Talks

Are you a graduate student interested in giving a CU-Prime talk? Fill out our Speaker Application Form!

Upcoming Talks:
 Sep. 6th
 Carrie Weidner - Teaching Lasers to Control Atoms
 Sep. 20th
Jamie Principato - It Came From Outer Space: Catching Cosmic Rays in the Stratosphere
 Oct. 4th
 John Bartolotta - Freezing quantum particles with lasers!
 Oct. 18th
 Peter Burns
 Nov. 1st 
 Baylee Bordwell
 Nov. 15th Brant Rumberger
 Dec. 6th Charlie Bevis

See below for details on upcoming talks and previous talks.

Charlie Bevis - What's going on at the bottom? Visualizing the nano-scale with lensless microscopy

posted Dec 2, 2017, 8:45 PM by Nicholas Johnston   [ updated Dec 2, 2017, 8:57 PM ]


Wednesday, December 6th at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza

How to Catch a Particle
Have you ever wondered what's going on when things get very small? Well, when you're talking about the nano-scale that's not such an easy question to answer, and even harder to visualize. To resolve such small objects we need to use very short wavelength light, such as X-rays. Unfortunately, we can't make lenses for this kind of light. Which leads to the interesting problem: how do you form an image without a lens? The answer is, of course, computers. Come hear about this exciting field and learn about the fundamentals of lensless nano-imaging!

Charlie Bevis

Brant Rumberger - How to Catch a Particle

posted Nov 13, 2017, 12:50 PM by Nicholas Johnston


Wednesday, November 14th at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza

How to Catch a Particle
Particle physicists aim to study nature at its most fundamental level. Their laboratories are filled with high-energy protons, electrons, quarks, neutrinos, and more! But how do particle physicists track and identify those pesky particles? What types of materials are needed to make a particle detector? Can you make your own particle detector and watch subatomic particles from the safety of your home?! Find out at this week's CU prime talk! 

Brant Rumberger

Baylee Bordwell - World in a box: Exploring Jupiter-like atmospheres with supercomputers

posted Oct 29, 2017, 6:17 PM by Nicholas Johnston


Wednesday, November 1st at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza

World in a box: Exploring Jupiter-like atmospheres with supercomputers
Giant planets have a lot to teach us about how other solar systems work, how chemistry functions under extreme conditions, and how weather happens. Unfortunately, you can't send people or rovers to them, and many are just too far away to study in great detail. So we turn to another laboratory: supercomputer simulations. Come learn about how we wrangle computers to learn about what's going on on worlds we'll never see or touch.

Baylee Bordwell

Peter Burns - How to build a quantum internet

posted Oct 16, 2017, 9:22 PM by Nicholas Johnston   [ updated Oct 29, 2017, 6:18 PM ]


Wednesday, October 18th at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza

How to build a quantum internet
What do lasers, and microwaves have to do with trampolines? If you want to make a quantum internet it might be helpful to find out. Low temperature superconducting circuits can be used to exploit the laws on quantum mechanics, and laser technology can be used to form a quantum communication network. The problem is that hot lasers and cold superconductors don’t play nice together. Which is where the trampoline comes in. This talk will discuss state-of-the art cleanroom fabrication and how it allows us to build a device for converting quantum signals between lasers and microwaves.

Peter Burns

John Bartolotta - Freezing quantum particles with lasers!

posted Oct 2, 2017, 1:12 PM by Nicholas Johnston   [ updated Oct 2, 2017, 1:18 PM ]


Wednesday, October 4th at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza

Freezing quantum particles with lasers!
When most people think of lasers, they imagine bright, high-powered beams capable of blasting massive holes through walls, leaving behind nothing but a molten mess. However, the physics community often uses them to achieve the very opposite effect: to knock the energy out of matter and cool them down to fractions of a Kelvin. Check out this CU-Prime talk to learn about the theoretical aspects of a new cooling method, developed by scientists at CU Boulder, which brings quantum particles down to sub-microKelvin temperatures by submitting them to frequency-changing laser beams.

John Bartolotta

Jamie Principato - It Came From Outer Space: Catching Cosmic Rays in the Stratosphere

posted Oct 2, 2017, 1:12 PM by Nicholas Johnston   [ updated Oct 2, 2017, 1:16 PM ]


Wednesday, September 20th at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza

It Came From Outer Space: Catching Cosmic Rays in the Stratosphere
As students and scientists, we rely on observation to make sense of the world around us. But how can we observe things that are too small, fast and far away to be seen or felt? You may have heard astronomers say that light is information, and this is hard to deny. We rely on light to see everything around us, even into the far reaches of the known universe, but there is more to light than meets the eye. In this talk, we'll explore how light and optics can be used to indirectly observe cosmic rays as they bombard Earth's atmosphere from light years beyond our solar system. 

Jamie Principato

Carrie Weidner - Teaching Lasers to Control Atoms

posted Oct 2, 2017, 1:10 PM by Nicholas Johnston   [ updated Oct 2, 2017, 1:14 PM ]


Wednesday, September 6th at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza

Teaching Lasers to Control Atoms
One of the many interesting areas of active physics research deals with the control of physical systems using learning algorithms—that is, computer systems that can learn how to solve complex problems in physics.  Another interesting area deals with atom interferometry, one of the many ways we can use atoms and lasers to make precise measurements.  In this talk, I will explain what I mean by both of these terms. Then, I’ll tell you about our research which combines these two exciting topics and teaches lasers to control really, really cold atoms and build an atom interferometer piece-by-piece. I’ll also talk about my (somewhat unconventional) path to graduate school and what it’s like to be a graduate student at CU.

Carrie Weidner

Edward Marti - Understanding Complex Systems with Cold Atoms

posted Feb 12, 2017, 5:23 PM by Adam Ellzey



Wednesday, February 15th at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza

Understanding Complex Systems with Cold Atoms
Many important systems, from the weather to earthquakes to the cells in your body, feature huge numbers of intricate parts that interact on lengths scales from tiny to huge. How do physicists begin to understand these complex systems when even the most powerful computers cannot keep track of every component? In this talk, we will see how physicists build models to describe complicated phenomena and find surprising examples of 'emergence': very complex systems that act in surprisingly simple ways. As an example, we will learn how researchers at CU and other universities use ultracold atoms as a tabletop simulation of emergent quantum phenomena like magnetism and superconductivity.

Edward Marti

Kyren Bogolub - A Geophysicist's Guide to Interpreting Science and Life

posted Jan 29, 2017, 9:31 PM by Adam Ellzey

 Wednesday, February 1st at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza
A Geophysicist's Guide to Interpreting Science and Life
The Earth is a big, beautiful, and complicated place. Most people only get to appreciate a small fraction of the Earth (its surface) during a relatively short period of time (a human lifetime). Geophysics is a broad field of study that often focuses on parts of the Earth that humans have never traveled to, during time periods long before humans existed. Answering geophysical questions involves imagination and creativity, as well as critical reasoning. In this talk, you will learn about a 2nd year geophysics PhD student’s experience learning how to make responsible conclusions while dealing with uncertainty in scientific data (and in life).

Kyren Bogolub

Gabe Peterson - Parametrically coupled modes at low temperature or: What happens when you put a microwave in a refrigerator

posted Nov 28, 2016, 4:51 PM by Adam Ellzey

 Tuesday, November 29th at 5pm
Gamow Tower, 11th floor,
Commons Room
Free Pizza
Parametrically coupled modes at low temperature or: What happens when you put a microwave in a refrigerator
Have you ever heard of a harmonic oscillator? This favorite topic of physics professors shows up just about everywhere in physics as a powerful and simple model to understand all kinds of phenomena. In this talk, I'll review some concepts about oscillators and talk about how ideas from the theory of coupled oscillators can be used to make useful and interesting electronic devices. In particular, I'll discuss some of my work at NIST using parametric interactions in superconducting circuits to control and measure microwave fields and mechanical motion with precision approaching quantum-mechanical limitations.

Gabe Peterson
Advanced Microwave Photonics Group at NIST

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