Upcoming Events


A tensorial toolkit for quantum computing in lattice gauge theory -- Yannick Meurice

Apr 23, 2018, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Judah Unmuth-Yockey/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

We introduce the tensor renormalization group method for spin and gauge lattice models.  We show that it is the ideal tool for coarse graining and  performing quantum simulations.  We discuss a concrete proposal to emulate the Abelian Higgs model with optical lattices.  We answer frequently asked questions about boundary conditions, truncations, symmetries, topology and Grassmann tensors.


An effective model for light composite scalars in multiflavor gauge theory -- Yannick Meurice

Apr 24, 2018, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Judah Unmuth-Yockey/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

It is expected that when the number of light flavors of QCD-like theories is increased beyond some critical value, scalars particles with a mass much smaller than the dynamical scale appear. We describe this situation with a linear sigma model. Using lattice results, we found combinations of the masses of scalars and pseudoscalars that vary slowly with the explicit chiral symmetry breaking.  The term representing the axial anomaly plays a leading role in the mass spectrum.  We estimate the critical number of flavors for which the sigma becomes massless in the chiral limit.  We discuss the  possible relevance for composite Higgs model. Details can be found in PRD 96, 114507.  Recent progress with 2 different masses will be discussed.


Soft-matter mechanics of biofilm infections: What is the impact on resistance to the immune system? by Vernita Gordon

Apr 26, 2018, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM

Room: 202/204 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Lisa Manning/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

Biofilms are aggregates of microbes that are bound together by a matrix of polymer and proteins.  Biofilms produce chronic, sometimes decades-long, infections that resist clearance by the immune system.  Biofilms are viscoelastic solids, with resistance to deformation that is roughly comparable to the mechanical forces exerted by phagocytosing immune cells.  We have recently shown that in vivo evolution of chronic infections promotes mechanical toughness and stiffness (2017 npj Biofilms and Microbiomes).  Now, we present ongoing work examining how the mechanics of a soft, viscoelastic target impacts the ability of immune cells to break up and clear that target - this topic has not been studied before, so we have developed new experiments to measure this, using human neutrophils.  We also are also examining approaches to disrupting biofilm mechanics, with a view toward developing treatments that make biofilm infections more amenable to clearance by the immune system.


Shape Sculpting and Shapeshifting with Soft Matter by Tim Atherton

Apr 27, 2018, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Room 202/204

Host: Joey Paulsen | Contact: David Yllanes (dyllanes@syr.edu)

Soft materials are ideal candidates for advanced engineering applications including soft, biomimetic robots, self-building machines, shape-shifters, artificial muscles, and chemical delivery packages. In many of these, the material must make a dramatic change in shape with an accompanying re-ordering of the material; in others changes in the ordering can be used to drive or even interrupt shape change. To optimize the materials and structures, it is necessary to have a detailed understanding of how the microstructure and macroscopic shape co-evolve. In this talk, I will therefore discuss the interactions between order and shape evolution, as well as the role of the kinetics in determining the final state, with examples primarily drawn from my group's work on emulsions and liquid crystals. To develop the description, we draw upon differential geometry, topology, optimization theory and computer simulations, and connect our results to other work on jamming and crystallography on curved surfaces. 


TBA Thomas Grégoire

Apr 27, 2018, 12:00 PM-1:30 PM

208 Physics Bldg.

Host: Jay Hubisz/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960


Taking the measure of neutron stars with NICER -- Simin Mahmoodifar

Apr 30, 2018, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Jack Laiho/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) is NASA's new X-ray timing instrument onboard the ISS that was launched in June 2017. With a large effective area, low background, very precise absolute timing and great low energy response, NICER has been doing a fantastic job in observing many interesting phenomena related to neutron stars and black holes. One of the main goals of the NICER mission is to constrain the equation of state of ultra-dense matter by measuring the masses and radii of several rotation-powered millisecond pulsars. This is being done by fitting pulse waveform models that incorporate all relevant relativistic effects and atmospheric radiation transfer processes to the periodic soft X-ray modulations produced by the rotation of hot spots located near the magnetic polar caps of these pulsars. Some of the other interesting topics that are being studied with NICER includes phenomena related to Type I X-ray bursts, which are thermonuclear flashes observed from the surfaces of accreting neutron stars in Low Mass X-ray Binaries, such as photospheric radius expansion and burst oscillations. NICER's large effective area and excellent low energy response enable new, detailed studies of these bursts in the soft X-ray band. In this talk I will present some of the early results from the first nine months of the NICER mission and will report on the progress being made by the NICER team in measuring the masses and radii of pulsars.


TBD by Dr. Josh Smith

May 3, 2018, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM

Room: 202/204 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof.Duncan Brown/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960


Physics Department Annual Fall Picnic

Sep 9, 2018, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM

Green Lakes State Park, Reserve Shelter

Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

Please join us on Sunday, September 9th, 2018 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.