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 hands-on approach to learning
- Annual department hike up Mt. Monadnock, October 2019
New Physics PhD graduate Yasaman Homayouni is featured in a story on the class of 2021 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). For the full story of what inspired Yasaman and other students during their time at UConn, see the article in UConn Today.[Read More]
Professor of Physics Nora Berrah has been awarded the International Blaise Pascal Chaire d’Excellence, a prestigious honor whose previous winners include scientists and scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including multiple Nobel laureates. Her award was selected by a committee of scientists and voted on by the Permanent Commission Regional Council of the Région […][Read More]
Members and friends of the Physics Department gathered online Saturday morning, April 10, to share memories and thoughts of appreciation for Prof. Munir Islam who passed from this world on March 11, 2021. The meeting was led jointly by Profs. Win Smith and Mehdi Anwar, with expressions of appreciation and sympathy for the family by several members of the department past and present. Prof. Mannheim has offered this written tribute to our colleague and friend.[Read More]
Dr. David Katzenstein, a friend, and benefactor of the UConn Department of Physics, passed away on January 25, 2021 due to Covid-19. David was the son of Henry Katzenstein, the first Physics Ph.D. from UConn and a major benefactor of our Department. Currently, both the annual Katzenstein Distinguished Lecture and the Katzenstein Prize for a […][Read More]
UConn astrophysicist Chiara Mingarelli is part of a team of researchers who recently published data on a hint of a signal that sent ripples of excitement through the physics community. These monumental findings are the culmination of twelve and a half years of data gathered from NANOGrav — a network of pulsars across the galaxy — all in the hopes of detecting gravitational waves.[Read More]
Special Nuclear Physics Seminar2:00pm
Thursday, May 6th, 2021
02:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Storrs Campus onlineBurcu Duran
A Search for the LHCb's Charm
Pentaquarks: A Resonance or Else?
A priori nothing prohibits the existence of exotic hadrons in QCD. How-
ever, for the particular case of the elusive pentaquarks, more than forty years
of experimental observations ended up being inconclusive leaving the scientific
community wondering whether they really exist. The LHCb collaboration's an-
nouncement on the two new pentaquark states with heavy quark content in 2015
revived the interest in the pentaquark search that waned for a moment after
the previous claims at the turn of the millennium turned out to be spurious.
Four years after the initial discovery announcement, the LHCb collaboration
released new results conrming their previous observation while resolving one
previously observed pentaquark state into a double-peak structure and discov-
ering another resonant structure at a lower invariant mass. Today, the true
nature of the LHCb's hidden charm pentaquarks is still unknown as the obser-
vation hasn't been verified in an independent experiment. My talk will focus
on the E12-16-007 experiment that ran in Hall C at Jefferson Lab and measured the cross section of J/psi photo-production in the kinematic region of the
LHCb hidden-charm pentaquark states. The experiment used a high-intensity
real photon beam generated by a 10.6 GeV incident electron beam traversing a
copper radiator upstream of a liquid hydrogen target. The two high momentum
spectrometers of Hall C, HMS, and SHMS were used to detect the e+e- and
mu+/mu- di-lepton J/psi decay pairs in coincidence. The spectrometers momentum
and angle settings scan a photon beam energy range between 9.1 GeV and 10.6
GeV and |t| up to 5 GeV^2 where the sensitivity to the pentaquarks should be
maximal. This talk will give an overview of the E12-16-007 experiment, its
analysis procedure, and the preliminary results.
Contact Information: Prof. Andrew PuckettMore
Special Nuclear Physics Seminar2:00pm
Monday, May 10th, 2021
02:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Storrs Campus onlineAllison Zec,
University of Virginia
Title: Neutral Weak Form Factor Measurements from the PREX-II and CREX Experiments
Abstract: The PREX-II and CREX experiments are two parity-violating electron experiments that were run at the Jefferson Lab CEBAF facility in 2019 and 2020. These experiments measure the parity-violating electroweak asymmetry in the elastic scattering of longitudinally spin-polarized electrons. These measurements seek to constrain the neutron radii in the nuclei of 208Pb in PREX-II and 48Ca in CREX. The PREX-II measurement has significant implications for the theory of uniform nuclear matter (such as that in neutron stars). The CREX measurement will provide useful information for nuclear theory helping bridge the gap between the current upper mass range of ab initio calculations and density functional theories more commonly used for heavy nuclei. My talk will feature a general overview of the work done in planning and running these two experiments, the particular challenges each experiment faced and how the analysis was done.
Contact Information: Prof. Andrew PuckettMore
PhD Dissertation Defense2:30pm
Thursday, May 13th, 2021
02:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Storrs Campus Video meetingGraduate Student Erin Curry, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
Investigations of nonequilibrium processes in additively manufactured metallic alloys and negative thermal expansion materials
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is an emergent manufacturing technique capable of realizing novel topologies more efficiently and with more design flexibility than traditional approaches. For laser-based powder bed fusion (LPBF), a high power laser incident on a bed of metallic powder sinters a part in a layer-by-layer construction. While laser-powder interactions are vital to successful build with known microstructure and residual stress states, little is known about the interaction point and the role the melt pool evolution has on the reliability of the final piece. In this talk, I will describe progress in the study of the optical properties of disordered nickel and titanium based additively manufactured alloys, and also present the development of novel sensor technology capable of reading time-dependent temperature profiles on the appropriate time scales. The results of this work provide in-situ monitoring options in LPBF processes, an important fundamental science step needed to bring AM technology into full scale production use.
I will also present my work on a second laser-based interaction nonequilibrium process, ultrafast laser pulse induced strain solitons. Previous experiments have shown that when laser pulses of sufficiently large fluence are incident an opaque transducer film on a substrate the evolution of the induced acoustic strain wave experiences a balance of dispersion and nonlinear elastic properties of the substrate. This balanced evolution yields the formation of solitary strain waves known as solitons, which can be numerically described by the nonlinear differential Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) equation. To my knowledge all such experiments have been performed on conventional positive thermal expansion material substrates. I will present numerical solutions to the KdV equation under the unusual case where the substrate experiences negative thermal expansion and show, using realistic linear and nonlinear parameters, that the emerging solitons are qualitatively different from those through PTE materials in several ways.
Contact Information: Prof. J. HancockMore
Charles Reynolds Distinguished Lecture11:00am
Tuesday, May 18th, 2021
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Storrs Campus onlineProf. Douglas Scalapino, Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
Does the Hubbard Model have the Right Stuff? *
The Hubbard Model is a minimum model which takes into account the quantum mechanical motion of electrons hopping on a lattice and the local on-site repulsive interaction between them. Proposed by P.W.Anderson, less than a year after the publication of Bednorz's and Muller's discovery, as an appropriate model for the high \(T_c\) cuprates, it has been intensely studied for over three decades. Here we will look at whether it has the "right stuff" and if so, what this implies about the nature of the pairing mechanism.
*"As to just what this ineffable quality was ... well it was like climbing one of those ancient Babylonian pyramids made up of a dizzy progression of steps and ledges, ... and the idea was to prove at every foot of the way up that pyramid ... you had the right stuff". With apologies to T. Wolfe, "The Right Stuff" (1979).
About the speaker: Douglas James Scalapino is an American physicist noted for his contribution to theoretical condensed matter physics. Scalapino was elected as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1991 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992. In 1998 he was awarded the Julius Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society, in 2006 the John Bardeen Prize, and in 2013 the Eugene Feenberg Memorial Medal.
Contact Information: Prof. A. BalatskyMore
Prof. Avi Loeb (UConn Physics Colloquium)3:30pm
Friday, September 3rd, 2021
03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Storrs Campus RemoteProf. Avi Loeb
Title: Extraterrestrial Life: Are We the Sharpest Cookies in the Jar?
The search for extraterrestrial life is one of the most exciting frontiers in Astronomy. First tentative clues were identified close to Earth in the form of the weird interstellar object `Oumuamua. Our civilization will mature once we find out who resides on our cosmic street by searching with our best telescopes for unusual electromagnetic flashes, industrial pollution of planetary atmospheres, artificial light or heat, artificial space debris or something completely unexpected. We might be a form of life as primitive and common in the cosmos as ants are in a kitchen. If so, we can learn a lot from others out there through the new frontier of "space archaeology ».
The lecture will feature content from my book "Extraterrestrial", available at
Contact Information: Prof. Moshe GaiMore
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