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 New Science Center with the talk at 4:15 pm room A131.
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.
Tue, Sep 11, 2018
Students interested in learning more about and/or declaring a Physics & Astronomy Major are invited to attend this information session. During this session you will learn about the requirements for the Major as well as opportunities available for students in Physics & Astronomy department. Freshmen and Transfer students are encouraged to attend! Meet department faculty, staff and majors!
Tue, Sep 18, 2018
Planets are created during the first few million years after a stars birth, within flattened disks of gas and dust that encircle the central star. The kinematics of the gas and dust within these systems plays an important role in the formation and early evolution of planets, through processes ranging from the collisional growth of sub-micron grains to the radial migration of gas giant planets. In this talk I will discuss our recent observations focused on quantifying the dynamics of the planet formation environment. I will report on our efforts to constrain the turbulent motion of the gas using CO emission from protoplanetary disks, and the finding that weak turbulence is common, although not universal. I will also discuss time-series observations of mid-infrared emission, sensitive to dust structures in the inner disk. Finally I will present observations of an unusual disk around a low-mass star that shows hallmarks of both first and second-generation material.