Donald R. Hamilton Colloquium Series
Thursday, September 15, 2016
John Ellis, CERN
A very close supernova explosion could have caused a mass extinction of life in Earth. In 1996, Brian Fields, the late Dave Schramm, and the speaker proposed looking for unstable isotopes such as Iron 60 that could have been deposited by a recent nearby supernova explosion. A group from the Technical University of Munich has discovered Iron 60 in deep-ocean sediments and ferromanganese crusts due to one or more supernovae that exploded O(100) parsecs away about 2.5 million years ago. These results have recently been confirmed by a group from the Australian National University, and the Munich group has also discovered supernova Iron 60 in lunar rock samples and in microfossils of magnetotactic bacteria. This colloquium will discuss the data and their interpretation in terms of supernova models, and the possible implications for life on Earth.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
"Next questions in neutrino physics and the NOva experiment"
Ryan Patterson, Caltech
Non-zero neutrino mass brings with it new complexity in the neutrino sector, and major questions surrounding neutrino masses and mixing remain unanswered. Among the unknowns are the ordering of the neutrino masses, key details of flavor mixing, and whether neutrinos respect CP symmetry. NOvA, a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment sited along Fermilab’s NuMI neutrino beam, will address these questions and much more. NOvA recently began full operations with its 14-kton detector and will continue through this decade. After a review of the physics context, I will discuss NOvA’s experimental design, physics program, and the latest results.
Host: Peter Meyers, Department of Physics, Princeton University
Thursday, September 29, 2016
“The Dynamical Strong-field Regime of General Relativity"
Frans Pretorius, Princeton University
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Rana Adhikari, Caltech
Host: Lyman Page, Department of Physics, Princeton University
Thursday, October 20, 2016
“Quantum gravity and quantum chaos"
Stephen Shenker, Stanford
Neal Weiner, NYU
Title & Abstract: TBA
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Speaker: Christopher Monroe, University of Maryland
Title & Abstract: TBA