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Colloquia & Seminars, Spring 2015

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Using Statistics in Asteroseismology to Constrain Stellar Models

Speaker: Erik Johnson
Date: Friday, March 27, 2015  
Time: 4 PM 
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract: The field of asteroseismology allows astronomers to better understand the internal dynamics of stars. By making constant observations over long periods, they can measure the slight effects of the vibrations which propagate through a stellar interior. They then match their stellar models to these oscillations in order to estimate many properties of the star. In the last decade, the field has greatly benefited from more available data, thanks to space telescopes such as Kepler making constant observations of thousands of stars in search of exoplanets. For my research, I performed statistical techniques to evaluate the ability of randomly generated numbers to reproduce observed stellar pulsations. Using this analysis, astronomers can better gauge the validity of their models.

About the speaker: Erik Johnson completed his master's degree in astrophysics at Iowa State University in 2011 and joined the faculty at Parkland College in the Department of Natural Sciences in the fall of the same year. He was promoted to Assistant Professor of Astronomy in 2014.

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Hysteresis Modeling for Medical Applications

Speaker: Dr. Dinesh Ekanayake
Date: Friday, February 27, 2015
Time: 4 PM
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract: Many innovative biomedical applications of magnetic nanoparticales have been found during the last decade, including magnetic cancer hyperthermia, thermosensitive drug release, dynamic loading for bone tissue regeneration, and multiplexed heating cell stimulation. These require accurate calculation of thermal energy dissipation in an alternating magnetic field to optimize nanoparticle heating properties. Temperature control of nanoparticles is becoming very important in such applications for safer and more precise therapy, as well as for safe and effective actuation of medical devices in vivo. In smart actuation devices, thermal dynamics greatly affect actuators’ high frequency control responses due to high heat dissipation. Subsequently, temperature dynamics become an important consideration in the analysis, design, and control of the actuators. A comprehensive phenomenological hysteresis model would capture many complex dynamics relevant to these applications. In this presentation, a hysteresis model for temperature-dependent hysteretic nonlinearities with nonlocal infinite dimensional memory structures will be presented. The thermodynamic consistency of the model and a brief introduction to modeling the temperature dependency of magnetic materials, cancer hyperthermia, and bone tissue regeneration will be discussed.

About the speaker: Dr. Dinesh Ekanayake is currently an assistant professor of mathematics at Western Illinois University. After earning his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, Dr. Ekanayake went on to earn his Ph.D. in mathematics from Texas Tech University. His primary research interests are control theory, hysteresis systems, and modeling and control of engineering and biological systems.

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Ultrafast Optical Signal Processing using Space-Time Duality

Speaker:  Dr. James van Howe
Date: Friday, February 20, 2015
Time: 4 PM
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract:  Space-time duality in ultrafast optics refers to the analogy between narrowband dispersion and paraxial diffraction. Essentially one can transfer the mathematical machinery and experimental knowledge of diffractive optical systems and components such as lenses, prisms, gratings, and holograms to develop temporal counterparts: time-lenses, time-prisms, temporal-gratings, and time-holograms. Recently, these temporal analogs of spatial optical systems have been extremely useful for designing photonic devices such as delay lines, pulse-compressors, analog-to-digital converters, repetition rate multipliers and dividers, signal regenerators, noise-suppressors, amplifiers, and even temporal cloaks. In this presentation I will review my own work using time-lenses, time-prisms, and the temporal Talbot effect for developing photonic instrumentation as well as review other current trends in optical signal processing using space-time duality.

About the speaker: Dr. van Howe is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. His research focuses on ultrafast optical signal processing techniques, particularly using space-time duality. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University in 2005 and 2007 respectively. He was a visiting scientist at Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) in Montreal in the summer of 2012 for work in photonics, and continues to collaborate with INRS to develop optical signal processing devices.

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2015 Lecture Series on the Nobel Prizes

 From Microscopy to Nanoscopy

Speaker: Dr. Kishor T. Kapale
Date: Friday,February 13, 2015
Time: 4 PM 
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract:   The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 was awarded jointly to Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell, and William E. Moerner "for the development of super resolved fluorescence microscopy.

Nobel prize winner Nobel prize winner Nobel prize winner

         Eric Betzig                                   Stefan W. Hell                         William E. Moerner

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2014/

About the speaker: Dr. Kapale  is a theoretical physicist whose research focuses on quantum optics, atomic optics, quantum information theory and applied quantum physics. Dr. Kapale did his MS in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (now Mumbai). He did his PhD work at Texas A&M University in the area of theoretical quantum optics. After spending a semester at Princeton University he moved to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology as a National Research Council Research Associate and NASA Postdoctoral Fellow. He joined the WIU Department of Physics in Fall of 2007.

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The Blue LED, or “how many physicists  does it take to change the light bulb?”

Speaker: Dr. Brian Davies
Date: Friday,January 30, 2015
Time: 4 PM
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract:   The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 was awarded jointly to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura "for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes  which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”

Nobel prize winner Nobel prize winner Nobel prize winner

                     Isamu Akasaki                                       Hiroshi Amano                              Shuji Nakamura

Photo credit://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2014/ January 26, 2014

About the speaker:  Dr. Davies is an Assistant Professor at WIU Physics department. His field of specialization is surface physics, and also the development of optical devices for optical communication networks. Combining some of the ideas from semiconductor physics and optics, it has been natural to look at the production of energy from photovoltaic devices.

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