During the last few years, it has become apparent that there can be a distinct type of insulator, which can occur because of the topology of electronic wavefunctions in materials. The key consequence of this topological characteristic (and the way to distinguish a topological insulator from an ordinary one) is the presence of metallic electrons with helical spin texture at their surfaces. I will describe experiments that directly visualize these novel quantum states of matter and demonstrate their unusual properties through spectroscopic mapping with the scanning tunneling microscope (STM).These experiments show that the spin texture of these states protects them against backscattering and localization. [1] In fact, these states appear to penetrate through barriers that stop other electronic states. [2,3] Finally, I will describe efforts in which nanostructures are being used to create topological superconducting states [4] and the experimental hunt for their novel topological edge modes that behave like Majorana Fermions.

References:
[1] P. Roushan et al. Nature 460 1106 (2009).
[2] J. Seo et al. Nature, 466 434 (2010).
[3] H. Beidenkpof et al. Nature Physics, (2011).
[4] S. Nadj-Perge et al. PRB (2013).



September 17, 2014 Wednesday 4:00 PM  +
Meyer 122
Physics Colloquia (colloquia)


David Gross
UC Santa Barbara

TBA