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Colloquium

21
FEB

Alexandros Gerakis: USING NON-LINEAR OPTICS TO SHINE LIGHT ON AEROSPACE ENGINEERING CHALLENGES

2:30PM @ White Hall G09

Sir Horace Lamb famously said that “I am an old man now, and when I die and go to heaven, there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. About the former, I am really rather optimistic.” Although nowadays we can travel in less than a day’s time from Perth, Australia to London, UK, and from Newark, USA to Singapore, there are still many open scientific questions in the aerospace engineering realm, especially when it comes to supersonic and hypersonic flight. Mastering hypersonic wind tunnels is one key component of the research involved but advanced, accurate and non-perturbative diagnostics is another key part. In this talk I will discuss laser diagnostic efforts developed to tackle the latter, by concentrating on the research efforts of our group in this field by utilizing Coherent Rayleigh-Brillouin scattering (CRBS).


28
FEB

Matt Walentosky: The Physics of Marketing

2:30PM @ White Hall G09

What do physics and marketing have in common? If your answer is “nothing” I have news for you! Physicists are the ultimate problem solvers. Isaac Newton and his Laws of Motion, Michael Faraday and work in electromagnetism, Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity, Edwin Hubble and the expanding universe… the list goes on. But what does any of this have to do with marketing in the 21st century?

02
APR

Amber Straughn: BEYOND HUBBLE: A NEW ERA IN ASTRONOMY WITH NASA’S JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

2:30PM @ White Hall G09

This month, the Hubble Space Telescope celebrates three decades in space. Across this span of time, Hubble has been revealing the unknown cosmos; this single scientific instrument has completely revolutionized our understanding of the universe. Despite the remarkable advances in astronomy that Hubble has provided, the new questions that have arisen demand a new space telescope with new technologies and capabilities. I will present the exciting new technology development and science goals of Hubble's ~100x‐more‐powerful successor, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which is undergoing final testing and will launch next year. This engineering marvel is designed to unravel some of the greatest mysteries of the universe, from discovering the first stars and galaxies that formed after the Big Bang to studying the atmospheres of planets around other stars.

17
APR

Thomas Baumgarte: Critical Phenomena in Gravitational Collapse

2:30pm @ White Hall G09

Critical Phenomena - the appearance of universal scaling laws and critical exponents in the vicinity of phase transitions - appear in different fields of physics and beyond.  Critical phenomena in gravitational collapse to black holes were first observed by Matt Choptuik about 25 years ago - a seminal discovery that launched an entire new field of research.  Until recently, however, most numerical work in this field was restricted to spherical symmetry and - with some notable exceptions - could not account for effects that break this symmetry.  In particular, critical phenomena in the gravitational collapse of vacuum gravitational waves - which cannot be spherically symmetric - remain mysterious to this day, even 25 years after they were first reported.  In this talk I will review the appearance of scaling laws and self-similarity close to the onset of black hole formation.  I will then present new numerical relativity simulations of gravitational collapse to black holes in the absence of spherical symmetry.  I will discuss different effects of the absence of spherical symmetry, and will speculate whether our notion of criticality needs to be expanded when the critical solution cannot be spherically symmetric.