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The Fall 2015 colloquia will be held in the lobby of the Physical Sciences Complex

Each week during the semester, the Department of Physics invites faculty, students and the local community to hear prominent scientists discuss intriguing physics research. The Fall 2015 colloquia will be held Tuesdays in the Physical Sciences Complex lobby at 4:00 p.m. (preceded by light refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)

Parking is available in the Regents Drive Parking Garage (PG2). An attendant will direct visitors within the garage. Additionally, a free ShuttleUM bus runs between the College Park Metro Station and Regents Drive at about eight-minute intervals.

For further information, please contact the Physics Department at 301-405-5946 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

September 8
Paul Steinhardt, Princeton University


September 15
Eric Prebys, Fermi Lab

Searching for Muon to Electron Conversion at Fermilab

With the observation of the Higgs Boson at the LHC, we find ourselves for the first time in almost half a century with no concrete predictions on which to base the energy scale and luminosity of future discovery machines. In the past, such guidance has always come from indirect measurements, and so it will likely be in the future. Charged lepton flavor violation (CLFV) is a virtually universal feature of  physics models beyond the Standard Model, and the
observation of CLFV would be a vital clue to the mass scale of new physics. The Mu2e experiment at Fermilab is designed to search for the conversion into an electron of a muon which has been captured on a nucleus, via the exchange of a virtual neutral particle.  This has the advantage of an extremely clean experimental signature, as well as sensitivity to a broad range of new physics.

September 22
Zackaria Chacko, University of Maryland


October 6
Peter Hoffmann, Wayne State University

Molecular Machines and other Adventures in Nanomechanics

Living beings are ultimately based on classical nanoscale systems. Such systems have the unique ability to easily transform different types of energy into each other and to assemble themselves into ordered structures. These astonishing feats are only possible because the nanoscale is dominated by thermal motion. Although living cells have taken advantage of the physics of the nanoscale for billions of years, technology is just beginning to exploit the very different rules governing this scale. In addition to examples from the mechanical behavior of nanoconfined liquids and the mechanics of single molecules, the talk will especially focus on the story of molecular machines, which connect physics to biology and illustrate how life is a game played at the nanoscale. Here, thermal noise meets molecular structure, and chaos becomes order.

October 20
Shih-I Pai Lecture
Chung S. Yang, Rutgers University


November 3
Immanuel Bloch, Stanford University


November 17
John Harte, University of California, Berkeley


November 24
Jun Ye, JILA-Boulder


December 1
Michael S. Turner, University of Chicago


December 8


Rush Holt, American Association for the Advancement of Science



Upcoming Events


Mon, Aug 31, 2015 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Tue, Sep 1, 2015 11:00 am - 12:30 pm