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. Near the end of each semester, honors thesis students give public lectures on their work.  We gather before the talks for tea, coffee, and cookies at 3:45, Ground Lobby of Science Center followed by the talk at 4:00 pm in A011.

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 Alice Simmoneau (asimmoneau@amherst.edu) with any questions about colloquia.

Tue, Sep 24, 2019

Thomas Langin, Yale: “Ultracold Molecules: A New Tool for Studying Strongly Interacting Quantum Systems”

Thomas Langin from Yale University will be speaking on Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs).

BECs, in which the material is cold and dense enough that the wavefunctions of the particles overlap (e.g., when the DeBroglie wavelength (λ∝1/√T) equals the interparticle spacing (a∝n^(- 1/3))), are typically created by cooling N≥1000 atoms to T≤100 nK. These systems have many interesting properties, such as superfluidity, easily tunable interactions and phase coherence. However, in most atoms, interactions are limited to short-range van der Waals interactions.

At Yale, we are attempting to create BECs of SrF, a polar molecule which has strong, tunable, long-range dipole-dipole interactions. Molecules also have many easily accessible long-lived rotational states, which make them attractive for quantum information studies. In this talk, I will discuss the techniques we have implemented thus far to cool thousands of SrF molecules to T∼10μK. I will conclude by discussing our progress toward reaching lower temperatures and achieving a BEC of SrF.

Tue, Oct 1, 2019

Gopal Narayanan, UMass

Tue, Oct 8, 2019

Chandrasekhar Ramanathan, Dartmouth

Tue, Oct 22, 2019

Tue, Oct 29, 2019

Myriam Sarachik, City College of New York

Tue, Nov 5, 2019

Michael Lubell, City College of New York: "Navigating the Maze: How Science and Technology Policy Shape America and the World."

Tue, Nov 12, 2019

Eduardo H Da Silva Neto

Tue, Nov 19, 2019

Tue, Dec 3, 2019

Physics/Astronomy Senior Thesis Talks

Tue, Dec 10, 2019

Physics/Astronomy Senior Thesis Talks