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Wednesday,October 16, 2013
3.30pm
Thirkield HallAuditorium, Room 300

Howard UniversityDepartment of Physics and Astronomy presents
2013-14 APS-DPP Distinguished Lecture Series

ClintSprott
Department ofPhysics
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Self-Organization- Nature's Intelligent Design

Complexpatterns are common throughout nature, from the distribution ofgalaxies in the Universe to the organization of neurons in the humanbrain. It is generally assumed that such complex structure must have acomplex cause, but it may be that the patterns spontaneously arisethrough the repeated application of simple rules. This talk willprovide examples of self-organization in nature and will describe sixsimple computer models that can replicate the features of thesepatterns. The models typically produce fractal spatial structure andchaotic temporal dynamics characterized by power laws andunpredictability, even when the models are simple and purelydeterministic. The work has application to fields as diverse asphysics, ecology, political science, economics, sociology, and art.

CLINTSPROTT earned his bachelor's degree from MIT in 1964 and his Ph.D. inphysics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1969. Hisprofessional interests are in experimental plasma physics and chaostheory. In 1984, the University of Wisconsin–Madison began a programcalled The Wonders of Physics, which Sprott presented in a typicaltravelling showman style to audiences of all ages. The show has beenpresented on the Madison campus over 200 times to a total audience ofover 60,000 over a period of 25 years. His shows are available freelyas streaming video from his website.

> Co-sponsorship bythe College of Arts & Sciences, Office of the Provost andHoward University Chapter of Sigma Xi.
This colloquium is sponsored by the Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) ofthe American Physical Society (APS) under the auspices of theDistinguished Lecturers in Plasma Physics Series for 2013-14. It isfunded by the U.S. Department of Energy Distinguished Lecturers TravelGrant Program.

Wednesday, April17, 2013
3.30pm
Thirkield HallAuditorium, Room 300

Howard University Department ofPhysics and Astronomy presents

SylvesterJames Gates, Jr.
John S. TollProfessor of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park,
National Medal of Science recipient, noted String Theorist and formerChair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at HowardUniversity

Symmetryand the Quincunx Nexus

Fromthe time of the ancient Greeks until today, the concept of symmetry hasoften been an important, but little understood concept, drivingadvances in physics. This presentation will strive to take an audiencefrom understanding this link to its direct impact on ideas inSuperstring/M-Theory and at one of its boundary where there appears tobe a 5-fold overlap with other human ways of interpreting the universe.

SYLVESTER JAMES "JIM" GATES, JR.,(born December 15, 1950) is anAmerican theoretical physicist. He received two B.S. degrees and aPh.D. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the latter in1977. His doctoral thesis was the first thesis at MIT to deal withsupersymmetry. Gates is currently the John S. Toll Professor of Physicsat the University of Maryland, College Park and serves on PresidentBarack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
andon the Maryland State Board of Education. He is known for his work onsupersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory. In 1984, workingwith M.T. Grisaru, M. Rocek, W. Siegel, Gates co-authorized Superspace,the first comprehensive book on the topic of supersymmetry.
He is a member of the board of trustees of Society for Science& the Public.

Gateshas been featured extensively on many NOVA PBS programs onphysics,notably "The Elegant Universe" in 2003 and ''The Fabric of theCosmos'' in 2011. In 2006, he completed a DVD series titled SuperstringTheory: The DNA of Reality for The Teaching Company compos-ed of 24half-hour lectures to make the complexities of unification theorycomprehensible to non-physicists. In 2012 he was named a UniversitySystem of Maryland Regents Professor, only the sixth person to be sorecognized since 1992. He is past president of the National Society ofBlack Physicists, and is a NSBP Fellow, as well as a Fellow of theAmerican Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancementof Science, and the Institute of Physics in the U.K. He also is anelected member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and theAmerican Philosophical Society. Prof. Gates was awarded the Medal ofScience presented by President Obama as the highest award given toscientists in the U.S. at a White House ceremony in 2013.

He currently continues his research insupersymmetry in systems of particles, fields, and strings.

> Co-sponsorship bythe College of Arts & Sciences,
Office of the Provost and Howard University Chapter of Sigma Xi

Wednesday,November 14, 2012
3.30pm
Thirkield Hall,Room 103

Dr.Daniel Glavin
Astrobiologist inthe Planetary Environments Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

FollowYour Curiosity:
The Search for Habitable Environments On Mars

Inthis talk, Glavin will describe the concept of a "habitableenvironment" and the requirements for life as we know it. Understandingthe basic requirements for life and the prebiotic chemistry that led tothe emergence of life on Earth will help guide our search for life onMars. Glavin will also give an overview of NASA's Mars ScienceLaboratory mission with an update on the progress of the Curiosityrover and a summary of the analytical capabilities and measurementobjectives of the SAM experiment. Curiosity is currently getting readyfor the first SAM analysis of the martian soil and will take a stepcloser to answering the question of whether Mars could have eversupported life.

DANIEL GLAVIN is anAstrobiologist in the Planetary Environments Laboratory at the NASAGoddard Space Flight Center and is a Participating Scientist on theMars Science Laboratory Mission. Dr. Glavin first became involved inAstrobiology research in 1996 when a meteorite from Mars found inAntarctica, called Allan Hills 84001, revealed possible remnant of anancient martian life forms. Although Glavin's research suggested thatsome of the chemical evidence was compromised by terrestrialcontamination in Antarctica, the ALH 84001 discovery energized theAstrobiology community and the red planet continues to be one of theprimary targets for exploration and the search for life beyond Earth.

Wednesday, Oct.31, 2012
3.30 pm
TKH Room 103

Dr.Theodore Hopdapp
Director ofEducation and Diversity for the American Physical Society (APS)

Physicsunderlies nearly all major technical innovations of the past century.Despite this, we continue to see only a small fraction of the availablepopulation participating in physics at the undergraduate and graduatelevels. Women and underrepresented minorities have made significantadvances, but are still nowhere near levels represented in thepopulation. High school's demand for qualified physics teachers goeslargely unmet with only a third of the current teachers possessing aphysics degree. 

Thisseminar will discuss some data on the current situation and describe anumber of actions by the American Physical Society (APS) and itspartnering organizations in addressing these issues. Chief among theseare two projects: the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC)which is working to increase the number of highly qualified high schoolphysics teachers; and the APS Bridge Project, a new initiative toincrease minority student participation at the doctoral level. Theseprojects and other efforts of the APS will be discussed. 

We look forward to hearing your ideas and thoughts on improving theseprojects, and helping make physics education available to all.

Wednesday, Feb.22, 2012  

2012APS/DLS Distinguished Traveling Lecturer at
Howard University

Feb. 22-23, 2012

2001Physics Nobel Laureate
Eric A. Cornell

EricCornell received his B.S. from Stanford University in 1985, and his PhDfrom MIT in 1990. His doctoral research, with Dave Pritchard, was onprecision mass spectroscopy of single trapped molecular ions. Cornellwent to JILA in Boulder, Colorado in 1990. Since 1992 he has been asenior scientist with the National Institute of Standards andTechnology. He is a Fellow of JILA and Professor Adjoint in the PhysicsDepartment of the University of Colorado.

Researchinterests include various aspects of ultracold atoms, in particularBose-Einstein condensation and chip-based atom traps. He is alsoworking on using precision molecular spectroscopy to explore possibleextensions to the Standard Model of particle physics.

Cornellreceived the Stratton Award from NIST in 1995, the Carl Zeiss Award in1996, the Fritz London Prize in 1996, the Presidential Early CareerAward for Scientists and Engineers in 1996, the 1997 I.I. Rabi Award,the 1997 King Faisal International Prize for Science, the 1995-96 AAASNewcomb-Cleveland Prize, the 1997 Alan T. Waterman Award, the LorentzMedal in 1998, in 1999 the R. W. Wood Prize and the Benjamin FranklinMedal in Physics, and in 2000 was elected as a Fellow of the OpticalSociety of America and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences. Heshares the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics with Carl Wieman and WolfgangKetterle.

12:00 - 1:00 pm
Physics Colloquium (Thirkield Hall 300)

Why is Warm GlassStickier Than Cold Glass?

Whatwe think of as "empty" space is really filled with a fluctuatingelectric field.  These tiny electric fields are spooky-seemingbutentirely real. They give rise to the stickiness of a perfecly cleanglass surface. Eric Cornell will talk about a set ofexpeiments hedid on this so-called Casimir-Polder force; time permitting he willexplore connections to eschatology as well.

3:30 - 5:00 pm
University-wide Colloquium (Blackburn Center Auditorium)

Stone Cold Science:Bose-Einstein Condensation and the Weird World of Physics a Millionthof a Degree Above Absolute Zero

Asatoms get colder and colder, they become more and more like waves, andless like particles.  When a gas of atoms gets so cold thatthe"waviness" of one atom overlaps the waviness of another, the result isa sort of quantum mechanical identity crisis, a "condensation"predicted 80 years ago by Albert Einstein.  Eric Cornell willdiscuss how one reaches the necessary record-low temperatures, andexplain why one goes to all the trouble to make this bizarre state ofmatter.

Thursday, Feb23, 2012  

8:00 - 9:30 am

Morning Jog withStudents & Bagels & Coffee
Howard University Jogging Track/ Adjacent to football field
Inclement Weather: Indoor Track atBurr Gymnasium

10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Graduate StudentResearch Presentations

12:30 - 1:30 pm

Lunch/ Pizza &Interaction with Students

2/16

Room 103

Faculty meeting
12/14/07   Christmas Party2007!!!
8/13/07   DepartmentCook-out, Fall 2007

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