February 16, 2018

Marivi Fernandez-Serra: Machine learning in Physics a Revolution or an Evolution?

I will discuss the concepts of machine learning, artificial intelligence and data science in the context of physics research. The focus will be in condensed matter physics and chemistry, but I will also review how this new trend is modifying the way we approach the solution of problems that we did not address before because of their complexity.

Marivi Fernandez-Serra is an associate professor of physics at Stony Brook University. She has been at the Physics and Astronomy department since 2008. Her research is in the broad area of computational condensed matter physics, with focus on electronic structure methods and ab initio molecular dynamics.


March 9, 2018

CANCELLED


April 13, 2018

Chang Kee Jung: Universe According to Neutrinos, Nobel Prizes, Breakthroughs and Future

Neutrinos are perhaps the most enigmatic particles among the matter-field elementary particles. Because of its fundamental "lack of interactions" it took many decades for its properties to be studied in detail since its existence was conceived by Pauli in 1930's. Also because of these intrinsic difficulties historically the experimental findings on neutrinos have been often surprising, often disagreeing with theoretical expectations and sometimes even controversial. Consequently, several Nobel prizes have been awarded to the neutrino experiments. In particular, most recently, the Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 was awarded to Takaaki Kajita and Art McDonald for the discovery of neutrino oscillations. Also the Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics 2016 was awarded to the neutrino oscillation experiments. In this talk, I will discuss some breakthrough advances in neutrino physics through historical perspectives, especially in connection with the Nobel prizes. I will discuss what makes an experiment a Nobel prize worthy, who gets the prize and why some prizes are given so late. I will also share some personal anecdotes that I have gained during my over a quarter century of research in the neutrino field. Our study on neutrinos has not been completed yet. For example, matter-antimatter asymmetry is one of the most outstanding mysteries of the universe that provides a necessary condition to our own existence. It is generally agreed that experimental observation of "Charge-Parity" Violation (CPV) in the lepton sector could provide us with a critical clue to this profound mystery. Recent T2K data show an intriguing initial indication of CPV which is further corroborated by other experiments. Ultimately, however, in order to establish unequivocal results on leptonic CPV, we need a next generation experiment with a more powerful beam, and a larger and/or higher resolution detector. The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) in US is such an experiment.

Prof. Jung came to State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook in 1990 from Stanford University. He participated in various particle physics experiments based on high energy particle accelerators at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL). In 1991, recognizing the importance of the neutrino physics in the coming decades, he started a research group called Nucleon decay and Neutrino (NN) group at Stony Brook to study neutrino properties and search for proton decays. Since then, he and the NN group have been participating in the Super-Kamiokande experiment that made a historic discovery of the neutrino oscillation phenomenon resulting in Nobel Prize in Physics 2015; the K2K, the first accelerator-based long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment; and the T2K long baseline neutrino experiment that discovered appearance of electron neutrinos from a muon neutrino beam. He and the members of the NN group shared the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics with his collaborators in the Super-Kamiokande, K2K and T2K experiments. He also led an effort to build a deep underground science and engineering laboratory as well as a next generation nucleon decay and neutrino experiment in Colorado. Since 2014, he has shifted his research effort to the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) in the US. DUNE is expected to discover charge-parity symmetry violation in the lepton sector, which will provide an important clue for us to understand the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe, which is directly related to our existence, along with proton decay and neutrinos from supernova explosions. Prof. Jung introduced and developed two new courses at Stony Brook: "Light, Color and Vision" and "Physics of Sports" for non-science major students. In particular, his "Physics of Sports" is the first such course in the U.S. and most likely in the world. He has been interviewed numerous times by various media for his expertise in particle physics as well as physics of sports. He truly loves sports, and follows all major sports and sports events. He is SUNY Distinguished Professor and recently elected to American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow.