UNLV Department of Physics and Astronomy

Forum Schedule:  Fridays 3:45pm - 4:45pm

DateSpeakerTitle & Abstract
Jan 24
Jan 31
Feb 7
Feb 10
(Monday 10:00AM)
Stas Sinogeikin
(host: Andrew Cornelius)
High-Pressure/Low Temperature Research at HPCAT at the Advanced Photon Source
Feb 14Dr. Marcelo Alvarez
(Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics)
(host: Dr. George Rhee)
Computational Cosmology in the Era of Big Data: Simulating the Observable Universe
We are entering an exciting new time in cosmology. New observational campaigns with such facilities as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Square Kilometer Array will revolutionize the amount of information available to us about the large scale structure of the universe, generating many petabytes of data. Making sense of all this data will require computer simulations accurate over a much larger dynamic range than currently possible. I will describe the current open questions that can be answered with this data and present the new computational approaches we are developing to tackle this problem.
Feb19Astronomy Candidate
Feb 21Dr. Rebecca Martin
(JILA, University of Colorado)
Formation of Habitable Planets
I will review the long term evolution of protoplanetary discs around young stars and circumplanetary discs around forming gas giants. I will discuss the formation and architecture of our solar system and how it was shaped by the evolution of various snow lines within the solar nebula. I will explain how the Earth was able to form with such a small fraction of water and discuss implications of the models for the habitability of extra solar planets.
Feb 27Dr. Kengo Tomida
(Princeton University)
(host: Dr. Daniel Proga)
Global MHD Simulations of Star-Disk Interaction
In the final phase of the star formation processes, gas accretes through circumstellar disks onto protostars, and the disk and the protostar interact each other via magnetic fields in the innermost region. The structure of the accretion flow in this region is determined by the strength of the stellar magnetic fields and the accretion rate, which depends on angular momentum transport by turbulence driven by the Magneto-Rotational Instability (MRI). Therefore, high resolution MHD simulations are required to study the structure of the accretion flow. For this purpose, we have extended Athena MHD simulation code (Stone et al. 2008) by implementing a new MHD solver for spherical polar coordinates. We performed MHD simulations similar to Romanova et al. (2012) with sufficient resolution to resolve MRI within the disk. The properties of turbulent accretion disks with weak magnetic fields are similar to those obtained in local shearing box simulations. On the other hand, when magnetic fields are moderately strong, we find that magnetosphere can be collapsed by strong accretion flow driven by interplay of magnetic interchange instability and magnetic braking.
Feb 28Dr. Raffaella Margutti
(Harvard CfA)
(host: Dr. George Rhee)
Explosive Transients in the era of Time Domain Astronomy
Stellar explosions are at the intersection of several critical areas of modern Astronomy: as probes of the early Universe, as electromagnetic signposts of gravitational wave and neutrino emitters, as laboratories for extreme physics. In this talk I present the recent results from my multi-wavelength effort designed to (i) constrain the stellar progenitors and their evolution in the years before the terminal explosion; (ii) shed light on the physical mechanism that enables only a small fraction of stellar explosions to harbor and launch a relativistic jet. By taking advantage from DISCOVERY -provided by observations of the transient sky- and DEEP-INSIGTH -that only a truly multi-wavelength perspective can offer-, I show how this study paves the way to the upcoming era of multi-messenger astronomy.
Mar 7
Mar 14Dr. John Neumeier
(Montana State University)
(host: Dr. Andrew Cornelius)
Anisotropic Solids -- What makes them interesting and potentially important?
Mar 21Spring Break
Mar 28Joe Thompson
(Los Alamos National Lab)
(host: Dr. Andrew Cornelius)
Magnetism and Superconductivity in Heavy-Fermion Materials
Apr 4
Apr 11
Apr 18
Apr 25Prof. Pawan Kumar
(University of Texas, Austin)
(host: Dr. Bing Zhang)

May 2Dr. Eric Bauer
(Los Alamos National Lab)
(host: Dr. Andrew Cornelius)

May 9
(Beginning 10:00AM)
Physics and Astronomy SeniorsPHY-493 Presentations
May 16Finals Week

Past forums: Fall '13   Spring '13   Fall '12 Spring '12   Fall '11   Spring '11   Fall '10   Spring '10   Fall '09   Spring '09   Fall '08