Physics Seminar: Graphs, Springs, and Linear Algebra

Graphs, Springs, and Linear Algebra

Aden Forrow `13

PhD Candidate, MIT Department of Mathematics

Springs are perhaps the most classical of physical models, starting from a single mass on a single spring and moving up to complex networks of linked springs. These networks, like many networks across physics, are most naturally studied with graph theory and linear algebra. Often, the spectrum of eigenvalues of the underlying graph Laplacian plays a key role in controlling network dynamics. Network theory has traditionally focused on analyzing the spectral properties of predefined graph ensembles. In this talk, I will introduce a complementary approach, providing a mathematically rigorous graph construction that exactly realizes any desired spectrum. In particular, creating band gaps in the spectrum allows for careful control of networked dynamical systems, as I will illustrate for a generic model of pattern formation. Finally, I will discuss possible physical implementations of similar results in the form of 3d printed spring networks.

Friday, November 10th 2017
2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
Warner Hall 203

Refreshments 2:45 – 3:00 p.m. will be provided.

This event supported by the Math and Physics Departments.

Physics Seminar - Why Physics?

After spending childhood in Europe, then growing up in Pennsylvania Dutch country, Brooklyn, NY, then Ardsley, NY in Westchester Country, Hal Tugal realized that no matter how much he liked art he was better suited for physics. He attended Union College in Schenectady, NY, then to the University of New Hampshire in physics, and finally a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He spent over 30 years in industry applying physics to solving problems in the power, metal and glass containers, defense, aerospace and semiconductor industries. His brief talk will be on, "Why physics?"

Thursday, October 5th
12:30 – 1:20 p.m.
Bicentennial Hall 220
Pizza will be provided @ 12:25 pm


This event is supported by the Physics Dept. and Center for Careers and Internship

Observatory Stargazing – Autumn 2017 Open House Nights

Observatory Stargazing – Autumn 2017 Open House Nights

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The Mittelman Observatory and Middlebury Physics will again host stargazing open house nights this autumn. These Observatory events are scheduled for Friday evenings, September 15, September 22, and October 6, from 8:00 PM until 9:30 PM, weather permitting.

Observatory open house nights are free and open to the public. However, these events will take place only if the sky is expected to be mostly clear. Please check the Observatory web site at http://go.middlebury.edu/observatory/ or call the Observatory at 443-2266 after 6 PM on the evening of the event for weather status.

Observatory Stargazing – Summer 2017 Open House Nights

Observatory Stargazing – Summer 2017 Open House Nights

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The Mittelman Observatory and Middlebury Physics will again host stargazing open house nights this summer. These Observatory events are scheduled for Wednesday evenings, July 5, July 19, July 26, and August 2 from 9:00 PM until 10:30 PM, weather permitting.

Observatory open house nights are free and open to the public. As these are minimal language events, they are also appropriate for Language Schools students. These events will take place only if the sky is expected to be mostly clear. Please check the Observatory web site at http://go.middlebury.edu/observatory/ or call the Observatory at 443-2266 after 7 PM on the evening of the event for weather status.

Observatory Stargazing – Spring 2016 Open House Nights

Observatory Stargazing – Spring 2016 Open House Nights

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The Physics Department at Middlebury College will again host Open House nights at the College Observatory this spring. The observatory, located atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall, will be open to the public for viewing the heavens on Friday evenings, April 29 and May 6, from 9:00 PM until 10:30 PM, provided the skies are mostly clear.

All observatory public nights are free and open to the public, but will take place only if the sky is at least mostly clear. If the weather appears uncertain, visitors may call the observatory at 443-2266 or visit the observatory web site after 7:00 PM on the evening of the Open House for a status report. More information can also be found at go.middlebury.edu/observatory .

Latest Findings from the Mars Curiosity Mission

The Mars Curiosity rover is still going strong after 3.5 years on Mars and has recently reached exposures of sedimentary rocks that are yielding dramatic new insights into Martian history!  Please join us to welcome Chief Project Scientist John Grotzinger (Caltech/JPL) who will give an update on the latest findings and answer questions from the audience.

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Circuit Quantum Electrodynamics: A Toolbox For Quantum Simulation and Quantum Information

Mattias Fitzpatrick '13
Candidate for Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering,
Princeton University

This talk will introduce the field of research known as circuit quantum electrodynamics (circuit QED), which uses superconducting circuit elements to study fundamental light-matter interactions. In addition, circuit QED systems have recently been used in the context of both quantum information and quantum simulation. After introducing the fundamentals of circuit QED, I will discuss recent progress in the field as well as the exciting new areas of research. This talk will be aimed at a general audience and will not require prior knowledge of the subject.

Monday, March 9, 2015
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Bicentennial Hall 104
Pizza will be provided @ 12:25 pm

Digging Deep in Physics Research: Searching for Properties of the Neutrino Particle at Stanford

Karl Twelker '07
Ph.D., Stanford University

After graduating from Middlebury physics in '07, I went on to the PhD program at Stanford, where I joined an experiment investigating the mass of the neutrino particle. This investigation took me from the lab at Stanford to deep underground for construction and operation of the experiment. I also designed and built a component of the next generation of the experiment. I'll introduce the physics we studied, as well as show snapshots of a major neutrino physics experiment and my contribution to the project.

Thursday, November 20, 2014
12:40 – 1:30 p.m.
Bicentennial Hall 104

Physics Seminar: Super-Resolution Microscopy: The Physics of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry - Explained!

Michael E. Durst
Assistant Professor of Physics, Middlebury College

This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for super-resolution optical microscopy, the ability to image objects near the molecular scale using light. This presentation will explain the physical concepts behind microscopy and how the classical resolution limit has been overcome by these new techniques. Examples of how this Nobel-prize-winning physics research can be applied to biological imaging will also be presented. No prior physics experience is necessary.

Why would a physicist be so excited about the Nobel Prize in Chemistry? Cutting edge research increasingly occurs at the intersection of many interdisciplinary fields, including biology, chemistry, and physics. Prof. Durst’s research in biomedical optics employs lasers to image deep within the body without making an incision. For more information (or to join his research team), please visit his website at go/durst.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
12:30 PM
McCardell Bicentennial Hall 216
Lunch available at 12:25 PM.

Department of Physics

McCardell Bicentennial Hall
276 Bicentennial Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753