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All lectures begin at 7:30 pm (Click here to register for the Zoom lectures). "Worlds of Physics" is part of a lecture series that includes the Astronomy Open Night, the Living World and the Geology Open Night.

Fall 2020

September 11, 2020

Peter J Chupas: How Clean is Clean Energy Technology?

Abstract: Clean energy technologies are expanding into all aspects of our lives. Solar Energy, Batteries, Wind Energy, and LEDs are all changing the way we live, from photoelectric panels on the roofs of our house, electric vehicles, portable electronics, to lighting. Clean energy technology is evolving and new technology is constantly emerging. But what is the real environmental impact of clean energy? Where do the materials come from that make up the technology? How are they produced? How much energy does it take to extract them? What is the energy cost of manufacturing? The entire pipeline from materials extractions (mining), manufacturing, to technology deployment must be considered when evaluating technologies. Clean energy technology needs to address the entire pipeline of technology realization, recognizing both the global and local impact that new technologies bring.

Bio: Pete Chupas is trained as a Materials Chemist and currently holds an appointment as a Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Stony Brook University and is a consultant at Associated Universities Inc. (AUI). Prior to arriving at Stony Brook University in 2018, he worked at Argonne National Laboratory for 15 years in both research and management capacities. His research interests include the development of new materials that power clean energy technology, using and developing advanced tools to understand how they function and to improve their performance, and in the application of applied science to improve the efficacy of technology. Pete obtained his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University in 2003, and has over 140 scientific publications, he edited a book, and has 6 patents.

October 9,2020

Sasha Abanov: Emergence of geometry and topology in physics

Abstract: Nothing is really as it seems. We feel hot and cold but in reality, these are billions of billions of atoms jiggling with higher or lower velocities. The properties of physical systems we observe are emerging from the behavior of their tiny parts. Is it possible that the geometry of space and time as we perceive it also emerges from some microscopic gears and cogs? To see how it can be done in principle, I will consider a few examples ranging from mechanics of bodies rotating in space to quantum solids. I will show how the geometry and topology appear as a result of underlying physics laws in these examples.

Bio: Alexander (Sasha) Abanov is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Simons Center for Geometry and Physics in Stony Brook. He is known for his contributions to theoretical condensed matter physics using topological and hydrodynamic methods. He applied these methods to studies of superconductivity, quantum magnetism and quantum Hall effect. Abanov has received his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Chicago. After a postdoc at MIT he joined Stony Brook University in 2000. He is a fellow of American Physical Society. Currently he is a deputy director of the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics in Stony Brook. Alexander enjoys teaching physics and mathematics at different levels. He has a lot of experience in teaching school students in various summer camps and math circles including teaching for over more than 30 years in Krasnoyarsk Summer School for gifted high school students.

November 13, 2020

Jan Bernauer and Ethan Cline: Movie Physics



December 11, 2020

Ken Dill: Biophysical insights into the origins of life



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