Meets Friday 2:00-4:50pm (Physics Colloquium (with refreshments) will generally be 3:00-4:30)
LaTourette Hall 227
The following syllabus is for Spring 2015 - the form will be similar
PHYS 498. SENIOR SEMINAR (1 credit) Topics of current interest in physics and physics educa-
tion. Attendance at the Department of Physics colloquium series required. PRQ: PHYS 374 and
senior standing in physics.
PHYS 499. SENIOR PROJECT IN PHYSICS (3 credits, honors credit) Program of study and research in a special area of physics selected in consultation with a faculty member and approved by the depart ment chair. Project results evaluated by a faculty panel. A student who receives credit for PHYS 499 may not also receive credit towards the major in PHYS 459. PRQ: PHYS 374 and senior standing in physics.
Faculty and either their suggestions for topics or description of their expertise. The research active faculty in the department will have websites that discuss their interests and expertise. Students are encouraged to start talking to faculty NOW!. The topic and its boundaries need to be defined (and approved by faculty mentor) in under 2 weeks into the semester.
Where faculty and research faculty have provided them, some links to an article or site that illustrates the topic is provided.
The Higgs boson: Why was it needed, and how was it discovered?
The Standard Model: Why is it incomplete, and where might we find new physics?
Gerald Blazey ... (on leave)
The mysteries of dark matter and/or dark energy.
The universal preponderance of matter over antimatter.
What is the origin of mass?
Neutron Scattering techniques
Energy conversion: Thermoelectrics and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.
Energy utilization: Oxygen Storage and High Temperature Superconductors.
Multiferroics and Magnetic Semiconductors for Spintronics.
Paradigm of oxides orbitronics: Creating order at atomic scale.
Michael Fortner ...
Simulation techniques in condensed matter physics
Detecting particles and searching for new phenomena.
Thermodynamics of membranes.
Triggers for new high energy physics discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider. (The student will learn the basics of the requirements for new particle discoveries at the LHC, including the meaning of a 'trigger' and some of the more important examples. The end product will include a simple table listing as many as possible of the triggers used in searches at the LHC, including the recent discovery of the Higgs boson).
Susan Mini ... (on leave)
Photon and Electron beams: Interactions, Synergies and Applications.
Metamaterials: Novel optoelectronic RF structures for future accelerator and radiation source application
Magnetic Force Microscopy of magnetic domains via AFM (requires a bit of time at Argonne)
X-ray reflectivity as a probe of surfaces and interfaces (requires some use and knowledge of matlab).
Observing changes with X-rays in a split picosecond.
X-ray absorption and X-ray scattering.
Aharonov-Bohm effect (a ”quantum paradox”: tuning the intereference of electrons by
means of a magnetic field though the electrons never ”see” the field)
Berry phase (another ”quantum paradox”: if we ”rotate” a quantum system by 2pi, it can
be different from the system before the rotation).
Schrdinger’s cat (another ”quantum paradox”: Why is Schrdinger’s cat dead and alive at
Datta-Das spin transistor (a transistor that uses the electrons’ spin degree of freedom
instead of the electric charge of the electron).
Coulomb blockade and single-electron tunneling (in the nanoworld, one electron more or
less on a device can make a big difference).
Giant magnetoresistance (tuning electric resistance by means of a magnetic field, useful
for modern harddisk read heads).
Nanomaterials based gas sensors.
Detectors in HEP and medical physics