O.M. Stewart Colloquium

Every Monday, at 4 PM the department of Physics and Astronomy hosts the O. M. Stewart Colloquium, in rm 120, Physics Bldg.

Refreshments are served starting at 3:30 PM in the Physics Library (rm 223, second floor).

2024
Fall Semester
Date Speaker/Title/Abstract
10/21/24 Dr. Cheung
O.M. Stewart Colloquium
Spring Semester
Date Speaker/Title/Abstract
4/29/24 Dr. David Hoogerheide
O.M. Stewart Colloquium
4/22/24 Michael Toney
O.M. Stewart Colloquium
4/8/24 Christopher Fasano
O.M. Stewart Colloquium
3/11/24 Dr. Max Bi
O.M. Stewart Colloquium
3/4/24 Dr. Charles Su
O.M. Stewart Colloquium
3/4/24 O.M. Stewart Colloquium
2/26/24 Prof. Joshua Ridley
Neutron stars, pulsars, and magnetars
2/15/24 Dr. Chandan Setty
O.M. Stewart Colloquium
1/30/24 Dr. Romero
Bridging Physics and AI: Pioneering Advances in Computational Material Science

Join us for “Bridging Physics and AI: Pioneering Advances in Computational Material Science a keynote presentation by Dr. Aldo Romero, College of Arts & Science – Physics & Astronomy, MizzouForward faculty candidate.  Dr. Romero will present on his research for approximately 40-minutes with a 20-minute question and answer session to follow.

Prof. Aldo Romero is an Eberly Family Distinguished Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at West Virginia University. With expertise in theoretical physics and computational material science, he has significantly contributed to high-performance computing applications, software development, and electronic structure research. Romero's academic journey includes Ph.Ds.  in Theoretical Chemistry and Theoretical Physics from the University of California, San Diego, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Germany. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, co-organized international scientific events, and served as an editor for several academic journals. His work is recognized through various awards and as a fellow of the American Physical Society. As an educator, Romero has developed and taught courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels, integrating innovative methodologies and cutting-edge topics like machine learning and neural networks into his curriculum.

 

Prof. Aldo Romero is a distinguished researcher in theoretical condensed matter physics, particularly in computational material science. With a profound understanding of high-performance computing applications and expertise in various programming languages, he has significantly contributed to developing electronic structures and computational packages. His research is marked by a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, highlighting his expertise in diverse areas like computational nano magnetism, materials prediction, and the theoretical characterization of materials. Additionally, Romero's experience as an academic editor and involvement in various invited talks and keynotes demonstrate his commitment to advancing the field through research and scholarly communication.

2023
Fall Semester
Date Speaker/Title/Abstract
10/16/23 Dr. Carsten Ullrich
2023 Nobel Prize in Physics Attosecond light pulses: taking snapshots of electrons in matter

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2023 was awarded to three physicists, Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz, and Anne L’Huillier, for “experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter”. Prof. Carsten Ullrich, MU Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, will present a colloquium discussing how these discoveries have given humanity new tools for exploring the incredibly fast processes that rule the quantum world of electrons.

 

This talk is for faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students alike from all disciplines. Light refreshments will be served at 3:40 pm in Rm 223 A.

10/2/23 Dr. Dan Bergstralh
O.M. Stewart Colloquium

Abstract: Epithelial tissues are the first and most abundant tissue type in animals. They can be found in basal organisms like sponges, and they perform a wide range of important biological functions (including gas exchange and nutrient absorption) in humans. These tissues are most typically arranged as monolayers, or “pseudo-2D” sheets of cells. We want to understand how epithelial monolayers develop and maintain that arrangement. Why don’t cells just pile up on top of each other after they divide? I will discuss our lab’s work on this fundamental problem.

Bio: The Finegan-Bergstralh lab studies the question of how cells divide in the context of a developing epithelial tissue, which is usually a fairly crowded environment. We combine approaches from experimental biology (especially microscopy), with approaches from physics and mathematics (especially computational modeling). Dan earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland, was a postbac at NIH, earned a PhD at the University of North Carolina, and was a postdoc at the University of Cambridge and fellow of Clare Hall during that time. In 2016 he started his lab at the University of Rochester, where he held appointments in both the Department of Biology and the Department of Physics & Astronomy. The lab moved to Mizzou in May of this year and is now run jointly with Tara Finegan. Dan and Tara are excited to be here at Mizzou and eager to work with its physics community! 

9/25/23 Dr Matthew Brahlek
Emergent magnetism with continuous control in layered quantum materials

Matthew Brahlek, Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The current challenge to realizing continuously tunable magnetism lies in our inability to systematically change properties such as valence, spin, and orbital degrees of freedom as well as crystallographic geometry. In this talk I will discuss how ferromagnetism can be externally turned on with the application of low-energy helium implantation and subsequently erased and returned to the pristine state via annealing. This high level of continuous control is made possible by targeting magnetic metastability in the ultra-high conductivity, non-magnetic layered oxide PdCoO2 where local lattice distortions generated by helium implantation induce emergence of a net moment on the surrounding transition metal octahedral sites. These highly-localized moments communicate through the itinerant metal states which triggers the onset of percolated long-range ferromagnetism. The ability to continuously tune competing interactions enables tailoring precise magnetic and magnetotransport responses in an ultra-high conductivity film and will be critical to applications across spintronics.

9/11/23 Dr. Mike Schneider, Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri
Philosophical reflections on quantum gravity phenomenology

Abstract:

Long-standing common lore in fundamental physics insists that the problem of developing a high-energy theory of quantum gravity (QG) is a job for the theoretical physicist, which is largely unconstrained by empirical data. But QG phenomenology --- focused on the link between QG research and the world --- is a field of research with its own long history. So, it is probably not the case that contemporary currents within theoretical QG research are simply detached from the data-oriented focus of the wider discipline. Why, then, does the lore say theoretical QG research is “largely unconstrained by empirical data”? Part of the difficulty in answering this question is that the claim is ambiguous: is it saying something about our current theories of fundamental physics already accounting for nearly everything we may empirically access? Or is it saying something about the “problem” at the heart of QG research being underspecified? Or is it saying something else entirely --- perhaps merely that the relevant community has come to regard articles in QG research with only superficial contact with data as, nonetheless, satisfying standards of “good scholarship”? In this talk, I will critically reflect on the standard lore, which ultimately has to do with the relationship between QG phenomenology and contemporary currents within theoretical QG research. Toward that end, I will draw on phenomenological research done in the context of both large-scale astrophysics and cosmology, as well as QG experiments performed 'on the tabletop'. Note that my perspective throughout will be that of foundations, i.e. the philosophy of physics. Consequently, this talk will not be a review of results obtained in QG phenomenology that might or would bear on explicit proposals within QG research (in the sense of numerical constraints on possible novel microscopic physics, e.g. Lorentz violations or fundamental stochasticity).

Spring Semester
Date Speaker/Title/Abstract
5/1/23 Michael Murrell, Yale
Energetic Constraints on Biological Assembly and Motion

Abstract: On small length-scales, the mechanics of soft materials may be dominated by their interfacial properties as opposed to their bulk properties.  These effects are described by equilibrium models of elasto-capillarity and wetting.  In these models, interfacial energies and bulk material properties are held constant.  However, in biological materials, including living cells and tissues, these properties are not constant, but are ‘actively’ regulated and driven far from thermodynamic equilibrium.  As a result, the constraints on work produced during the various physical behaviors of the cell are unknown.  Here, by measurement of elasto-capillary effects during cell adhesion, growth and motion, we demonstrate that interfacial and bulk parameters violate equilibrium constraints and exhibit anomalous effects, which depend upon a distance from equilibrium.  However, their anomalous properties are reciprocal, and thus in combination reliably define energetic constraints on the production of work arbitrarily far from equilibrium.  These results provide basic principles that govern biological assembly and behavior.

Bio: Michael Murrell received his BS at Johns Hopkins University, and his PhD at MIT.  He then had a joint postdoctoral fellowship between the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at the University of Chicago, and the Institut Curie, in Paris, France. He now runs the Laboratory for Living Matter within the Systems Biology Institute at the Yale West Campus, as part of the Biomedical Engineering and Physics Departments.  His laboratory studies the non-equilibrium properties of biological systems, as well as designs and engineers novel bio-inspired materials.  His group comprises a diverse group of experimentalists, computational scientists and theorists all driven to understand some of the most fundamental questions in biophysics.