Colloquia and Events

During the academic year, the Department hosts a weekly colloquium series which features speakers from both academia and industry.  This semester (Fall 2018) the colloquia take place on Thursdays from 3:15-4:30 pm in BIOS 335.  Refreshments are served at 3:15 pm and talks begin at 3:30 pm.

This week's colloquium

"SN2010da: From Supernova Impostor to Ultraluminous X-ray Source"
Prof. Breanna Binder, Cal Poly Pomona
Thursday, Oct. 18, 3:15 pm in BIOS 335

The optical/IR transient SN 2010da was first observed in NGC 300 in May of 2010 by an amateur astronomy in South Africa. Although initially given a supernova designation, follow-up multiwavelength observations led astronomers to recategorize it as a “supernova impostor.” All evidence pointed to SN 2010da’s true identity as an X-ray binary – a massive star gravitationally bound to a neutron star – with a very young age. During the summer of 2016, the X-ray flux of SN 2010da dramatically increased by ~2-3 orders of magnitude, signaling a transition to an ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX)-like state. In this talk I will present an overview of the SN 2010da evolution since its discovery in 2010, near-simultaneous Swift/XRT imaging and Gemini GMOS spectroscopy obtained during the summer of 2017, and the observed spin-period evolution and energy-dependent pulse fraction seen in high- energy observations. I will discuss how SN 2010da is helping us to understand X-ray binary and ULX evolution.


Upcoming colloquia

Oct. 25: Dr. Coral Wheeler, Caltech, "Be it therefore resolved: simulating dwarf galaxies at the high resolution limit"

Nov. 1: Prof. Ximin He, UCLA, "Bioinspired Dynamic Material Systems based on Smart Hydrogels: Sensing, Sorting, and Harvesting"

Nov. 8: Prof. Zhongbo Kang, UCLA, "Quantum tomography of a proton"

Nov. 15: Prof. Olaseni Sode, Cal State LA, title TBA

Nov. 29: Prof. Marco Bernardi, Caltech, "Advances in Computing Charge Carrier Dynamics"

Previous colloquia

Oct. 11: Prof. Anna Bezryadina, CSU Northridge, "Optical trapping and manipulation of bacteria"

Oct. 4: Prof. Wylie Ahmed, CSU Fullerton, "Active mechanics and forces that keep our cells alive" 

Sept. 27: Prof. Eli Levenson-Falk, USC, "Fleas on Schrödinger's Cat: Decoherence in Superconducting Quantum Circuits"

Sept. 20: Arabi Seshappan, Cal State LA, "CeBOx (B=La, Mn, Co, Fe) as potential catalysts for thermochemical water splitting reactions"

Sept. 13: Marc Ong, Cal State LA, "Applications of machine learning in physics and chemistry"

Sept. 6: Prof. Peter Zhao, Cal State LA, "Polaronic high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates, bismuthates, and pnictides"

May 3: Prof. Christoph Haselwandter, USC, "Collective phenomena in cell membranes"

April 26: Dr. Yuval Baum, Caltech, "Current at a distance and resonant transparency in Weyl semimetals"

April 19: Prof. Jayakanth Ravichandran, USC, "Shining Light on Perovskite Chalcogenides: Semiconductors for Visible to Infrared Optoelectronics"

This list will be rebuilt shortly!  (We had a little accident...)