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

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

Thursday, Sept. 20, 3:15 pm in BIOS 335

Thermochemical water splitting is an attractive method for hydrogen production due to its lack of greenhouse gas emissions. Efficacious catalysts for this reaction are oxygen-rich; they exchange their own oxygens for those in gaseous water, leaving behind a byproduct of hydrogen fuel. Previous studies on metal oxides have determined ceria (CeO2) to be an effective catalyst. To identify new viable catalysts, we computationally model 4 cerium- based perovskite oxide crystals (CeBOx, B=La, Mn, Co, Fe) using both ab initio and semi- empirical methods. Structures of each compound of interest are constructed by the evolutionary crystallography structure prediction software USPEX and density functional theory (DFT) methods, as well as the General Utility Lattice Program (GULP). The ground state energy of each crystal will be calculated via these methods and compared to its counterparts containing oxygen defects. The structures found to have these “vacancy formation energies” between 2.5-5eV are viable catalysts for water splitting- and therefore hydrogen production.

Upcoming colloquia

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

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

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

Oct. 18: Prof. Breanna Binder, Cal Poly Pomona, "SN2010da: From Supernova Impostor to Ultraluminous X-ray Source"

Oct. 25: speaker TBA

Nov. 1: Prof. Ximin He, UCLA, title TBA

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

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

Previous colloquia

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...)