Department of Physics

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Colloquia & Seminars, Fall 2015



High-temperature Superconductivity and Magnetism in Iron Pnictides

Speaker: Dr. Rafael Fernades
Date: Friday, December 4, 2015
Time: 4pm
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract: The recent discovery of iron-based compounds displaying superconductivity at temperatures as high as 70K opened a new direction in the research of high-temperature superconductors. In contrast to conventional superconductors, in which the lattice vibrations provide the glue that binds electrons in Cooper pairs, in the iron pnictides the pairing mechanism is believed to have a purely electronic origin. Indeed, these materials are characterized by a very rich phase diagram, displaying magnetic, superconducting, and structural order. In this talk, I will present a theoretical framework that consistently addresses the interplay between these different degrees of freedom, shedding light on the primary role played by magnetism. In particular, while magnetic fluctuations give rise to high-temperature superconductivity, magnetic order strongly competes with the superconducting state, and the two ordered phases can only coexist, as observed experimentally, if the latter is unconventional.

About the speaker: Dr. Rafael Fernades is an assistant professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota.



RISE Student Presentations:

Three Physics graduate students will give presentations on the scholarly research they conducted this past summer during their RISE Graduate Summer Fellowship Program.

Date: Friday, October 30, 2015
Time: 4pm
Room: Currens Hall 205

Speaker: Emmanuel Adebayo

Title: GBT Observations of 19.9 GHz Methanol Emission toward NGC7538 IRS1 and IRAS18566+0408

Speaker: Alexander Blanton

Title: Tunnel Diode Oscillators for Precise Electromagnetic Measurements.

Speaker: Hio Giap Ooi

Title: Fluorescence and Optical Absorption of DY3+ Doped Bismuth Borate Glasses



Hot Rocks on Blue Ice

Speaker: Dr. Paul Sipiera
Date: Friday, October 23, 2015
Time: 4pm
Room: Waggoner Hall 271, via video conference

Abstract: Dr. Paul Sipiera's research interests are in the classification of stone meteorites and their relationship to planetary formation. Paul has also studied ancient volcanic activity of South Island, New Zealand. He has led 3 scientific expeditions to Antarctica in search of meteorites and has been the leader of three total solar eclipse observing tours to Mexico, Aruba and Turkey. Dr. Sipiera will be talking about his expeditions to the icy continent of Antarctica and sharing stories of adventures working with meteorites has brought him. We invite you to come join Dr. Sipiera and learn about the world of meteorites.

About the speaker: Dr. Paul Sipiera is President and CEO of the Planetary Studies Foundation in Galena, IL. He is also Professor Emeritus of Geology and Astronomy at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, IL. At the present time he also serves as Director of the PSF Earth & Space Science Museum in Elizabeth, Illinois. Dr. Sipiera’s academic background is a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from the University of Innsbruck, Austria and a B.A. and M.S. degree awarded in Earth Science from Northeastern Illinois University. He has received several distinguished awards such as: The Antarctic Service Medal of the United States of America in 1984; recipient of the Nininger Meteorite Research Award (1974-75); Harper College Distinguished Faculty Award (1995-1996) and numerous other awards.



Probing Galaxy Evolution Using Metal Abundances of Dwarf Irregular Galaxies

Speaker: Dr. Nathalie Haurberg
Date: Friday, October 9, 2015
Time: 4pm
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract: Studying the chemical abundance of the interstellar medium in galaxies beyond our own permits a glimpse into the star-formation and chemical enrichment history of those galaxies. The chemical evolution of local-universe galaxies with very low-metallicity gas (i.e. dwarf irregular galaxies) is of particular interest as these galaxies are largely understudied but hold significance in constraining galaxy evolution theories and providing a better understanding of the early universe. While very difficult to identify using traditional optical methods, the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) radio survey has helped revealed an unprecedented number of such dwarf irregular galaxies and thus we are now beginning to better characterize these systems. The ongoing SHIELD project is investigating many of these systems discovered in the ALFALFA survey with targeted, multi-wavelength, follow-up studies. Presented in this talk is the results of a spectral study of star-forming regions in 8 of these galaxies and possible implications for galaxy evolution.

About the speaker: Dr. Nathalie Haurberg began working at Knox College in 2013 as an assistant professor specializing in astronomy. She earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2013 and her B.A. in Physics from Knox College in 2006.