Measurement of the faintest signals has become a vital part of disciplines as diverse as medicine, astronomy, interplanetary communications and intelligence gathering. While our curiosity has driven us to probe ever-weaker signals in Nature, the framework and philosophy for our measurement tools has remained largely unchanged for centuries, entrenched in a classical interpretation of our world – which we know to be incomplete. In this talk I will present a holistic approach to sensing which combines quantum mechanics, information theory and measurement.
Virtually visit the Mittelman Observatory and its telescopes atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall and enjoy the night sky live. Weather permitting. Please register for this free event at http://go.middlebury.edu/virtualstargazing
The far extent of our solar system — the Kuiper Belt and beyond — is a largely unaltered relic, frozen shortly after the formation of the planets. Exploring the small bodies that inhabit this region leads to a better understanding of the composition of our proto-planetary nebula, motions within the solar system before the planets acquired their current locations, and allows us to compare our solar system to those found around other stars.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft orbited Saturn for thirteen years, transforming our understanding of this beautiful ringed planet and its entourage of moons. From giant atmospheric storms on Saturn and methane seas on Titan, to icy plumes on Enceladus and density waves in Saturn’s rings created by the planet itself, the mission was filled with surprises and delights.
Auroral displays, or “Northern Lights” as they are called in this hemisphere, actually occur in both hemispheres. Dr. Bering will share some of his experiences from his 6 trips to the Ice to study the aurora australis or “Southern Lights.” Auroras are a complex set of phenomena that are observable over a broad range of wavelengths from X-rays to radio waves. Since auroras are localized, short lived phenomena, it is frequently easier to study them using ground-based observatories, balloons, and sounding rockets.
Visit the Mittelman Observatory and its telescopes atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall virtually and enjoy the night sky live. Weather permitting. In the case of potentially poor weather, please check the Observatory website at http://go.middlebury.edu/observatory or call 802-443-2266 after 6:00 p.m. to find out if the event has been canceled.
Primary date and time are Friday, October 9, from 8pm to 9pm; weather backup date and time are Saturday, October 10, from 8pm to 9pm.
Prof. Eilat Glikman is featured in the new PBS NOVA program “Black Hole Apocalypse.” “Take a mind-blowing voyage to the most powerful and mysterious objects in the universe. More information can be found here.
Welcome to our new colleague: Dr. Chris Herdman will be joining the physics department faculty during the summer of 2017.
Research Interests: My primary research interests lie at the intersection of condensed matter physics and quantum information science: I study quantum phases of matter (e.g. superfluids, superconductors, and Bose-Einstein condensates) from a quantum information perspective—for example, to understand how quantum matter might be used as the basis of a quantum computer. To these ends, I develop and use computational algorithms as theoretical tools to study quantum information properties (e.g. quantum entanglement) of strongly interacting quantum many-body systems.
Welcome to our new colleague: Dr. Paul Hess will be joining the physics department faculty during the summer of 2017.
Research Interests: My research focuses on studying the quantum mechanical properties of tiny crystals made of a few atomic or molecular ions, which are assembled, trapped and levitated in a vacuum chamber using electric forces. By imaging and manipulating these trapped ions with laser light, we can study their usefulness as the building blocks of a future quantum computer.
Welcome to our new colleague: Dr. Michael Durst will be joining the physics department faculty during the summer of 2014.
Research: My biomedical optics research involves looking deep within the body without making an incision. This is similar to ultrasound imaging, except I am interested in using light instead of sound. Light provides superior resolution, allowing you to see details on the cellular level. How can you see through the body? If you have ever looked at a flashlight pressed under your hand, you have witnessed light traveling through thick tissue. Biomedical imaging entails using lasers, nonlinear optics, and other clever tools to extract images from beneath the surface of biological tissue. With applications in cancer research, nanoparticle characterization, fiber optic endoscopes, and in vivo imaging, these efforts together will provide access to a wide array of unlabeled biological structures. By combining concepts in condensed matter physics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, optics, and biology, this area of research is ideal for undergraduate learning and an enrichment of their understanding of physics.
Background: I currently serve as a visiting assistant professor of physics at Bates College. Previously, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. I did my graduate research in nonlinear biomedical optics at the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University (Ph.D. in applied physics, 2009). My passion for optics began as an undergraduate at Georgetown University (B.S. in physics, 2003), and I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with the students at Middlebury College.
Welcome to our new colleague: Dr. Eilat Glikman will be joining the physics department faculty during the summer of 2013.
Research and Background: I study quasars and their role in the formation and evolution of galaxies. To do this I explore Active Galactic Nuclei demographics by data-mining large multi-wavelength sky surveys and conducting follow up observations. My focus is on dust-reddened quasars, an elusive population that represents a transitional phase in the evolution of active galaxies. I also study quasars at high redshifts to understand black hole growth in the early Universe.
I conducted my thesis work at Columbia University followed by postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology. After that, I was an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Department of Physics
McCardell Bicentennial Hall