Tea, coffee, and refreshments are served at the speaker’s reception in Phillips Hall 269, 3:30pm.

Colloquia are held Monday afternoons in Phillips Hall 265, 4:00pm.

The student Questions and Answers will also be held in Phillips Hall 269 after the colloquium, 5:15pm.

Past Spring 2019 Colloquia

Jan 10
Going with the flow: making the path integral more complex

Gökce Basar, University of Illinois, Chicago

The theory of strong interactions (Quantum Chromo Dynamics, or QCD), which describes how the constituents of protons and neutrons (quarks and gluons) interact, has been around for more than 40 years. However, the calculation of the properties of nuclear matter in various phases from QCD remains an unsolved problem. These phases include quark gluon plasma, the phase that filled the universe microseconds after it was formed, and dense nuclear matter, which exists in the cores of compact stars. The reason these calculations remain elusive is an infamous obstacle called the ‘sign problem.’ In this talk, I explore a new way of tackling the sign problem that involves generalizing the Feynman path integral to complex fields. I discuss both conceptual and computational aspects of this new approach, and give examples of interacting quantum field theories where it successfully solves the sign problem, with the goal of eventually using it to solve QCD.

Jan 14
Weighing a Ghost: The Quest to Measure the Neutrino Mass

Walter Pettus, University of Washington

The ghostly neutrinos remain the only fundamental fermions whose masses are unknown. Neutrino oscillation measurements definitively demonstrate neutrinos have mass, breaching the Standard Model of Particle Physics, but cannot determine that mass scale. The most sensitive searches to date have placed limits on the neutrino mass, indicating they are at least six orders of magnitude lighter than the next fermion. If neutrinos possess the unique property of being their own antiparticles, this vast scale difference is a clue to the new physics of their mass generation mechanism.

I will review the status of experiments to measure the neutrino mass scale, with particular emphasis on laboratory probes. Project 8 is an experimental program developing next-generation sensitivity to the neutrino mass through measurement of the kinematic beta endpoint, a model-independent probe of the mass scale. Complementary to this technique are searches for neutrinoless double beta decay, where I will detail the 76Ge program, advancing from the currently operating Majorana Demonstrator to the LEGEND experiment in preparation.

Upcoming Spring 2019 Colloquia

Jan 16
Searching for dark matter with liquid argon

Graham Giovanetti, Princeton University

The DarkSide collaboration has undertaken a staged program using argon time projection chambers (TPCs) to search for dark matter. I will introduce DarkSide-50, a 50 kg dual-phase argon TPC that has been operating since mid-2015 at LNGS, and present recent results from this detector. Then I will discuss the implications of these results for a next-generation experiment, DarkSide-20k, a more than 20 tonne fiducial mass TPC equipped with SiPM-based photosensors.

Jan 28
Title TBA

Danielle Speller, Yale University

Abstract TBA.

Feb 4
Title TBA

Matteo Agostini, Technical University Munich

Abstract TBA.

Feb 11
Title TBA

Jonathan Ouellet, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract TBA.

Feb 18
Title TBA

Julieta Gruszko, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract TBA.

Feb 25
Title TBA

Jeremy Rogers, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract TBA.

Mar 4
Title TBA

Joao Alves, Universität Wien

Abstract TBA.

Mar 18
Title TBA

Michael Wittmann, The University of Maine

Abstract TBA.

Mar 25
Title TBA

Akaa D. Ayangeakaa, United States Naval Academy

Abstract TBA.

Apr 1
Title TBA

Wilson Miller, University of Virginia

Abstract TBA.

Apr 8
Title TBA

Craig D. Roberts, Argonne National Laboratory

Abstract TBA.

Apr 15
Title TBA

Andrea Schindler, Michigan State University

Abstract TBA.

Apr 22
Title TBA

Christoph Baranec, University of Hawaii

Abstract TBA.