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Special Events


Visiting Day for Admitted Graduate Students

Mar 27, 2017, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

202/204 Physics Bldg.

Host: Stefan Ballmer, Tomasz Skwarnicki and Patty Whitmore. Contact: Yudaisy Salomon Sargenton

The Syracuse University Physics department is excited to host our annual Visiting Day for Admitted Students on March 27th. We look forward to meeting the admitted graduate class for Fall 2017 and introducing them to some of the exciting experiences available through our department.

View the Tentative Schedule


SPS colloquium presented by Jack Laiho

Mar 28, 2017, 3:45 PM-5:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Patrick Miles/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

I discuss my attempt to reconcile general relativity with quantum theory, i.e. to come up with a quantum theory of gravity.  I will give some background on path integrals and running couplings in quantum field theory, and I will explain how these ideas fit into my approach to solve quantum gravity numerically on the computer.  I will present numerical results suggesting that we are on the right track.


Cooperative behaviors in living systems: from molecular motors to bacteria - by Agnese Curatolo

Mar 29, 2017, 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Room 208

Host: Cristina Marchetti | Contact: Tyler Engstrom,

Biology and physics meet in a large variety of different contexts. At all scales, from DNA dynamics to ecological problems, statistical physics provides powerful tools to model and understand the mechanisms leading to collective behaviors so widespread in living systems. In the first part of my talk I will show how to construct the phase diagram of multilane systems which can be used to model molecular motors along microtubules as well as traffic flows of cars or pedestrians. In the second part I will talk about collaborative pattern formation in multi-species bacterial colonies. Our idea is that the control of the cell motilities by the local densities of the different bacterial strains can lead to a variety of patterns with segregation and aggregation between the strains, in the absence of any directional interactions.


Why Black Holes Matter by Prof. Paul Souder

Apr 8, 2017, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM

Aurora Inn (391 Main St., Aurora) on Cayuga Lake

To register, please call 315.685.7163

The intriguing and fascinating world of black holes is the subject of a lecture by nuclear physicist Paul Souder, benefitting the Southern Cayuga Planetarium and Observatory in Aurora, New York.  

Souder, a professor of physics at Syracuse University, will deliver a multimedia presentation titled “Why Black Holes Matter” on Saturday, April 8, at 11 a.m. at the historic Aurora Inn (391 Main St., Aurora) on Cayuga Lake. He will provide an overview of black holes, as well as share some recent findings, including the discovery of a rare, medium-weight black hole.

The event is open to the public; however, registration is required. Tickets are $45, and include the lecture, lunch and a silent auction. To register, please call 315.685.7163, or send a check, payable to “Friends of the Southern Cayuga Planetarium,” to P.O. Box 186, Aurora NY 13026. Seating is limited; tickets also are available at the door, while supplies last.

Following the lecture, attendees are entitled to a free private tour of MacKenzie-Childs, a Victorian farm that produces high-end tableware and home furnishings, and a $5 wine tasting at Bet the Farm Winery and Gourmet Market.

For an additional $250, couples may spend the night at the Aurora Inn/E.B. Morgan House or the Rowland House, partaking of wine and cheese with Souder and a continental breakfast the next morning. Space is limited; the deadline to book a room is Wednesday, March 15.

Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Southern Cayuga Planetarium, a nonprofit organization raising money to restore and reopen the 50-year-old planetarium, closed in 2014.