students and professor

Past Events

4/20/2022

Physics & Astronomy Senior Honors Thesis Presentation

Alyssa Rauschenberger will present hers honors thesis, "Spectral Fitting Approach for Collective Thomson Scattering Experiments on an Extreme Ultraviolet Plasma Light Source." 

Refreshments at 3 p.m. in the OLRI atrium. Join us for a snack and the presentation! 

4/13/2022

Physics & Astronomy Senior Honors Thesis Presentation

Henry Bell will present his honors thesis, "Custom Calibration and Correction of Photoemission Electron Microscope Images Using Graphine." 

Refreshments at 3 p.m. in the OLRI atrium. Join us for a snack and the presentation! 

4/6/2022

Physics & Astronomy Senior Honors Thesis Presentation

Chinhsan Sieng will present his honors thesis, "Neutrino Oscillations in the Presence of a Magnetic Field." 

Refreshments at 3 p.m. in the OLRI atrium. Join us for a snack and the presentation! 

3/30/2022

Physics & Astronomy Senior Honors Thesis Presentation

Carter J. Swift will present his Honors Thesis, "The Interaction of Topological Defects in Anisotropically-Elastic Nematic Liquid Crystals." 

Refreshments at 3 PM in the OLRI Atrium. Join us for a snack and the presentation! 

3/23/2022

Physics and Astronomy Honors Thesis Presentation

Susie Paine will present her Honors Thesis, "Hunting for Fast Radio Bursts from Messier 82: Exploring the FRB-Magnetar Connection."

Members of the community are welcome to attend!

3/9/2022

Physics and Astronomy Senior Honors Thesis Presentation

Alex Li will give her Honors Thesis presentation on "Molecular Line Search in Archival ALMA Imaging of M87."   

Members of the community are welcome to attend!

3/2/2022

Physics and Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentations

The Physics and Astronomy Department invites you to attend senior capstone presentations: 

Lev Serxner ► "The Impact of Structure and Burn Abundances on Weak s-Process Modeling"

Joey Wehrley ► "Electrical Characterization of a PEM Electrolysis Cell"

All are welcome! 

2/23/2022

Physics and Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentations

The Physics and Astronomy Department invites you to attend senior capstone presentations: 

Jack Hempel Costello ► "Lie Algebra and the Poincare Group"

  • A Ma ► "Finite-Difference-Time-Domain simulation on ultrafast experiments"

All are welcome! 

2/16/2022

Physics and Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentations

The Physics and Astronomy Department invites you to attend senior capstone presentations: 

  • Jason Beal ► "Knocking Down NOx: Examining the Impact of Transportation Electrification on Urban Ozone Production"
  • Damen Beverlin ► "Simulating Interactions Between Coronal Mass Ejections"


All are welcome! 

2/9/2022

Physics and Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentations

The Physics and Astronomy Department invites you to attend the Senior Capstone presentations this spring starting with: 

Francesco Pecere, " The Survey of HI in Extremely Low-mass Dwarfs: New Results from VLA Imaging;"
Anogh Zaman, "Smart Grid Control to Reduce Energy Costs in Households."


All  are welcome! 

12/8/2021

Physics and Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentation

Join us as the Physics and Astronomy Senior Capstone presentations start off with:

  • Harry Werrell ► "Twisting Lasers with the Faraday Effect."

Snacks at 3 PM in the OLRI Atrium. 

12/1/2021

Physics & Astronomy Seminar: "Tracking the Abundances: Chemical History of the Weak S-process"

Macalester Assistant Visiting Professor Christopher West is speaking on “Tracking the Abundances: Chemical History of the Weak S-process.”

Shortly after the Big Bang, all matter was either hydrogen or helium. Now, however, we enjoy a Universe filled with 287 stable isotopic abundances. Just how did that happen? The answer to this question lies at the intersection of galactic evolution, stellar nucleosynthesis, and nuclear astrophysics.  In pursuit of this answer, many interesting stories can be found and written.

Today we will explore one of them: the tale of the weak s-process in massive stars. Within the context of this nucleosynthetic process, we will identify several unfinished narratives that connect seemingly disparate astrophysical story-arcs together into interesting research.

From theoretical tasks in computation, simulations, and analytical equation solving to experimental tools using statistical methods and data analysis, the chemical evolution of our Universe presents a broad path for the curious, with many rewards found in the journey together.

Snacks at 3.

11/19/2021

Physics & Astronomy Seminar: “A Tale of 11 Metallicities: The Astronomer’s Lament”

Dr. Jillian M. Scudder '09, Assistant Professor, Oberlin College & Conservatory will present on "A tale of 11 metallicities: the astronomer's lament." 

Much to the dismay of chemists and materials physicists, the astronomer’s definition of a metal is any element heavier than helium. This definition does make a distinction between those elements that came baked in by the Universe, and those elements which are only produced in stars (these latter are our metals). The metal content of a galaxy can tell us quite a lot about its inner workings; the simplest case is that higher the metallicity, the more generations of stars have existed and exploded there. However, attempts to measure this number have resulted in a wide variety of estimations, none of which agree with each other. In this talk I will explore some of the difficulties in comparing different estimations of metallicity, and why we should bother spending so much time and energy doing so.

Students will have time after the presentation to chat with Dr. Scudder and share some snacks (until 5:30). 

11/17/2021

Physics & Astronomy Seminar: Understanding the Physics of Organic Light-Emitting Devices & the Factors that Limit Efficiency

Professor Heyman's "Condensed Matter Physics" class will welcome an external speaker to class on Wednesday, November 17. All are welcome to attend the class on Wednesday.  

Professor Russell J. Holmes, the Ronald L. and Janet A. Christenson Chair in Renewable Energy, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota will present on "Understanding the Physics of Organic Light-Emitting Devices (OLEDs) and the Factors that Limit Efficiency."


11/10/2021

Physics & Astronomy Seminar: The Standard Model of Particle Physics and Beyond: A Unified Approach

Join Macalester Visiting Assistant Professor Saki Khan as he speaks on "The Standard Model of Particle Physics and Beyond: A Unified Approach."

The Standard Model (SM) emerged in the early seventies when the particle physics was being struck by a new generation of conundrums, especially the four fermion weak interaction theory encountering incurable divergences and the failure to apply perturbation theory to strong interaction to do any practical calculation. The foundation of SM was based upon the understanding of symmetry, both global (like Lorentz symmetry) and local (like Gauge Symmetry), and renormalizability of quantum field theory. Then for almost three decades the SM was brushed, polished by a great number of theoretical and experimental efforts.

In spite of all the tremendous successes of the SM, recent discoveries and observations like neutrino masses and the existence of dark matter have compelled us to think beyond Standard Model (BSM). In this research presentation, I will primarily discuss the symmetry aspect of SM and beyond. The desire to achieve true unification of the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces under one simple non-abelian gauge group gave birth to the idea of Grand Unified Theories (GUTs). These Grand Unified Theories enlarge the symmetry of SM and address issues like Gauge coupling unification, Proton decay, neutrino mass generation and probable candidate(s) of dark matter.

Snacks at 3 PM

11/3/2021

Physics & Astronomy Seminar: Studying the Mysteries of the Universe

Studying the Mysteries of the Universe--Summer Research Opportunities for Students

Interested in doing physics and astronomy research in summer 2022? Join us to learn about both on-campus and off-campus summer research opportunities.  We will discuss what options are available and the application procedures.

Find your ideal research project!

Snacks at 3. 


10/27/2021

High-Precision Spectroscopy for Stellar Magnetic Activity and Exoplanet Detection—Physics and Astronomy Talk

Assistant Professor Ryan C. Terrien, Carleton College is presenting: "We now know that exoplanets are common around nearby stars, but the tiny signatures of Earth-like exoplanets remain exceedingly difficult to detect. This is largely due to the magnetic activity on the host stars themselves, which can mask low-level exoplanetary signals. I will discuss our new efforts to leverage the stability and high spectral resolution of new astronomical spectrographs to better measure stellar magnetic activity. These new spectroscopic techniques will help improve the precision and reliability of exoplanet detection, and can also help improve our understanding of magnetic activity in general."

10/13/2021

Physics Seminar--Updates on Departmental Initiatives

In the Physics Seminar this Wednesday, John Cannon (Chair) will provide updates on various Departmental initiatives. And, if you are a recently declared major, come select an Aloha Friday shirt and have your picture taken for the Majors Board!

10/6/2021

Physics & Astronomy Talk with Professor Petra Rudolf

Come to this week's Physics and Astronomy talk, "Molecular Motors and Switches at Surfaces" with Professor Petra Rudolf of the University of Groningen, via Zoom on the big screen in OLRI 150, on October 6th at 3:30 PM. Refreshments at 3 PM.

9/29/2021

Physics & Astronomy Seminar

First In-Person Physics & Astronomy Seminar Lecture since 2019!"Unexpected Transport Phenomena in Composite Amorphous/Nanochrystalline Thin Films"
James Kakalios, Professor, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Minnesota is presenting.
Composite materials consisting of nanocrystalline semiconductors embedded within a bulk amorphous semiconductor combine the best of both worlds – the thin film large area advantages of disordered semiconductors with the superior opto-electronic properties of crystals, and often display electronic properties not observed in either material separately. Despite 40 years of study – basic questions remain regarding the nature of charge transport in strongly disordered semiconductors. We have found that conduction above room temperature in composite and amorphous semiconductors is best described by anomalous hopping expression σ = σ1 exp[-(To/T)3/4]in contrast to the standard Mott Mobility Gap model which predicts a simple Arrhenius temperature dependence. This conductivity temperature dependence MAY reflect filamentary conduction – though a full theoretical understanding is lacking.Snacks at 3 PM.

4/19/2021

Physics & Astronomy Senior Honors Thesis Presentation

The final Physics & Astronomy Honors Thesis Presentation on Monday, April 19, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Kayla Schang, "Geomorphology and Crater Identification for the Azacca Crater Region on Ceres."

4/16/2021

Physics & Astronomy Senior Honors Thesis Presentation

Next on the schedule—Physics & Astronomy Honors Thesis Presentation on Friday, April 16, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Diego Lopez Gutierrez, "Automatic Leptonic Tensor Generation for Beyond the Standard Model (BSM) Theories."

If you are interested in joining, contact the student for a link.

4/9/2021

Physics & Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentations

Wrapping up the capstone presentations on Friday, April 9, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

·  Jackson Henningfield, " Simulation Studies for Grid Storage Optimization of the MISO Region"

·  Sun Gyu Park, " Characterization of GaAsN with Ultrafast Conductivity Measurements"

If you are interested in joining, contact the student for a link.

4/9/2021

Physics & Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentations

The last of our capstone presentations -- Friday, April 9, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Jackson Henningfield, "Simulation Studies for Grid Storage Optimization of the MISO Region;"

Sun Gyu Park, "Characterization of GaAsN with Ultrafast Conductivity Measurements."

4/5/2021

Physics & Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentations

Continuing with our capstone presentations on Monday, April 5, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

·  Siddhant Singh, "A Tantal-izing Review of the Laser Spectroscopy of Niobium and Tantalum Hydride"

·  Sarah Lipstone, "Electromagnetic Waves with Parity Violation"

4/2/2021

Physics & Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentations

More capstones coming up on Friday, April 2, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

·  Emmy Curtiss, "Electrical Grid Energy Storage Using Hydrogen: A Feasibility Study"

·  Daniel Clark, "Method of Nonlinear Realizations: Maxwell Algebra"

3/29/2021

Physics & Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentation

We are announcing our next Senior Capstone Presentation on Monday, March 29, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 

·  Jonathan Alvarado-Gomez: Modeling Gyrating Motion using Mathematica

3/26/2021

Physics & Astronomy Senior Capstone Presentations

The first two Senior Capstone Presentations this spring are happening on Friday, March 26, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 

·  Nick Velikonja: Sampling Candidate Reionization Galaxies using Spectral Energy Distribution Fitting

·  Brennan Arnold: Virtual Prototyping of Liquid Lithium Divertor Concepts