Colloquia and Events

During the academic year, the Department hosts a weekly colloquium series which features speakers from both academia and industry.  This semester (Spring 2021) the colloquia take place on Thursdays from 3:05-4:20 pm on Zoom.  There will be no colloquia during the first and last weeks of the semester or during Spring Break.  Please contact the colloquium coordinator, Paul Nerenberg (pnerenb [at] calstatela [dot] edu), for the link.

This week's colloquium

Juliette Becker, Caltech
"Planet Formation from a Dynamical Perspective: Using Theoretical
Methods to Constrain and Understand the Outcomes of Planet Formation"
Feb. 25, 3:05 pm

Recent observational advances have allowed the discovery of thousands of exoplanets and an initial characterization of their orbital and physical parameters. As this population has grown, it is increasingly apparent that existing models of planet formation are incomplete. The Kepler/K2/TESS data have presented counterexamples to prevailing theories, including theories of how hot Jupiters form and how planets obtain their orbital inclinations. Similar developments have occurred in the solar system, where recent discoveries of the most distant solar system objects have required new explanations.

In this talk, I will present my work towards integrating the theory and the observational data. Resolving these conflicts requires a deep understanding of the current dynamical state and histories of benchmark systems beyond what the data alone can provide, and I explain how dynamics (analytic models and numerical simulations) can help give needed constraints. I will describe several recent exciting discoveries and my subsequent dynamical analyses, which have provided boundary conditions for our understanding of planet formation.

Upcoming colloquia

March 4: Xiao Luo, UC Santa Barbara, "Searching for New Physics with Neutrinos"

March 11: Quinn Konopacky, UC San Diego, "Constraining Planet Formation with Directly Imaged Exoplanets"

March 18: Linda Hirst, UC Merced

March 25: Tess Smidt, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, "Neural Networks with Euclidean Symmetry for Physical Systems"

April 8: Elena Koslover, UC San Diego

April 15: Ryan Foley, UC Santa Cruz

April 22: Jairo Velasco, UC Santa Cruz

April 29: Sarah Loebman, UC Merced

May 6: Javier Duarte, UC San Diego


Previous colloquia (2020-21)

Feb. 18: Chunhui Du, UC San Diego, "Harnessing Nitrogen Vacancy Centers in Diamond for Next-Generation Quantum Science and Technology"

Feb. 11: Arturo Dominguez, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, "Plasma, Fusion, and PPPL: The Quest for Making a Star on Earth"

Feb. 4: Cal State LA Alumni Career Panel (many alumni – thank you!)

Dec. 3: Vera Glusevic, USC, "Dark Matter throughout Cosmic History"

Nov. 19: Michael Peterson, CSU Long Beach, "Keeping it real: theoretically searching for instrinsic topologically ordered phases in realistic systems"

Nov. 12: Laura Grego, Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, "The Growing Danger of Nuclear Weapons (and how physicists can help reduce it)"

Nov. 5: Brian Shuve, Harvey Mudd College, "Illuminating Hidden particles at High-Energy Colliders"

Oct. 29: Yohannes Shiferaw, CSU Northridge, "Stochasticity, nonlinear dynamics, and waves: the mechanisms that underlie cardiac arrhythmias" 

Oct. 22: Sarah Blunt, Caltech, "The Orbits of Cold Jupiters"

Oct. 15: Nathan Strange, JPL, "The Scenic Route to Enceladus"

Oct. 8: Krishna Sigdel, Cal Poly Pomona, "Dynamic structure of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in membranes via force microscopy"

Oct. 1: Stephanie Wissel, Penn State, "The Quest for the Cosmic Neutrinos at the Highest Energies"

Sep. 24: Mahmoud Hammouri, Cal State LA, "Quasi-two-dimensional electron gas at the interface of Bi2ZnTiO6/SrTiO3"

Sep. 17: Shan-Wen Tsai, UC Riverside, "Proposals for quantum simulating lattice gauge theory models"

Sep. 10: Chantal Nguyen, University of Colorado, "The physics of collective animal behavior: aggregation, navigation, and communication"

Sep. 3: Laura Sales, UC Riverside, "Dwarf Galaxies and their Dark Matter Content"

Aug. 27: Greta O’Dea (Bernal group), Lorraine Sandoval and Roberto Tejada (Terebey group), Robert Appleton and Allen Marquez (Jishi group), Charles Metzler-Winslow and Danielle Wilkerson (Nerenberg group), and Miguel Lopez (Aniol group) – Student Research Projects