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Talks will be posted as speakers are confirmed. Click here to see a list of talks from previous years’ Colloquia Series.

Fall, 2021

September 17th

Speaker: TCNJ Physics Summer Research Students

Topic: Summer Research Experiences


Mary Mcmullan: 
“Integrating SESAME in FLASH & Simulations of Supersonic Turbulence”
Abstract:  This summer, I have been incredibly grateful to work alongside Professor Petros Tzeferacos and with a wonderful group of people working at the Flash Center at the University of Rochester. For my main project, I worked in collaboration with graduate student Pericles Farmakis. Our objective was to integrate the SESAME Equation of State Tabulated Database into the FLASH code. The FLASH code is a multi-physics high-performance simulation code developed by the Flash Center. FLASH solves extended systems of radiation magneto-hydrodynamics(MHD), applied in a number of different application domains, from astrophysics, to computational fluid dynamics, and to high energy density physics.
Dean Klunk: 
“Do elementary schools ignore physics?”
Abstract: This summer, I did a MUSE research project here at TCNJ with Dr. Richards. We examined the elementary school curricula of 32 school districts and identified themes associated with physics vs. other science disciplines to measure the relative prevalence of physics.
John Mahoney:
“Temperature dependence of perovskite solar cells”
Abstract: I spent my summer doing an REU at The University of Oklahoma under Dr. Ian Sellers. Our research focused heavily on perovskite solar cells, where we observed various effects of how these photovoltaics behave across a range of temperatures from 4K to 300K.
Mario Gallardo:
“A Method to Evaluate Cumulative Dose on TSET Patients on Patient Finite-Element Models using Cherenkov Imaging”
Abstract: The program I participated in this summer is called SUPERS, which stands for Summer Undergraduate Program for Educating Radiation Scientists. This is open to mainly rising juniors and seniors. One of their specialties was medical physics, and I worked under that subdivision in the radiation oncology department. My project involved patient modeling and imaging for electron beam therapy treatment. I worked in the Dr. Tim Zhu lab at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

Time: 12:30 PM

Location: Science Complex P-317

October 5th

Topic: Skyrmions and Biskyrmions in Magnetic Films

Speaker: Dr. Daniel Capic (Visiting Professor in the TCNJ Physics Department)

Abstract: Skyrmions have garnered significant attention in condensed matter systems in recent years.They were originally studied in the context of high-energy physics by Tony Skyrme as topologically non-trivial solutions that arose from the addition of a constrained term to the Lagrangian. Later, Belavin and Polyakov found that in ferromagnetic films, they appear as defects in the ferromagnetic order which otherwise prefers the alignment of all the spins in one direction. These defects are quasiparticles that are characterized by an integer topological charge. Since skyrmions can be as small as a few lattice spacings, are easy to create and manipulate, and can persist on long time scales, they have been looked to for their use in computing applications. This talk will describe what a skyrmion is and the meaning of “topological charge”, the properties of skyrmions and related topologically non-trivially quasiparticles, and other findings I published in the course of completing my PhD.

Bio: Dr. Capic is from Staten Island, NY and went to Stony Brook university for undergrad, which is part of the state university of New York (SUNY) system where he double majored in physics and math. He did his PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center (city university of New York). He studies theoretical condensed matter. He currently studies skyrmions, which are objects with a non-trivial topology that can appear in magnetic systems.

Time: 12:30 PM

Location: Science Complex P-317

October 15th

Topic: Alumni Panel on Graduate School

Speakers: TCNJ Physics Alumni

Abstract: This colloquium will feature a panel of TCNJ physics alumni at different stages of completing a graduate degree. We will be joined by Joseph Avenoso (2016; optics), Brianna Santangelo (2017; PER), Mitchell Revalski (2014; astrophysics), Terance Schuh (2019; geosciences), and Samantha Staskiewicz (2019, climate science).

Time: 12:30 PM

Location: Science Complex P-317

November 19th

Topic: Identification of urban localities with land subsidence due to groundwater extraction in Mexico by using InSAR-SBAS

Speaker: Enrique Fernandez, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Abstract: Land subsidence due to groundwater extraction is a process that has increased its influence due to the development of cities and agricultural areas around the world.  In this context, Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) has been successfully used for the characterization of the magnitude and spatial distribution of land subsidence. In this presentation, we will show the latest effort to identify urban areas undergoing land subsidence due to groundwater extraction in Mexico. We used 4,611 scenes from ESA’s Sentinel 1 A/B SAR sensors acquired from descending orbits from September 2018 through October 2019. This dataset was processed at UNAM’s Mitztli supercomputer using ISCE and MintPy software. The quality of the resulting velocity maps is assessed through a large-scale comparison with observations from 103 GPS throughout Mexico.  Our results show that at least 13% of the total population of Mexico live in urban areas with subsidence velocities of 2.5 cm/year or greater, in more than 750 localities.

Enrique Fernandez-Torres obtained his BSc in Geology at the University of Los Andes, Venezuela in 2013 and a Master in Earth Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2019 and is currently a Ph.D. student in Earth Sciences at UNAM. His research focuses on the application of InSAR and GIS techniques for the study of land subsidence associated with groundwater extraction in urban areas.

Time: 12:30 PM

Location: Science Complex P-317

December 7th

Topic: Bringing a Neutron Star Down to Earth

Speaker: Professor Jim Napolitano, Temple University

Abstract:  Neutron stars are truly out of this world. First theorized in the 1930’s, it wasn’t until 1967, when graduate student Jocelyn Bell discovered them through their pulsating radio signals, that we knew they existed. With masses roughly equal to that of the Sun, but with radii of only several kilometers, they have enormous densities, comparable to that of the atomic nucleus. With the development of precision astronomy across the electromagnetic spectrum, and now through gravitational radiation, we are gaining more and more observational data. Nevertheless, there are still many mysteries surrounding the structure and behavior of these fascinating objects.
This talk will discuss what we now know about neutron stars, and also what we don’t know. In particular, we will talk about the Equation of State of neutron matter, and how the precision nuclear physics experiments PREX and CREX at Jefferson Lab are aiming to inform state-of-the-art calculations. Details of these experiments and their results will be presented, and their implications will be discussed.

Bio: I am Professor of Physics at Temple University, having joined the faculty here in January 2014, and served as Department Chair from 2015 through Summer 2021. Prior to Temple, I was on the faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for 20 years. After getting my PhD at Stanford University in 1982, I worked at Argonne National Laboratory and CEBAF (now Jefferson Laboratory) before joining RPI. My research is in experimental nuclear and high energy physics, specifically in neutrino oscillations, hadron spectroscopy, and parity violating electron scattering. I have a keen interest in physics education, love the classroom experience and working closely with students, and have published several textbooks.

Time: 12:30 PM

Location: Science Complex P-317