Links to Colloquia

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Past years' colloquia

Archive of videos - Fall 2012

Archive of videos - Spring 2013

Archive of videos - Fall 2013

Archive of videos - Spring 2014

Current videos - Fall 2014

Eisenbud Lecture Series in Mathematics and Physics

Berko Symposium

All colloquium videos are under copyright and may not be reproduced, in part or in total, without written permission of the speaker and of the Physics Department.

Department Colloquia

Martin Weiner Lecture Series
Department of Physics Colloquium
4:00 pm, Abelson 131
Refreshments at 3:30pm outside Abelson 131

Fall 2014 Colloquia

Tuesday, September 2

Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, MIT
What's the Matter with the Universe?

Abstract: Dark matter makes up 85% of the mass of the Universe, yet we know very little about what it is. We hunt for dark matter in an old iron mine half a mile underground using detectors operating only thousandths of a degree above absolute zero. I will present results from two experiments by the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) collaboration that are focused on light mass (< 10 GeV) dark matter, and discuss the future reach of this technology. Although the composition of the other 15% of the mass in the Universe is understood, plenty of questions about its origin and evolution remain. I will also introduce the Micro-X sounding rocket, a high-spectral resolution x-ray telescope which will study supernova remnants, the fascinating relics of stars whose explosive deaths gave birth to most of the atoms that form our planet.

Watch the video.

Tuesday, September 9

Matthew Headrick, Brandeis University
Quantum entanglement and the geometry of spacetime

Abstract: Recent developments have led to the discovery of a beautiful and surprising connection between the geometry of spacetime in quantum gravity and entanglement in quantum field theories. This discovery offers a new perspective on old puzzles concerning black holes, and may lead to a profoundly new way of thinking the emergence of spacetime from fundamental quantum-mechanical building blocks. I will describe these developments, explaining along the way the necessary background in general relativity, quantum field theory, and quantum information theory.
Tuesday, September 16

Jeffrey J. Fredberg, Harvard School of Public Health
Collective migration and cell jamming

Abstract:  Our traditional physical picture holds with the intuitive notion that each individual cell comprising the cellular collective senses signals or gradients and then mobilizes physical forces in response. Those forces, in turn, drive local cellular motions from which collective cellular migrations emerge. Although it does not account for spontaneous noisy fluctuations that can be quite large, the tacit assumption has been one of linear causality in which systematic local motions, on average, are the shadow of local forces, and these local forces are the shadow of the local signals. New lines of evidence now suggest a rather different physical picture in which dominant mechanical events may not be local, the cascade of mechanical causality may be not so linear, and, surprisingly, the fluctuations may not be noise as much as they are an essential feature of mechanism. Here we argue for a novel synthesis in which fluctuations and non-local cooperative events that typify the cellular collective might be illuminated by the unifying concept of cell jamming. Jamming has the potential to pull together diverse factors that are already known to contribute but previously had been considered for the most part as acting separately and independently. These include cellular crowding, intercellular force transmission, cadherin-dependent cell-cell adhesion, integrin-dependent cell-substrate adhesion, myosin-dependent motile force and contractility, actin-dependent deformability, proliferation, compression and stretch.

Tuesday, September 23

No colloquium. Brandeis Thursday.
Tuesday,  September 30

Mehran Kardar, MIT
Levitation by Casimir forces in and out of equilibrium

Abstract:  A generalization of Earnshaw's theorem constrains the possibility of levitation by Casimir forces in equilibrium. The scattering formalism, which forms the basis of this proof, can be used to study fluctuation-induced forces for different materials, diverse geometries, both in and out of equilibrium. In the off-equilibrium context, I shall discuss non-classical heat transfer, and some manifestations of the dynamical Casimir effect.
Tuesday, October 7

Evelyn Fox Keller, MIT
Active Matter: Then and Now

Tuesday, October 14

Dam Thanh Son, University of Chicago

Tuesday, October 21

Matthew Reece, Harvard University

Tuesday, October 28

Chip Brock, Michigan State

Tuesday, November 4

Parthasarathi Majumdar, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekanandan University
The Quantum and the Continuum: Einstein's dichotomous legacies

Tuesday, November 11

Robert Meyer, Brandeis University
The Physics of Arches and Domes

Tuesday, November 18

Ian Hutchinson, MIT
Physics of Fusion Energy; What we know and what we don't know

Tuesday, November 25

No colloquium. Thanksgiving week.

Tuesday, December 2

Eisenbud Lectures in Mathematics and Physics
Peter Sarnak, Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University

Spring 2015 Colloquia

Tuesday, January 13


Tuesday, January 20


Tuesday, January 27


Tuesday, February 3


Tuesday, February 10


Tuesday, February 17

No colloquium. Midterm Recess.

Tuesday, February 24


Tuesday, March 3

No colloquium. APS Meeting.

Tuesday, March 10

Markus Deserno, Carnegie Mellon Physics

Tuesday, March 17

Robert J. Wood, Harvard University

Tuesday, March 24

Tuesday, March 31

Tuesday, April 7

No colloquium. Passover/Spring Recess.

Tuesday, April 14

Tuesday, April 21

Tuesday, April 28

No colloquium. Brandeis Friday.