IMAC-sponsored upcoming events

Colloquium - "You can be a woman physicist"

Dripta Bhattacharjee and Yanyan Zheng (Missouri University S&T)

Abstract: Inaugural Journal Club of the new Women in Physics group at Missouri S&T. Everybody (no matter what's your gender or sexual orientation) is invited to attend!

When: Friday, May 7, 2021, 3:00 P.M. CDT.

Where: Zoom: https://umsystem.zoom.us/j/5906757168.

More more information please contact Dr. Dripta Bhattacharjee: db4kv@mst.edu.

Past Events

Colloquium - "You can be a woman physicist"

Dripta Bhattacharjee and Yanyan Zheng (Missouri University S&T)

Abstract: According to a study by the American Physical Society, only 22% of the Doctoral Degrees in Physics in the US were awarded to women in 2018. Recent Missouri S&T demographic data show a male-to-female student ratio of 4:1 in STEM, ranking our university 2001th nationwide in male-to-female diversity. In this talk, we will discuss the gender gap in physics and what the new S&T Women in Physics (WiP@MST) group is planning to do to address it at Missouri S&T. We will highlight a few effective measures that all of us can take individually and collectively as a department to help with the recruitment and retention of female students/faculty in physics. Through funding by APS we will develop a series of initiatives to encourage more women to pursue a career in physics at S&T. Some of WiP@MST’s planned activities include graduate students’ talk, journal clubs, seminars/talks on communication and negotiation skills, mental health awareness and some fun events like group dinners, ice cream socials, movie-nights, star-gazing nights, etc. We hope everyone will join WiP@MST to help make this initiative a success.

When: Thursday, February 25, 2021, 4:00 P.M. CST.

Where: Zoom.

More more information please contact Dr. Shun Email: saitos@mst.edu, Tel. 573-341-4781.

Colloquium - "Search for Gravitational Waves from Magnetar Bursts"

Ryan Quitzow-James (Missouri University S&T)

Abstract: Soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) are thought to be magnetars, neutron stars with very strong magnetic fields. They emit sporadic bursts of hard X-rays and soft gamma rays, including rare energetic events known as giant flares. Recently, a fast radio burst (FRB) was observed from a magnetar in the Milky Way, providing evidence that magnetars can likely produce at least some of the observed extra-galactic FRBs. Quasiperiodic oscillations (QPOs) in the X-ray tails of giant flares and some bursts may be due to excited non-radial modes in the star which could emit gravitational waves. Previous analyses on LIGO data have been performed targeting magnetar bursts and a period of time following for short and long-duration gravitational wave transients. This talk gives an overview of magnetars, their GW search history, with a focus on the recent long-duration burst searches, and considers the outlook for future searches.

When: Thursday, December 10, 2020, 4:00 P.M. CST.

Where: Zoom.

More more information please contact Dr. Shun Email: saitos@mst.edu, Tel. 573-341-4781.

Public Lecture, Physics Department - "Black Holes and the Milky Way’s Darkest Secret"

Marco Cavaglia and Shun Saito (Missouri University of Science and Technology)

Abstract: Dr. Marco Cavaglia, professor of physics, and Dr. Shun Saito, assistant professor of physics, will present a public lecture about the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, via Zoom. Their lecture is titled “Black Holes and the Milky Way’s Darkest Secret. This year’s Nobel Prize was awarded to Roger Penrose “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity” and to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.”

The lecture is for a general audience. The physics department started its tradition of a public lecture on the Nobel Prize in 2003. 

When: Thursday, November 19, 2020, 4:00 P.M. CST.

Where: Zoom.

For more information and the zoom link please contact Dr. Shun Saito, Email: saitos@mst.edu, Tel. 573-341-4781.

Colloquium - "The beginnings of gravitational wave astronomy: current state and future"

Rainer Weiss (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

AbstractThe first detection of gravitational waves was made in September 2015 with the measurement of the coalescence of two ~30 solar mass black holes at a distance of about 1 billion light years from Earth. The talk will provide a review of more recent measurements of black hole events as well as the first detection of the coalescence of two neutron stars and the beginning of multi-messenger astrophysics. The talk will end with a discussion of some prospects for the field.

When: Thursday, November 5, 2020, 4:00 P.M. CST.

Where: Zoom.

More more information please contact Dr. Marco Cavaglia, Email: cavagliam@mst.edu, Tel. 573-341-4781.

Public Lecture, Saint Louis Astronomical Society - "Black holes: Astrophysics final frontier"

Marco Cavaglia (Missouri University of Science and Technology)

AbstractIn 1916 Albert Einstein published a paper demonstrating that space and time can be warped in the shape of a wave. One hundred years later, scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration announced the first observation of a "ripple of space-time" from two colliding black holes. This scientific achievement marked the beginning of a new way of exploring the dark side of our Universe. After just a few years, we know that black holes are ubiquitous in the universe. They come in (almost) all sizes, rule galaxies from their centers, make gold and platinum, and power the most energetic known phenomena in the sky. They could even be the most mysterious and most coveted substance yet to be found, dark matter. Sit back, relax, and get ready for a journey to the wonders of black holes:
astrophysics final frontier. 

When: Friday, October 16, 2020, 7:30 P.M. CDT.

Where: Zoom.

More more information please contact Dr. Marco Cavaglia, Email: cavagliam@mst.edu, Tel. 573-341-4781.

Global Learning Speaker Series - "Missouri's Window to the Sky"

Marco Cavaglia (Missouri University of Science and Technology)

AbstractIn 1916, Albert Einstein published a paper demonstrating that space and time can be warped in the shape of a wave. One hundred years later, scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration announced the first observation of a “ripple of space-time” from two colliding black holes. This scientific achievement marked the beginning of a new way the “dark side” of our universe. In this talk, Cavaglia will discuss how the new Institute for Multi-messenger Astrophysics and Cosmology (IMAC) at Missouri S&T contributes to this science. 

When: Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 12:00 P.M. CDT.

Where: Zoom.

Learn about upcoming talks in the series at global.edu/speakers-series

Colloquium. Nuclear structure and astrophysics with TPC detectors and gamma beams

Robin Smith (University of Sheffield)

Abstract: An Optical TPC detector has been used in combination with quasi-monoenergetic gamma beams at the HIgS facility (Duke University) to study alpha clustering and key reactions in nuclear astrophysics. The 16O(ɣ,α) and the 12C(ɣ,3α) reactions were studied. The inverse of the former reaction is crucial for determining the carbon-to-oxygen ratio after helium burning, which plays a large part in dictating a star's evolution. Exploring the inverse reaction in conjunction with the TPC has a number of key advantages. The latter 12C(ɣ,3α) reaction was studied to provide insight into the structure of the Hoyle state. The reaction populated the 10 MeV 2+ state in 12C, which is proposed as a collective excitation of the Hoyle state. Its various decay modes into three alpha-particles were studied and an upper limit for the direct 3 alpha decay branching ratio was calculated. Theoretical calculations were then used to extrapolate and calculate the corresponding branching ratio for the Hoyle state, which was found to be lower than expected for certain alpha cluster configurations.

When: Thursday, September 24, 2020, 4:00 P.M. CDT.

Where: Zoom.

For more information, please contact Dr. Shun Saito. Email: saitos@mst.edu, Tel. 573-341-4781.

Midwest cosmology seminar. Cosmic shadows and cosmic structures: the CMB as a Large-Scale Structure experiment

Simone Ferraro (LBNL)

Abstract: Information about the late-time Universe is imprinted on the small scale CMB as photons travel to us from the surface of last scattering. Several processes are at play and small scale fluctuations are very rich and non-Gaussian in nature. I will review some of the most important effects and I will focus on the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect and gravitational lensing. I will discuss how a combination of measurements can probe velocity fields at cosmological distances, serving as one of the most sensitive probes of initial conditions, and inform us on cluster energetics. If time allows, I will also discuss how to detect and characterize the properties of patchy reionization using the CMB as a backlight.

When: Wednesday, September 22, 2020, 2:00 P.M. CDT.

Where: Zoom.

For more information, please contact Dr. Shun Saito. Email: saitos@mst.edu, Tel. 573-341-4781.