Upcoming Events

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The Shape of Soft Matter: Geometry and Defects by Francesco Serafin

Jul 23, 2019, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM

Room 202/204 Physics Bldg.

Advisor: Prof. Mark Bowick

How does shape emerge at macroscopic scales from the spontaneous self-organization of building blocks at smaller scales? In this talk, I will address this question in the context of closed soft two-dimensional membranes with internal order. Soft matter represents a good arena to identify simple universal mechanisms for shape selection. In fact, a distinctive property of soft materials is that they can undergo dramatic changes in geometric conformation at relatively low energetic cost. Thus, shape itself becomes a statistically fluctuating degree of freedom, and in some cases it can be found as the ground state of an appropriate free energy functional.

The building blocks of soft materials typically have lower symmetry than elementary point particles and exhibit rich patterns of spontaneous ordering as the free energy of the system is lowered. Order is frustrated if the membrane’s topology is non-trivial, and topological defects are forced to exist even in the ground state. I will argue that the presence of defects in closed 2-dimensional membranes with liquid-crystalline order enable to predict the existence of surprisingly sharp, faceted yet extremely soft polyhedral ground-state shapes. 

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What can Machine Learning teach us about phase transitions? -- Biagio Lucini

Jul 26, 2019, 12:45 PM-1:30 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Simon Catterall/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

Recently, there has been a surge of studies of phase transitions using machine learning techniques. Most of the works so far have focused on qualitative or semi-quantitative features. In this talk, I will present an investigation of the Ising model using an interpretable Machine Learning method, the Support Vector Machine. Acting solely on Monte Carlo generated data and without any assumption on the underlying Hamiltonian, I shall show that over the same set of configurations the method provides quantitative results that are comparable in precision with those obtained through a standard analysis based on finite size scaling of reweighed data. I will also discuss the lesson learnt from this study for the reconstruction of the relevant symmetry driving the phase transition.

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Qualifying Exam

Aug 17, 2019, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Room 202/204 Physics Bldg.

There are two examinations given in August. All new graduate students must take the comprehensive exam. You may choose to attempt the qualifying examination – email phyadmin@syr.edu if you would like to take it. Second year students take the qualifying examination. Both examinations have two parts: one on Saturday, one on Sunday.
Saturday, August 17 & Sunday, August 18 202/204 Physics Building-9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon Qualifying Exam (Paul Souder, Liviu Movileanu, Jack Laiho)

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Comprehensive Exam

Aug 17, 2019, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM

Room 202/204 Physics Bldg.

Prof. Matt Rudolph

There are two examinations given in August. All new graduate students must take the comprehensive exam. You may choose to attempt the qualifying examination – email phyadmin@syr.edu if you would like to take it. Second year students take the qualifying examination. Both examinations have two parts: one on Saturday, one on Sunday.

Saturday, August 17 & Sunday, August 18: ALL INCOMING STUDENTS, 202/204 Physics Building
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Comprehensive Exam (Matthew Rudolph)
Part I – Saturday; Part II -­‐ Sunday

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Physics Department Annual Fall Picnic

Sep 7, 2019, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM

Green Lakes State Park, Reserve Shelter

name of event coordinator.

Please join us on Sunday, September 8th, 2019 for the Physics Department Fall Picnic at Green Lakes’ Reserve Shelter. There will be food, there will be games, there will be fun!

*Please note that cleanup is starts at 3 pm. Guests are welcome to stay longer if they so wish. Note that this it is a ‘carry-in carry-out park.

 Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

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TBD by Mark Trodden

Sep 19, 2019, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM

Room: 202/204 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof.Steven Blusk/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960