Phillips 265 - Department of Physics and Astronomy

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Phillips 265

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120 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

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February 2018

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Eduard Chekmenev

February 26 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Phillips 265, 120 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Eduard Chekmenev, Vanderbilt University "Hyperpolarized NMR Contrast Agents for Molecular Imaging" The significant (usually orders-of-magnitude) increase in nuclear spin polarization above the thermal-equilibrium level is called hyperpolarization. Because the NMR signal is directly proportional to the nuclear spin polarization, the realized polarization enhancement manifests in the corresponding NMR signal and corresponding gains in detection sensitivity, which can be ~4-8 orders of magnitude depending on the detection field of the MRI scanner. Recent developments in NMR…

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March 2018

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Alfred Shapere

March 5 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Phillips 265, 120 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Alfred Shapere, University of Kentucky "The Many Facets of Time Crystals" Time crystals are systems that exhibit spontaneous breaking of time translation symmetry, analogously to ordinary crystals, which break space translation symmetry. Unlike space crystals, time crystals are surprisingly hard to make, both theoretically and experimentally. Starting with the original proposal in 2012, I will review the history of time crystals and survey their manifestations in a variety of contexts, from cold atoms to cosmology,…

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Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Jennifer Blue

March 19 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Phillips 265, 120 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Jennifer Blue, Miami University "Studying Gender in Physics Education Research: Beyond the Binary" Much work in physics education research, including much of my own, has examined differences in preparation, persistence, and performance between male and female students. I now believe that there are issues with the implied theoretical framework behind this work. When we look outside of physics, we see a growing, rich literature about the non-binary nature of gender, about intersectionality, and about identity…

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Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Graciela Gelmini

March 26 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Phillips 265, 120 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Graciela Gelmini, University of California, Los Angeles "Title TBA" Abstract TBA

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April 2018

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – John Thompson

April 2 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Phillips 265, 120 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium John Thompson, University of Maine "Investigating student understanding at the physics-mathematics interface" Because learning physics concepts often requires the ability to construct, interpret, and manipulate mathematical representations and formalism (e.g., equations, graphs, and diagrams), researchers in physics education and in mathematics education have been examining how students navigate this disciplinary interface. Our own research into student conceptual understanding of physics has led us to investigate how students use and reason about mathematics, especially calculus, to…

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Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Stephon Alexander

April 9 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Phillips 265, 120 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Stephon Alexander, Brown University "The Jazz of Physics: The Link Between Music and The Structure of the Universe" In this talk Alexander revisits the ancient interconnection between music and the evolution of astrophysics and the laws of motion. He explores new ways music, in particular jazz music, mirrors modern physics, such as quantum mechanics, general relativity, and the physics of the early universe. Finally, he discusses ways that innovations in physics have been and can…

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Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Thad Walker

April 16 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Phillips 265, 120 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Thad Walker, University of Wisconsin-Madison "Turning Photons Into Polarized Nuclei" Spin-exchange optical pumping is a technique that transfers the angular momentum from high-power laser light to noble-gas nuclei, allowing liters of highly polarized, long-lived nuclear spins to be produced. These dense spin gases enable diverse scientific applications ranging from magnetic-resonance imaging to spin-polarized nuclear physics targets to searches for ultra-light dark matter. This talk will discuss the atomic physics alchemy of photon-to-spin conversion, and illustrate…

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Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Marcel Agüeros

April 23 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Phillips 265, 120 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Marcel Agüeros, Columbia University "Setting Stellar Chronometers: The PTF(+) Open Cluster Survey" While we have known for 40 years of the existence of a relation between a solar-mass star's age, rotation, and magnetic activity, observational limitations have hampered the assembly of uniform samples of rotation and activity measurements for stars spanning a wide range of ages and masses. We are still far from being able to describe fully the evolution of either rotation or activity…

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