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In Fall 2020, the UNC Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Duke Physics Department presents general physics lectures by Duke and UNC faculty for members of both departments.

Lectures will be delivered via Zoom with links distributed via email.

Colloquia will be held biweekly, always starting at 3:30pm. There will be one special Colloquium by an external speaker on Sept. 30.

Fall 2020

M Aug 24

Quantifying the Shear Viscosity of Nature’s Most Ideal Liquid

Steffen Bass, Duke University

Collisions of heavy nuclei at ultrarelativistic velocities are currently utilized at the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to recreate matter at temperatures and densities as have only existed in the early universe, a couple of microseconds after the Big Bang. This Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP), consisting of deconfined quarks and gluons, is nearly an ideal fluid with zero viscosity.

A primary goal of heavy-ion physics is the measurement of the fundamental properties of the QGP, notably its transport coefficients and initial state properties. Since these properties are not directly measurable, one relies on a comparison of experimental data to computational models of the time-evolution of the collision to connect measured observables to the properties of the transient QGP state.

Over the last few years the Duke QCD group has developed techniques based on Bayesian statistics that allow for the simultaneous calibration of a large number of model parameters and the precision extraction of QGP properties including their quantified uncertainties. The analysis has provided the first determination of the temperature-dependent viscosity of the QGP.

W Sep 9

Dynamics of strongly interacting systems

Gökçe Basar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract TBA.

M Sep 21

Experiments with quantum materials

Sara Haravifard, Duke University

Abstract TBA.

W Sep 30

Physics of energy

Robert Jaffe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract TBA.

W Oct 7

Lattice QCD and physics beyond the Standard Model

Amy Nicholson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract TBA.

M Oct 19

Experimental biophysics & soft matter

Christoph Schmidt, Duke University

Abstract TBA.

W Nov 4

Experimental astrophysics – exoplanets

Nicholas Law, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract TBA.

Spring 2021