The University of Mississippi
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Seminars/Colloquia, Fall 2020

Unless noted otherwise, Tuesday Colloquia are at 4:00 PM
Scheduling for additional seminars will vary.

For the Online colloquia, please join Zoom Meeting:
https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/213798950
Meeting ID: 213 798 950

Date/Place Speaker Title (and link to abstract)
Tue, Aug 25
Online
Stewart Prager
Program of Science & Global Security
Princeton University
The Increasing Peril from Nuclear Arms: And How Physicists Can Help Reduce the Threat
Tue, Sep 1
Online
Nobuchika Okada
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Alabama
Solving Big Mysteries in Particle Physics with a New Force
Tue, Sep 8
Online
Guancong Ma
Department of Physics
Hong Kong Baptist University
Geometric Phases in Acoustics
Tue, Sep 15
Online
Charles F. Caskey
Institute of Imaging Science
Vanderbilt University
Transcranial MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Neuromodulation
Tue, Sep 22
Online
Kimberly Boddy
Department of Physics
University of Texas at Austin
Searching for Dark Matter Interactions in Cosmology
Tue, Sep 29
Online
Nathan E. Murray
National Center for Physical Acoustics
University of Mississippi
 
Tue, Oct 6
Online
Mukunda Acharya
Stewart Acoustical Consultants
Raleigh, North Carolina;
Benjamin "B.B." Pilgrim and Anil Panta
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi
 
Tue, Oct 13
Online
Louis E. Strigari
Department of Physics and Astronomy;
Texas A&M University
 
Tue, Oct 20
Online
Feng Guo
Intelligent Systems Engineering
Indiana University — Bloomington
 
Tue, Oct 27
Online
David G. Grier
Department of Physics;
New York University
 
Tue, Nov 3
Online
Darin Van Pelt
School of Engineering
University of Mississippi
 
Tue, Nov 10
Online
Joshua B. Bostwick
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Clemson University
 
Tue, Nov 17
Online
 
 
 
 
Tue, Nov 24
Lewis 101
Final Exam Week  

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Abstracts of Talks


Stewart Prager
Program of Science & Global Security
Princeton University

The Increasing Peril from Nuclear Arms: And How Physicists Can Help Reduce the Threat

With geopolitical and technological changes mostly driven by the nuclear weapons states, we are slipping towards a new arms race and deterioration of the multi-decade arms control regime. This talk will describe the current situation, feasible steps to reduce the nuclear threat, and a new project sponsored by the American Physical Society to engage physical scientists in advocacy for nuclear threat reduction.

A short meeting will be held immediately after the colloquium for those interested in learning about, or joining, the APS Coalition.


Nobuchika Okada
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Alabama

Solving Big Mysteries in Particle Physics with a New Force

For the last decades, the Standard Model of particle physics has been the best theory for describing elementary particle phenomena observed in nature. However, there still are big mysteries that the Standard Model fails to explain: (1) Why are neutrino masses so tiny? (2) What is the nature of the dark matter in our universe? (3) What drives the Cosmological Inflation before Big Bang? (4) Where does ordinary matter come from, and what happened to antimatter? (5) Why is the CP-violation so small in the strong interaction? In this colloquium, I will first review the Standard Model, its success and fails, and then discuss our recent proposal of a simple extension of the Standard Model with a new force that offers a solution to the above 5 mysteries.


Guancong Ma
Department of Physics
Hong Kong Baptist University

Geometric Phases in Acoustics

Geometric phase is a universal concept associated with the adiabatic evolution of states. It manifests in a wide diversity of physical systems, ranging from solid-state electronics to classical mechanics. Its profound implication makes it the cornerstone of numerous cutting-edge research, in particular, topological phases. The universality of the geometric phase means that it can be investigated using acoustic wave systems. The advancement of phononic crystals and the advent of acoustic metamaterials, in particular, laid the foundation for such endeavors. In this talk, I will discuss some of our recent attempts to study geometric phases and related phenomena in acoustic systems. Topics include: geometric phase mediated transport of sound vortex in a spiral waveguide, the realization of quantized Zak phase in a one-dimensional phononic crystal, topological acoustic pumping, and hybrid winding around an exceptional point.


Charles F. Caskey>
Institute of Imaging Science
Vanderbilt University

Transcranial MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Neuromodulation

Ultrasound has the ability to focus energy to a small point beyond the skull and is being widely explored by researchers as a tool for non-invasive neuromodulation. When combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), focused ultrasound (FUS) can be precisely guided while the effects of FUS can be visualized at the network level using fMRI. In this talk, I will discuss our ongoing work in developing systems to apply image-guided FUS neuromodulation in the MRI environment while imaging functional activity. Specifically, I will cover the development of optical tracking as a method to guide FUS neuromodulation, the creation of transducer arrays for steerable FUS neuromodulation, and the development of MR acoustic radiation force imaging methods to visualize the acoustic focus. We have used these methods to modulate the somatosensory network in non-human primates, demonstrating that MRI-guided FUS is capable of exciting precise targets in somatosensory areas 3a/3b, causing downstream activations in off-target brain regions within the circuit which we can simultaneously detect with fMRI. Our observations are consistent with others’ work in the field of FUS neuromodulation; however, questions remain about mechanisms underlying FUS neuromodulation and potential confounds. The talk will conclude by reporting on recent work at the cellular level where we are measuring calcium signaling in mouse brain slices with optical markers during FUS neuromodulation.


Kimberly Boddy
Department of Physics
University of Texas at Austin

Searching for Dark Matter Interactions in Cosmology

There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of dark matter. It plays a crucial role in the formation of structure in the Universe, yet little is known about its properties beyond gravitational effects. In this talk, I will discuss the current and future prospects of understanding the fundamental nature of dark matter using observations in cosmology and astrophysics. These observations offer glimpses into different cosmic eras that may shed light on the mystery of dark matter.