Weekly Colloquium

Most weeks during the semester, we host a scholar for a one-day visit. The visit culminates with a public talk on a topic of contemporary physics or astronomy. Students are welcome to these talks, and seniors are required to attend at least nine over the course of a year. We gather before the talks for tea, coffee, and cookies. Near the end of each semester, honors thesis students give public lectures on their work. The typical schedule has refreshments at 4:00 pm in Merrill 204 with the talk at 4:15 pm in Merrill 3. 

Our Astronomy program is part of the Five College Astronomy Department, which hosts its own colloquium series Thursdays at 3:45 pm at UMass in LGRT 1033. 

  • If you would like to be mailed seminar announcements, please send an email to physics@amherst.edu.
  • Contact colloquium organizer Larry Hunter (lrhunter@amherst.edu) with any questions about colloquia.

Tue, Jan 23, 2018

Information Session for Junior Physics & Astronomy Majors

Information Session for Junior Physics & Astronomy majors beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Student Lounge/116 Merrill. This will be an informational meeting for all juniors where we will discuss how to go about applying to graduate school and options and procedures for honors thesis projects. Pizza will be served.

Tue, Jan 30, 2018

Abhijith Rajan, Space Telescope Science Institute: "Exoplanet Meteorology: Exploring fundamental parameters of directly imaged substellar objects"

Through measurement of brightness at multiple wavelengths we can study the atmospheric structure, composition and dynamic evolution of directly imaged exoplanets and brown dwarfs. In the first part of this talk, I will discuss my work in understanding the evolution of weather on brown dwarfs through multi-epoch monitoring of ultracool brown dwarfs to search for near-infrared brightness variability. In the second part of my talk, I will present data taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and Gemini telescope of two directly imaged exoplanets, and will focus on explaining what can be learned from this data about cloud composition, variability, and formation mechanisms.

Tue, Feb 6, 2018

Assistant Professor David Moore, Yale University:

Tue, Feb 13, 2018

Professor Katharine Jensen, Williams College

Tue, Feb 20, 2018

Kimberly Ward-Duong, Amherst College

Tue, Feb 27, 2018

Associate Professor Tanya Zelevinsky from Columbia University: "Ultracold molecules as quantum clocks"

Laser cooling is a tool that allows physicists to obtain samples of atoms, and even molecules, near the temperature of absolute zero, - colder than anything we observe in the universe. We describe the ideas behind laser cooling of atoms and using them as building blocks for diatomic molecules at ultracold temperatures. The atoms or molecules can be trapped and exquisitely probed with lasers, serving as extremely precise quantum oscillators, or “clocks”. These systems are useful for measurements in fundamental physics, as well as for studies of quantum optics and chemistry.

Tue, Mar 6, 2018

Professor David Weiss '85, Penn State: TBA

Tue, Mar 20, 2018

Professor Steven Chu, Stanford University

Tue, Mar 27, 2018

Assistant Professor Ian Crossfield, MIT

Tue, Apr 3, 2018

Weekly Physics & Astronomy Seminar: TBA

Unless otherwise noted, all physics seminars and colloquium are held on Tuesdays from 4:45 to 6:00 pm, in Lecture Room 3 of Merrill Science Center. Tea and snacks will be served before seminars at 4:15 in 204 Merrill. If you would like to be mailed seminar announcements, please send an email to physics@amherst.edu