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Calendar: 2015-2016


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ESS Building
ESS Building, Fall 2015

Directions to SBU and ESS Bldg

  • Exit 62N of the LIE (I-495)
  • Nicolls Rd North (Route 97) (9 mi)
  • Left through the North entrance
  • Right on Circle Road (1 mi)
  • Left onto Campus Dr (10 yd)
  • Left onto John S. Toll Dr (50 yd)
  • Right into the large parking lot
  • The ESS Bldg is in the NE end of the parking lot


All lectures begin at 7:30 pm in ESS 001, usually on the second Friday of the month. "Worlds of Physics" is part of a lecture series that includes the Astronomy Open Night, the Living World and the Geology Open Night.

Spring 2016

February 26, 2016

Alexander Orlov: "How Nanotechnology Can Save Us and Environment: Making It Happen In a Safe Way"

Nanotechnology is offering wonderful opportunities to make most of materials around us much better. Nanoparticles can help us to produce energy in a more efficient and less harmful way. They can also transform the environment around us and help us to clean it. Nanotechnology is opening new and exciting world for our civilization and we are still only at the beginning of this fantastic journey. However, there are questions about how safe those small particles are, and whether there are ways to make them safer. This lecture will discuss examples of emerging frontiers in this area while attempting to outline challenges in nanotechnology field.

Alexander Orlov is an associate professor of materials science and engineering at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He is also a faculty member of the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research, an affiliate faculty of the Chemistry Department and the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University. He is also a visiting professor at Cambridge University, U.K. Dr. Orlov's principle research activities are in the development of novel materials for energy generation, structural applications and environmental protection. He was awarded the U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the U.K. National Endowment for Science Technology and Arts CRUCIBLE award. He was also selected to the Fellowship of the U.K. Royal Society of Chemistry, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering (U.S.), the NAE Frontiers of Engineering Education and was made Kavli Fellow in 2014 by the Kavli Foundation and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

March 11, 2016

Richard Lefferts: "Hot Ice and Wondrous Strange Snow: Some Recreational Science at the Extremes of Temperature"

Concealed by a thin facade of science education, we will have some fun exploring the range of properties that materials can take under extreme conditions. We will see that some apparently complex phenomena are simple and fit our intuition, while some apparently simple phenomena are deep and challenging. Mostly, however, we will try to take an entertaining look at uncommon behaviors of uncommon materials under uncommon conditions.

Richard Lefferts is a member of the technical staff of the Stony Brook University Department of Physics and Astronomy. He has enjoyed a 20 year career supporting research in nuclear physics, fundamental interactions, accelerator technology and, briefly, while at Binghamton University, organic chemistry. His current responsibilities include adapting the Stony Brook Nuclear Structure Lab accelerator to an instructional facility (under Dr. Thomas K. Hemmick) as part of CASE, working with Mariachi and supporting detector development activity in the Van de Graaff building (Phenix).

April 15, 2016

Mengkun Liu: Seeing is believing: An Ultra-Small and Ultra-Fast World

Despite the fact that the size of an iPhone becomes "bigger than bigger" and the waiting time of a nobel prize becomes longer and longer (Nature 508, 186 (2014)), exciting new physics and technology innovations will nevertheless emerge on smaller and smaller length scales with faster and faster temporal responses. In this talk we will explore the world of novel materials with extremely powerful optical microscopes and other state of the art optical tools with superior spatial and temporal resolution.

Dr. Mengkun Liu is an Assistant Professor in the condensed matter area. He is an expert in ultrafast spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy, including near-field nano-imaging and spectroscopy. Mengkun received his Ph.D degree in the Department of Physics at Boston University in 2012. Before coming to Stony Brook he was postdoc at the Department of Physics at UC San Diego in Dmitri Basov's laboratory. His research interests include complex materials with strong electronic correlations and electron phonon coupling (superconductors, multiferroics, magnetoresistors, heavy-fermion actinide compounds) and metamaterials. He studies plasmons in graphene, polaritons in Boron Nitride, and the phase separations in vanadium dioxide thin films. He creates artificial composites by E-beam lithography, photolithography or stencil imprint techniques. He uses these metamaterials as mediators between light and matter to perturb and study the novel optical/THz responses of complex systems.

May 13, 2016

Matthew Eisaman: "Next-Generation Clean-Energy Technologies Explained"

To meet the goals of the recent Paris Agreement and limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, next-generation clean-energy technologies will need to move from the research and demonstration phase to mainstream deployment. In this talk, Dr. Eisaman will discuss a few examples of such technologies from his research, and explain the basic physics that underlie how these technologies work.

Dr. Matthew Eisaman is a Physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and an Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Eisaman received his Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard in 2006 and was National Research Council Postdoc at the National Institute of Standards and Technology from 2006 to 2008. Prior to arriving at Stony Brook and Brookhaven, he was an Applied Physicist in the Cleantech Innovation Program at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, CA from 2008-2011. Dr. Eisaman's research has covered a broad range of clean-energy technologies, including CO2 capture and photovoltaics. His current research explores the connection between structural variations and performance at the nanoscale within solar cells and uses this understanding to develop scalable nanotechnologies to improve the efficiency and lower the cost of solar cells.

Click here to see Fall 2015

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