Colloquium Archive

2015 Spring Semester Seminars

March 4: C3PO: Customizable Computer Coaches for Physics Online  Speaker Evan Frodermann ’02, University of Minnesota

March 18: Why Should You Care About Nuclear Fusion? Speaker David Crandall, retired from the U.S. Department of Energy

March 25: From Protons to Pictures: A Physicist in Medical Imaging .  Speaker Kay Pepin ’10, Ph.D. Candidate, Biomedical Engineering at Mayo Graduate School

April 15: Career Panel.   Panelists Roberto Zayas, St. Olaf Piper Center & Brian Borovsky, St. Olaf Professor of Physics.

April 27: Grad School Panel.  Panelists Elliot Schmidt ’12, Lauren Snyder ’12, & Lucas Sletten ’15  

April 29: Guiding Cracks with Geometry.  Speaker Noah Mitchell ’12, PhD Candidate at University of Chicago

2014 Fall Semester Seminars

September 10:  Physics Demonstrations.  Come see your favorite physics professors offer some of their favorite demonstrations and hear about our colloquium schedule for the fall!

September 24:  Ultrafast Electron Microscopy: Imaging at the Space-Time Limit  Speaker David J. Flannigan, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota

October 8: What can you do with a science degree? A career in patents!  Speakers Scott Berger ’08Jonathan Sry, both of IBM Patent Drafting Center 

October 22: Joint Poster Session with students from St. Olaf & Carleton College Physics Departments, 3:30 Fourth Floor Atrium see photos

November 5: The Differences in Onset Time of Conjugate Substorms  Speaker James Weygand ’92, UCLA, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Department

November 19: Student Panel on Summer RUEs.  Speakers: Jon Schut ’15, Sara Swenson ’15, Daniel Hickox-Young ’16, Emily Witt ’17

December 3:  What’s Colder Than Cold? Speaker:  Eric Hazlett, Professor of Physics, Carleton College

2014 Spring Semester Seminars

February 19:  Innovations in Geothermal Electricity Generation: CO2-based geothermal heat mining and waste energy recovery from hydrocarbon production operations.  Speaker: Jimmy Randolph PhD, ’06, Chief Technical Officer and Senior Scientist with Heat Mining Company LLC

March 5:  Applications of particle physics in cancer treatment at Mayo Clinic . Speaker: Robert Miller, MD, MS, MBA, Vice Chair for Proton Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Mayo Clinic

March 12:  Pattern formation in fluid flows: creating fingers and toes in viscous flows  Speaker: Radha Ramachandran University of Chicago

April 10:  Fundamental Symmetries and a Quantized Theory of Gravity  Speaker Jay Tasson, assistant professor of physics at Carleton College

April 16: 2D Materials and Molecular Interfaces for Energy and Electronics  Speaker: James Johns, University of Minnesota, Chemical Physics

May 2:  Nuclear Matter in Large Nc QCD with Heavy Quarks    Speaker Prabal Adhikari, PhD Candidate at University of Maryland College Park


2013 Fall Semester Seminars

September 11: Hidden Rivers and Lakes of the Northeast Sahara and Implications for the Origin of Mars Channels.  Speaker:  Dr. Ted A. Maxwell, Senior Scientist Emeritus at the National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies.

September 18: Why you can run on water (and cornstarch).  Speaker: Scott Waitukaitis, Ph. D., University of Chicago

Monday, October 21: The Rare Earths: Top Spot for the Bottom of the Periodic Table.  Speaker: Stan Trout, Ph.D.

Friday, November 22:  HELICON PLASMA SOURCES FOR SPACECRAFT PROPULSION  Speaker:  Matt Wiebold, Ph.D. College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University



2013 Spring Semester Seminars

February 27:   Ultrafast Experiments on Liquid Drop Coalescence, speaker Joseph D. Paulsen ’07, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago.  

March 13:  Measuring Tissue Viscoelasticity Using Ultrasound, speaker Ivan Nenedic ’06, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Ultrasound Research Laboratory.    Ivan Nenadich Lecture

CANCELLED April 5 (Friday):  Physics, math, and high performance computing: the role of beauty in numerical analysis and space weather forecasting, speaker Alec Johnson ’97, Ph.D., Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven, Belgium.

April 17: Physics in the Noise: Understanding Magnetism at the Nanoscale, speaker Dan Endean, ’09, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Minnesota

May 1: Internship: The Who, the How, and the Wow!  speakers Trevor Knapp, ’13, Emily Morvec. ’14, Anne Jacobsen, ’13  


2012 Fall Semester Seminars

October 03:  Human-Machine Interaction and Traffic Safety: Driver Drowsiness Detection, speaker Dr. Maria Rimini-Döring, senior expert for Automotive Human-Machine Interaction in the Corporate Research and Development Division of Robert Bosch GmbH in Stuttgart, Germany.      View Maria Rimini-Doring Lecture

October 10:   Schrodinger’s Cat & Einstein’s Mouse: Quantum Theory, Measurement & Many Worlds speaker Arthur Cunningham, St. Olaf Philosophy Department.  View Arthur Cunningham lecture.

October 24:  Water Beneath the Ice – Investigations of an Antarctic Subglacial Lake, speaker Bob Jacobel, St. Olaf Professor of Physics.  View Robert Jacobel Lecture.

November 07:  Off Campus Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU):  A how-to student panel discussion.  View Physics Research Panel.

November 20: The Eyes Have It: Investigating How the Brain Behaves and Learns, speaker Dr. Jo Hopp, UW Stout.

November 26: Phase Shifts, Photons, Feedback, and the Hidden Organ in your Eyes, speaker Jay Demas, St. Olaf Assistant Professor of Physics & Biology.


Spring Semester Seminars 2012

02/23: The Art and Materials Science of the Motorcycle11:30 am in Regents 210. Dr. Charles Falco, Professor of Optical Sciences and Physics, University of Arizona. Seminar is sponsored by Physics, Chemistry, and the St. Olaf Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
Watch at: Dr. Charles Falco Lecture (partial)

03/28: Friction on the Small Scale: Incredibly Tiny and Extremely Fast, Brian Borovsky, Department of Physics, St. Olaf College
Watch at: Brian Borovsky’s Lecture

04/18: Pulsating Heat Pipes: Passive Cooling Mechanisms for Superconducting Magnets, John Pfotenhauer ’79, Professor, Department of Engineering Physics & Department of Mechanical Engineering, Univeristy of Wisconsin–Madison
Watch at: John Pfotenhauer Lecture

04/18: Special Event, Physics Alumni Career Panel: What can a physics major lead to? Featuring alums: John Pfotenauer ’79, Dana Morrow ’06, Rolf Jacobson ’01, and Brad Cleveland ’82. Regents Hall 210 at 5:00 pm. Join the Panelists for dinner at 6:30 pm in the Gold Ballroom–bring your caf tray.
Watch at: Physics Alumni Career Panel

5/02: Where’s my Robot? Jason Engbrecht, Associate Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, St. Olaf College
Watch at: Jason Engbrecht’s Lecture


Fall Semester Seminars 2011

09/14: Penguins Smell Less from Space–Using High-resolution Imagery to Change Polar Science, Paul Morin, Polar Geospatial Center, University of Minnesota
Watch at: Paul Morin Lecture

09/28: Favorite Demos (That’s demonstrations, not demolitions–we hope!), Physics Faculty, St. Olaf College
Watch at: Favorite Demos, Part 1Favorite Demos, Part II

10/12: Antarctic Subglacial Water Systems – A Frontier for Interdisciplinary Research, Dr. Slawek Tulaczyk, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz
Watch at: Slawek Tulaczyk Lecture

10/20, Thursday 2:15 pm in Regents 210: The Neutrino Oscillation Industry, Richard Gran, Associate Professor of Physics, University of Minnesota-Duluth (note change from usual meeting day and time)
Watch at: Richard Gran Lecture

11/02: Ice Dynamics and Sea Level Rise–Revising the Prediction, Dr. Knut Christianson, Physics and Environmental Studies Departments, St. Olaf College and Department of Geosciences, the Pennsylvania State University
Watch at: Knut Christianson Lecture

11/16: Science in the Healthcare Industry: Technology, Career Opportunities and Perspectives from a St. Olaf Physics & Math Graduate, Nadine Nereson, PhD ’91, Senior Manager, Ultrasound R&D, Philips HealthCare
Watch at: Nadine Nereson Lecture


Spring Semester Seminars 2011

02/23: An Introduction to Spin Transport in Nanoscale Metallic Devices, Michael J. Erickson ’04.
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota
Watch at: Michael Erickson Lecture

03/16: Biophysical Properties and Applications of Cholesterol in Lipid Membranes, Benjamin Stottrup, Assistant Professor of Physics, Augsburg College
Watch at: Benjamin Stottrup Lecture—— Benjamin Stottrup Demo

04/13: Time-Resolved Contrast-Enhanced MR Angiography: Rapid Imaging Techniques for Evaluation of the Peripheral VAsculature with MRI, Casey Johnson ’06, Doctoral Candidate, Biomedical Engineering, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic
Watch at: Casey Johnson Lecture

04/14, Thursday 4:00 pm: My (Second) Favorite Disk: Understanding Saturn’s Rings, Dr. John Weiss, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Carleton College (note change from usual meeting time for seminars)

04/27: Applications of Particle Physics in Cancer Treatment (and update on the Northfield Mayo Clinic Radiation Therapy Facility)Robert C. Miller, M.D., Consultant and Professor of Oncology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo College of Medicine
(Joint seminar with the Biomedical Department)
Watch at: Robert C. Miller Lecture

04/28, Thursday 4:00 pm: Gravitational Lensing:  Exploring the Hidden Universe using a Dark Matter Lens, Joshua Nollenberg, Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy, Macalester College (note change from usual meeting time for seminars)

05/05, Thursday 4:00 pm: Evidence for an Unfolded Border-Collision Bifurcation in Paced Cardiac Tissue, Dr. Carolyn Martsberger, Postdoctoral Associate, Duke University Medical Center


Fall Semester Seminars 2010/11

09/15: Favorite Demos (That’s demonstrations, not demolitions–we hope!), St. Olaf Physics Faculty
Watch at: Faculty Demos and Microwave Oven Demo

09/29: Poster Session of St. Olaf Summer Research Students, Physics Majors (research at St. Olaf and elsewhere)..
Regents 4th Floor Atrium at 2:00 pm (posters up from 1:30 to 3:30 pm)

10/13: Introduction to Atomic Spectroscopy, David Nitz, St. Olaf Physics Professor

10/27: Off Campus Summer Research Experiences, St. Olaf Senior Physics Majors
Watch at: Summer Research Panel

11/3: What Happens to River Water When it Enters the Ocean?, Rob Hetland ’92, Associate Professor, Dept. of Oceanography,
Texas A&M University
Watch at: Robert Hetland Lecture

11/17: (3:30 pm) Collaborative investigation of the frictional properties of molecularly-thin organic coatings for improvement of microscale devices, Erin Flater, Assistant Professor of Physics, Luther College
Watch at: Erin Flater Lecture

12/8: How can we produce more electricity renewably while substantially reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions? One approach: combining geothermal energy with geologic CO2 sequestration, Jimmy Randolph ’06, PhD Graduate Student, Geology & Geophysics, U of MN
Watch at: Jimmy Randolph Lecture


Spring Semester Seminars 2010

02/17: Warped Space-time, Exploding Stars and the Beginning of Time: An Introduction to Gravitational-wave Physics, Eric Thrane, Post-doc on LIGO, University of Minnesota.
Watch at: Eric Thrane Lecture

02/24: Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Applications, Dr. Armando Manduca, Professor of Biomedical Engineering Co-Director, Biomathematics Resource, Mayo Clinic
Watch at: Armando Manduca Lecture

03/03: I am a Physicist in Biomedical Industry. Why Do They Call Me an Engineer?, Dr. Mohac Tekmen, Senior R&D Engineer at Medtronic

03/24: Neutrino Oscillations and the MINOS Experiment, Matthew Strait, Physics & Astronomy, University of Minnesota
Watch at: Matthew Strait Lecture

04/14: Water on the Moon–The NASA LCROSS Mission, Charles (Chick) Woodward, Astronomy Professor, University of Minnesota
Watch at: Chick Woodward Lecture

04/28: Rivers as Complex Systems, Nikki Strong, Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Environmental Studies, St. Olaf College


Fall Semester Seminars 2009/10

9/16: Favorite Demos, St. Olaf Physics Department Faculty. Watch at: PhysicsDemoDay Lecture

9/21: Amniotes Wave and Amphibians Look: Retinal Activity and the Wiring of Visual CircuitsJoint Biology, Physics and Neuroscience Seminar, Jay Demas, PhD, Physics Department, St. Olaf College (Monday, 4:00 pm in RNS 310)

9/30: A St. Olaf Physics Major Can Lead You Anywhere: Journeys to Africa, Agricultural Engineering and Water Management,Jane Rossing Frankenberger, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University. Watch at: Jane Frankenberger lecture

10/7: Van Vleck and Slater: Two Americans on the Road to Matrix Mechanics, Michel Janssen, Program in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, U of MN

10/14: Designing Solutions for Better Health, Kristen Mock Nelson ’92, GE Health Care
Watch at: Kristen Mock Lecture

10/21: The Electrical Charge and Motion of Objects Inserted into a Plasma, John Goree, U of Iowa
Watch at: John Goree Lecture

11/4: Europium-rich EuO as a Laboratory for Exploring Colossal Magnetoresistance, Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Carleton College. Watch at: Melissa Eblen-Zayas lecture

11/11: High Spatial Resolution Chemical Imaging. Applications in Biology, Geology and Art, Carol Hirschmugl, Dept. of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

11/18: Climate Change in the Polar Regions, Bob Jacobel, St. Olaf Physics and Environmental Studies Department. Watch at: Bob Jacobel lecture

12/9: Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Applications, Armando Manduca, Professor Biomedical Engineering, Mayo Clinic


Spring Semester Seminars 2009

No Seminars in February, 2009

No Seminars in March, 2009

4/8: Magnetic Fusion Energy Research: From PEGASUS to ITER, Michael Bongard ’04, UW-Madision, Research Assistant, Engineering Physics


Fall Semester Seminars 2008/09

9/17: Search for Dark Matter, Angie Reisetter, Physics Department, St. Olaf College

9/26: From Atoms to Crystals: Making Solids that Nature Doesn’t Make, James N. Eckstein, Physics Professor, University of Illinois (Friday, 1:00 pm in RNS 310)

10/22: Aerogeophysical Mapping of Ice Geology in Antarctica: From Tectonics to Climate Change, Dr. Carol Finn, US Geological Survey. Seminar sponsored by the Grace A. Whittier Endowment.

11/05: Application of a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics to High-Performance Computer Design, Greg Edlund, Senior Engineer, IBM, Rochester, MN

11/19: The LHC:Exploring Fundamental Matter (or a Creator of Black Holes?), Evan Frodermann ’02, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota


Spring Semester Seminars 2008

2/20: Plasma Physics and Fusion Research on the Madison Symmetric Torus, Doug Stone ’05, Research Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2/27: What Determines Sea Level and Why is it Rising? Bob Jacobel, Physics Department, St. Olaf College

3/05: John Scott Russell, Fermi Pasta Ulam, and the Straits of Gilbraltar: A History of Solitions, Amy Kolan, Physics department, St. Olaf College

3/12: A Dynamical System Approach to the Cocktail Party Problem: Using Optics Instead of your Brain to Separate Signals, Marty Baylor, Physics Department, Carleton College

4/9: The Intersection of Physics, Biology, and Engineering: The Life of an Interdisciplinary Industrial Scientist, Eric Schilling ’99, Sr. Biomedical Systems Engineer, Medtronic Inc. Minneapolis, MN (abstract TBA)

4/16: The Early Solar System: Surprises from NASA’s Stardust Mission, Dr. Russell Palma, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Minnesota State University-Mankato

4/30: My Undergraduate Research Experience: Fusion Energy (direct drive), Plasma Physics, and a Rockin’ Good Time, Brett Anderson ’08, St. Olaf Physics Major

4/30 – 5/2: St. Olaf College Science Symposium

5/7: Nanoscale Friction Reserach: Micromachines and Beyond, Cullen O’Neill ’09, St. Olaf Physics Major


Spring Semester Seminars 2008


Fall Semester Seminars 2007


Fall Semester Seminars 2006/2007

9/13: Tracks Across the Sky: Computational Astronomy 101, David Nitz, Professor of Physics at St. Olaf College

9/20: A Uniformitarian View of Catastrophic Events in West Antarctica, Christina Hulbe, Associate Professor of Geology at Portland State University

9/27: What’s So Strange About Quantum Mechanics?, William Case, Professor of Physics at Grinnell College

10/4: CMR Materials: Nanoscale Inhomogeneity and Colossal Responses, Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Assistant Professor of Physics at Carleton College

10/11: Maintaining Diversity in an Artificially Propagated Population, Steve McKelvey, Associate Professor of Mathematics at St. Olaf College

10/25: Molecular Free Volume, Bret Mayo, Research Specialist at North Dakota State University

11/8: Thad G. Walker, Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


Spring Semester Seminars 2005/2006

2/8: Progress in the St. Olaf Positron Research Group or Ole the Positron, Jason Engbrecht, St. Olaf College

Two Seminars sponsored by The Pew Midstates Science & Mathematics Consortium:
2/16: Seeing the Light: Demonstrations for Optics and Light, Doug Arion, Carthage College
2/17: Life begins at 22: Preparing students for successful careers after college, Doug Arion, Carthage College (Hedberg Distinguished Prof. of Intrepreneurial Studies)

Joint Seminar with Biology, Chemistry and Physics:
2/22: Development and Application of a 3-D Perfusion Bioreactor Cell Culture System for Bone Tissue Engineering, Blaise Porter, Tissue Growth Technologies, Minnesota

3/1: A Gentle Introduction to Markov Chains, Random Walks, and Ising Model, Robert Dobrow, Carleton College

3/15: Geoarchaeology–An Interdisciplinary Approach to Solving Archaeological Problems, Robert Shuster, U of Nebraska-Omaha

3/22: Cancelled–March of the Pixels: A Satellite Tour of Antarctica, Ted Scambos, U of Colorado

4/5: Baseball Physics, Eli Rosenberg, Iowa State University

4/12: Glacier Sliding and Bed Erosion: Experiments beneath the Svartisen Ice Cap, Norway, Neal Iverson, Iowa State University

4/19: Celebrating Accomplishments of the Molecular Beam Spectroscopy Group at St. Olaf College; A Retrospective on Jim Cederberg’s Career, Contributors include Dr. David Nitz and Brian Borovsky

4/26: The Acoustics of the French Horn, John Nichol ’06, St. Olaf College

5/3: March of the Pixels: A Satellite Tour of Antarctica, Ted Scambos, U of Colorado

5/10: Imaging Dark Matter with Gravitational Lensing, Liliya Williams, U of Minnesota


Fall Semester Seminars 2005/2006

9/14: When anti-matter attacks. . ., Joan Marler, Lawrence University

9/22 (Thursday): Climate and Water at the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research Site, Antarctica, Andrew Fountain, Portland State University

9/28: No seminar

10/5: Fire & Ice–When volcanoes and ice mix, Brian Welch, Physics Department, St. Olaf College

10/12: Neutrinos: From Cosmic Rays and Accelerators to Old Iron Mines and the Fate of the Universe, Alec Habrig, U of MN-Duluth, Physics Department

10/19: No seminar

10/26: Studying Friction at the Atomic Scale, Brian Borovsky, Physics Department, St. Olaf College

11/2: Novel Semiconductor Materials–Challenges for Characterization and Modeling, P. Paul Ruden, University of Minesota

11/10 (Thursday): Astrophysics in the Laboratory, Michael Brown, Physics Department, Swarthmore College

11/30: Chaos, decoherence, and the difference between the quantum and the classical world, Arjendu Pattanayak, Physics Department, Carleton College

12/7: From St. Olaf Physics to Transportation Engineering, Paul Morris, Civil Engineering Grad School, University of Minnesota