 Grads kick off the new 20212 year with a hike to Wolf Rock in Storrs
Awardees at Physics Department annual
research poster exhibit, April 24, 2019.
Prof. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell,
Discovery of Binary Pulsars
23rd Annual Katzenstein Lecture
University of Connecticut
November 8, 2019
 Prof. Bell Burnell with UConn Women in Physics, November 2019
 Annual awards event honoring outstanding teaching assistants
 Introductory Physics applies handson approach to learning
Prof. Jonathan Trump Interviews about the James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope released its first science observations on July 12 with much fanfare and excitement across the globe. UConn Physics Professor Jonathan Trump is part of the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science collaboration that was awarded some of the first observations on the transformative new space telescope. Prof. Trump was interviewed by several local media outlets, […]
[Read More]Physics Prof. Tom Blum recognized for Research Excellence
Prof. Thomas Blum is one of two faculty to receive the Research Excellence award from the University of Connecticut in 2022. Tom came to UConn in 2004 and is a professor and associate department head for undergraduate education in the Physics Department. As a theoretical physicist, Blum specializes in making difficult, detailed mathematical calculations concerning […]
[Read More]Nobel Prize Winner, Professor Donna Strickland , Katzenstein Distinguished Lecturer
The University of Connecticut, Department of Physics, is proud to announce that on September 23, 2022, Professor Donna Strickland of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo will be presenting the 2020 Distinguished Katzenstein Lecture. Prof. Strickland is one of the recipients of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for developing […]
[Read More]Prof. Cara Battersby Awarded an NSF CAREER grant
Professor Cara Battersby has been awarded an NSF CAREER grant! “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundationwide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of earlycareer faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the […]
[Read More]Plates that Helped Map the Universe, Now at UConn
UConn is now home to tools that have played an instrumental role in mapping the universe — 10 large aluminum plates used as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Measuring 32 inches across, oneeighth of an inch thick, and with thousands of tiny holes drilled in them, these plates may not be the […]
[Read More]Upcoming events

Sep
19
Particle, Astrophysics, And Nuclear Physics Seminar2:00pm
Particle, Astrophysics, And Nuclear Physics Seminar
Monday, September 19th, 2022
02:00 PM  03:00 PM
Storrs Campus
GS119Dr. Yannick Wunderlich, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bonn
Complete experiments for reactions among particles with arbitrary spin
Reactions among particles with spin are usually of interest in baryon spectroscopy. Within the context of such reactions, one encounters the ubiquitous amplitudeextraction problems, where a set of N spinamplitudes (either helicity or transversity amplitudes) has to be extracted from N^2 measurable polarization observables up to one unknown overall phase. Such problems lead naturally to the search for socalled complete experiments, which are minimal subsets selected from the full set of N^2 observables that allow for a unique extraction of the amplitudes. The talk will present ideas for the determination of complete experiments using graphs, which are based on a recently published, modified form of Moravcsik’s theorem. Although the latter theorem did not receive much attention upon its initial publication, the lucid representation of complete experiments in terms of graphs which is at the heart of it leads to a fully automated procedure that can determine complete experiments for, in principle, any reaction, i.e., for any number of amplitudes N. However, for larger numbers of amplitudes N, the sets determined according to Moravcsik’s theorem turn out to be slightly overcomplete. Therefore, a new type of directional graph has been proposed recently, which can decrease the length of the complete sets of observables in these cases. These new directional graphs are also discussed briefly in the talk. The presented results are relevant for reactions with larger numbers of spin amplitudes, which are at the center of interest in forthcoming measurements, such as singlemeson electroproduction (N = 6), and twomeson photoproduction (N = 8), or vectormeson photoproduction (N = 12). Furthermore, the results obtained will be placed in a common context as part of a coupled channels complete experiment.Contact Information: Prof. Kyungseon Joo
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Sep
23
Katzenstein Distinguished Lecture Series4:00pm
Katzenstein Distinguished Lecture Series
Friday, September 23rd, 2022
04:00 PM  05:00 PM
Storrs Campus
GW002Katzenstein Distinguished Physics Lecture
“Generating HighIntensity, Ultrashort Optical Pulses”
Dr. Donna Strickland
Nobel Laureate 2018
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Waterloo
With the invention of lasers, the intensity of a light wave was increased by orders of magnitude over what had been achieved with a light bulb or sunlight. This much higher intensity led to new phenomena being observed, such as violet light coming out when red light went into the material. After Gérard Mourou and I developed chirped pulse amplification, also known as CPA, the intensity again increased by more than a factor of 1,000 and it once again made new types of interactions possible between light and matter. We developed a laser that could deliver short pulses of light that knocked the electrons off their atoms. This new understanding of lasermatter interactions, led to the development of new machining techniques that are used in laser eye surgery or micromachining of glass used in cell phones.
Friday, September 23, 2022
4:00 p.m.
GW002
Refreshments will be prior to the talk at 3:00 p.m. in the
Gant Science Complex Light Court
View the livestream: http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/ov4igContact Information: Prof. Nora Berrah
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Oct
21
UConn Physics Colloquium3:30pm
UConn Physics Colloquium
Friday, October 21st, 2022
03:30 PM  04:30 PM
Storrs Campus
GW001Dr. William D. Ratcliff, NIST
Title and abstract TBAContact Information: Prof. P. Mannheim
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Oct
28
Dr. Roopali Kukreja (UConn Physics Colloquium)3:30pm
Dr. Roopali Kukreja (UConn Physics Colloquium)
Friday, October 28th, 2022
03:30 PM  04:30 PM
Storrs Campus
TBDDr. Roopali Kukreja
University of California, Davis
Title and abstract: ForthcomingContact Information: Menka Jain
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Recent Events

Graduate Student Aditi Mahabir, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Negative electronic compressibility in multiband electron gas models", MS Dissertation Defense12:00pm
8/8
Graduate Student Aditi Mahabir, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Negative electronic compressibility in multiband electron gas models", MS Dissertation Defense
Monday, August 8th, 2022
12:00 PM  02:00 PM
Other
OnlineGraduate Student Aditi Mahabir, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
Negative electronic compressibility in multiband electron gas models
In this thesis, I present the results of my investigation of the effects of two electronic bands on the negative electronic compressibility (NEC) in a twodimensional electron gas (2DEG). We use a simple homogeneous model with Coulombic interactions and firstorder multiband coupling to examine the role of effective mass and relative permittivity in relation to the critical carrier density, where compressibility turns negative. We demonstrate that the population of a second band, along with the presence of interband coupling, can dramatically change the crossover carrier density. This model suggests a method for identifying multiband electronic systems using precise bulk electronic properties measurements despite the difficulty in confirming such systems. We apply our results to the observed NEC in the 2D electron gas at the interface of LaAlO_{3} and SrTiO_{3} (LAO/STO) and determine that, for the known parameters of LAO/STO, the system is likely a realization of a twoband 2D electron gas. Furthermore, we provide general limits on the interband coupling with respect to the electronic band population.
Webex URL: https://uconncmr.webex.com/meet/alb16177Contact Information: Prof. A. Balatsky
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Graduate Student Sunil Thapa, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Study Of High Repetition Rate Ultrashort Pulses and its Application on Data Encryption", PhD Dissertation Defense11:00am
8/3
Graduate Student Sunil Thapa, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Study Of High Repetition Rate Ultrashort Pulses and its Application on Data Encryption", PhD Dissertation Defense
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022
11:00 AM  01:00 PM
Other
OnlineGraduate Student Sunil Thapa, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
Study Of High Repetition Rate Ultrashort Pulses and its Application on Data Encryption
Optical communication progress has been attributed to time division multiplexing (TDM) and dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM). These methods use broadband light source and ultrashort pules with high repetition rate to carry information on optical fibers. The solution to high data traffic demands in future will be ultrafast data processing switching components as conventional electrooptical process efficiency and speed has reached it bottleneck. In this PhD dissertation, an erbium doped fiber ring laser with graphene as a saturable absorber has been designed and this ring laser system is able to generate ultrashort pulses with a repetition rate of 50 GHz. This method produces pulses with narrow width compared to conventional rational harmonic mode locking technique. Effects of twophoton absorption (TPA) on alloptical logic operation in quantumdot semiconductor optical amplifier (QDSOA) has been carried out. Inclusion of two photon absorption improves the Qfactor for pseudorandom bit generation (PRBS) at highspeed operation. High speed alloptical encryption operation at 320 Gb/s using optical logic gates which is based on QDSOA with two photon absorption has been demonstrated. Supercontinuum generation using different shape of dispersion varying waveguides has also been simulated. The nonuniform waveguide allows for continuous phase matching to generate broader spectrum.
Webex URL: https://uconncmr.webex.com/uconncmr/j.php?MTID=m298c1f157dbb8f58bf7ba97b60a152fbContact Information: Prof. N. Dutta
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Doctoral Dissertation Oral Defense Of Sunil Thapa11:00am
8/3
Doctoral Dissertation Oral Defense Of Sunil Thapa
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022
11:00 AM  01:00 PM
Storrs Campus
WebexStudy Of High Repetition Rate Ultrashort Pulses and its Application on Data EncryptionContact Information: Prof. Niloy Dutta, niloy.dutta@uconn.edu
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Graduate Student Donal Sheets, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Advances in PhotonBased Techniques for Correlated Materials and Applied Physics ", PhD Dissertation Defense1:00pm
7/25
Graduate Student Donal Sheets, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Advances in PhotonBased Techniques for Correlated Materials and Applied Physics ", PhD Dissertation Defense
Monday, July 25th, 2022
01:00 PM  03:00 PM
Storrs Campus
GS119Graduate Student Donal Sheets, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
Advances in PhotonBased Techniques for Correlated Materials and Applied Physics
This dissertation reports advances enabling experimental research in three research areas of current interest: synchrotronbased studies of electronic excitations in correlated materials, development of an ultrasensitive laserbased system for generating and measuring strain waves, and applied research in response to the COVID19 pandemic.
The first section describes the role of magnetism in identifying correlated electron phases and presents progress using synchrotronbased resonant inelastic Xray scattering (RIXS) applied to mixedvalent Ybbased materials. In nonmagnetic semiconductor YbB6 we have studied the energy and angledependent scattering, which clearly shows two distinct photon scattering processes. One of these features can be analyzed and interpreted with abinitio calculations, while the second appears more universal. We will also present measurements of mixed valent YbAl3 and YbInCu4 which show low energy spectral weight ascribed to manybody resonances. Together, our results demonstrate the potential for RIXS to separately assess the localized and itinerant electronic states of correlated felectron materials.
The second section details the experimental development of an interferometric femtosecond pumpprobe apparatus for observing linear and nonlinear evolution of strain waves and elastic properties in films and single crystals. Using a variable repetition rate amplified Yb fiber laser and 16 ns optical delay, this apparatus enables high sensitivity measurements of surface displacement and change in reflectivity across the time axis. Progress towards the measurement of interacting strain waves and soliton generation near structural and magnetic transitions will be described.
Finally, the development of an apparatus to evaluate the filtrations efficiency and breathability of filters and respirators in response to the COVID19 pandemic will be described. This apparatus can independently evaluate respirator and filter performance across a range of face velocities, pressure drops, and aerosolized particle sizes. This work has led to collaborations in broad public service, addressed high profile but erroneous claims on the efficacy of woven cloth respirators material, and contributed to developing a piezoelectric nanofiber membrane filter for application in biodegradable masks.
Webex URL: https://uconncmr.webex.com/uconncmr/j.php?MTID=m02a409563f5ff7517c0a4ef604b25a17Contact Information: Prof. J. Hancock
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Graduate Student Amani Jayakody, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Perovskite SrCoOx  Surprising Structural and Magnetic Behavior", PhD Dissertation Defense11:00am
7/18
Graduate Student Amani Jayakody, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Perovskite SrCoOx  Surprising Structural and Magnetic Behavior", PhD Dissertation Defense
Monday, July 18th, 2022
11:00 AM  01:00 PM
Storrs Campus
GS119Graduate Student Amani Jayakody, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
Perovskite SrCoO_{x}  Surprising Structural and Magnetic Behavior
The concept of electronic phase separation explains several unusual magnetic and electronic properties of doped perovskite oxides such as cuprates, manganites, and cobaltites. The electronic phase separation observed in La_{1y}Sr_{y}CoO_{x} is an important example of the type of magnetic phases that can coexist, although there is an ongoing discussion as to the role of chemical segregation. Hole doping of this system can be achieved by substitution of Sr^{2+} for La^{3+} while keeping the full oxygen stoichiometry. An alternative way to do the same hole doping is to vary the oxygen concentration of the perovskite system. Strontium cobalt oxide with varying oxygen concentration (SrCoO_{x}, 2.875 < x < 3) is one of the systems which shows magnetic phase separation for intermediate oxygen values. The end points are SrCoO_{2.875} which is ferromagnetic with T_{c}=220 K and SrCoO_{3} which is also ferromagnetic but with T_{c}=280K. Samples with intermediate values of oxygen concentration show two phase magnetic behavior between these values. Initial labbased xray diffraction indicated that these compounds had only a single crystalline phase despite the twopart magnetism. We undertook a combined study using both high resolution xray powder diffraction measurements and pair distribution function measurements in order to understand possible differences between local and average structures. SrCoO_{3} remains in the simple cubic perovskite structure from 10300 K. SrCoO_{2.875} has a much more complicated structure. At room temperature, it is tetragonal with an expanded unit cell. Upon cooling, the structure appears to undergo a second order transition to a cubic phase: i.e. a highersymmetry phase at low temperature. This is extremely unusual, the opposite of typical structural transitions, and violates the usual assumption that entropy dominates the free energy changes with temperature in structural phase transitions. I present the structural studies of SrCoO_{x} and discuss their implications.
Webex URL: https://uconncmr.webex.com/uconncmr/j.php?MTID=mf4a1b82f84d196fe0ec681616f968e14Contact Information: Prof. B. Wells
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Graduate Student Asanka Amarasinghe, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Cosmological Perturbation Theory in Standard Gravity and Conformal Gravity ", PhD Dissertation Defense10:00am
7/12
Graduate Student Asanka Amarasinghe, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Cosmological Perturbation Theory in Standard Gravity and Conformal Gravity ", PhD Dissertation Defense
Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
10:00 AM  12:00 PM
Storrs Campus
GS119Graduate Student Asanka Amarasinghe, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
Cosmological Perturbation Theory in Standard Gravity and Conformal Gravity
Cosmological perturbations play a vital role in the study of the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation and in largescale structure formation. The standard procedure for treating these perturbations is to decompose them into scalar (S), vector (V) and tensor (T) components, and assume (the decomposition theorem) that the three sectors independently satisfy the fluctuation equations. Ordinarily, this procedure is carried out in a convenient gauge in a background geometry with vanishing spatial 3curvature. We have carried out a general SVT decomposition in a cosmology with an arbitrary spatial 3curvature and expansion radius in a completely gauge invariant way that involves no choice of gauge at all. We have been able to prove the decomposition theorem in this general case, by first manipulating the fluctuation equations so that the various sectors separate out at a higher derivative level; and then finding appropriate boundary conditions under which the solving of these equations leads to the form that is required of the decomposition theorem. With these boundary conditions we thus justify the use of the decomposition theorem in the standard Einstein gravitybased cosmology. In addition, we establish the decomposition theorem in the alternate conformal gravity theory. In addition, using this same SVT decomposition we have derived a closed form expression for the fluctuation in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background for the arbitrary background with arbitrary spatial 3curvature and arbitrary expansion radius, with the expression that we obtain being completely gauge invariant and with no choice of gauge being made. Interestingly, the expression that we obtain in the nonvanishing spatial 3curvature case has no explicit dependence on the spatial 3curvature. This meshes very well with the standard inflationary universe where there is no dependence on the spatial 3curvature.
Webex URL: https://uconncmr.webex.com/uconncmr/j.php?MTID=m625d9ffe27f6cfcfd01e3b9956b3d63aContact Information: Prof. P. Mannheim
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Title: Cosmological Perturbation Theory in Standard Gravity and Conformal Gravity, Doctoral Dissertation Oral Defense; Asanka Amarasinghe10:00am
7/12
Title: Cosmological Perturbation Theory in Standard Gravity and Conformal Gravity, Doctoral Dissertation Oral Defense; Asanka Amarasinghe
Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
10:00 AM  11:00 AM
Storrs Campus
GS 119Title: Cosmological Perturbation Theory in Standard Gravity and Conformal Gravity
Cosmological perturbations play a vital role in the study of the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation and in largescale structure formation. The standard procedure for treating these perturbations is to decompose them into scalar (S), vector (V) and tensor (T)components, and assume (the decomposition theorem) that the three sectors independently satisfy the fluctuation equations. Ordinarily, this procedure is carried out in a convenient gauge in a background geometry with vanishing spatial 3curvature. We have carried out a general SVT decomposition in a cosmology with an arbitrary spatial 3curvature and expansion radius in a completely gauge invariant way that involves no choice of gauge at all. We have been able to prove the decomposition theorem in this general case, by first manipulating the fluctuation equations so that the various sectors separate out at a higher derivative level; and then finding appropriate boundary conditions under which the solving of these equations leads to the form that is required of the decomposition theorem. With these boundary conditions we thus justify the use of the decomposition theorem in the standard Einstein gravity based cosmology. In addition we establish the decomposition theorem in the alternate conformal gravity theory. In addition using this same SVT decomposition we have derived a closed form expression for the fluctuation in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background for the arbitrary background with arbitrary spatial 3curvature and arbitrary expansion radius, with the expression that we obtain being completely gauge invariant and with no choice of gauge being made. Interestingly, the expression that we obtain in the nonvanishing spatial 3curvature case has no explicit dependence on the spatial 3curvature. This meshes very well with the standard inflationary universe where there is no dependence on the spatial 3curvature.Contact Information: A. Amarasinghe, asanka.amarasinghe@uconn.edu
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Graduate Student Bradley Clarke, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Development of an Amplified Chirp System and its Application to Ultracold Molecules", PhD Dissertation Defense2:00pm
6/28
Graduate Student Bradley Clarke, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Development of an Amplified Chirp System and its Application to Ultracold Molecules", PhD Dissertation Defense
Tuesday, June 28th, 2022
02:00 PM  04:00 PM
Storrs Campus
GS119Graduate Student Bradley Clarke, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
Development of an Amplified Chirp System and its Application to Ultracold Molecules
We have developed a system for producing amplified pulses of frequencychirped light at 780 nm on nanosecond timescales for use in ultracold ^{87}Rb photoassociation (PA) experiments. The system starts with tunable cw laser light and employs a pair of fiberbased phase modulators, a semiconductor optical amplifier, and a tapered amplifier to generate arbitrary optical frequency chirps with peak powers greater than 1 W. Driving the modulators with an arbitrary waveform generator enables arbitrary chirp shapes, such as one/twofrequency linear chirps, which enhance the rate of PA molecule formation compared to unchirped light. We overcome the optical power limitations of the modulators by duty cycling and avoid unseeded operation of the tapered amplifier by multiplexing the chirped pulses with "dummy" light from a separate diode laser. Despite amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) making up only 3% of the amplified chirp system's output, its presence can be a considerable hindrance to PA experiments. However, advantageous use of ASE has helped to illuminate the mechanisms for ^{87}Rb magnetoopticaltrap formed ultracold molecules.
Webex URL: https://uconncmr.webex.com/uconncmr/j.php?MTID=m9e6a251aaa194fda7c0a8aefa5048d9f
YepiXUFD529Contact Information: Prof. P. Gould
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