Forum Schedule Fall 2018

Fridays 3:45pm - 4:45pm BPB-217

Date Speaker Topic (click down-arrow to see abstract)
Aug 31

Sep 7 Qi An
University of Nevada, Reno
host: Qiang Zhu
Materials Design from First Principles Based Atomistic Modeling and Simulations

Modern engineering applications desire materials with significantly improved properties including superior mechanical, chemical and physical properties, enhanced adhesion and surface properties, and superior electronic properties. For example, body armor for soldiers requires lightweight, high strength and high ductility for the materials. First principles based atomistic modeling approaches offer unique opportunities to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of materials and processes at relevant service conditions, which are essential to designing lighter, stronger, more ductile and more environmental friendly materials. In this talk, we will use following examples to illustrate how to design materials with improved properties by applying first principles based atomistic simulations: (1) Design ductile superhard ceramics; (2) Design mechanical stable thermoelectric materials using nano-scale twins; (3) Improve the catalytic efficiency of Fe in Haber–Bosch process.

Sep 14 Bing Zhang
UNLV Physics & Astronomy
host: Stephen Lepp
GW170817/GRB170817A/AT2017gfo/afterglow: what did the first NS-NS merger event tell us?

The first gravitational wave event due to the merger of two neutron stars detected by humankind, GW170817, was associated with a short GRB 170817A, a “kilonova" AT2017gfo, and a broad-band (from radio to X-rays) afterglow. I will critically review the observational data and various ideas of interpreting this watershed event, and present my understanding of the event regarding the origin of the GRB and its 1.7 seconds delay with respect to the merger, origin of the ``kilonova’’and the broadband afterglow, as well as the nature of the merger product (black hole vs. a long-lived neutron star) and implications for the poorly constrained neutron star equation of state.

Sep 21 Javier Garcia
host: Daniel Proga
The Strong-Field Region near Black Holes and Neutron Stars

In the region close to compact object such as black holes or neutron stars, the extreme conditions created by the strong gravitational field produces copious amounts of energetic radiation (ultra-violet, X-rays, and Gamma-rays). The interaction of this radiation with the surrounding material results in observables that carry important physical information. X-ray spectral and timing techniques provide direct access to the accretion physics on these systems, such as the black hole spin, inner-disk radius, ionization stage, among others. In this talk I will discuss the current state of modern relativistic reflection models that have been recently computed and tailored specifically for (1) supermassive black holes in AGN and black hole binary systems in the hard state; (2) neutron star X-ray binaries; and (3) carbon and oxygen rich ultra-compact X-ray binaries. I will present the implementation of our new models to observational data from several X-ray observatories (RXTE, Swift, Chandra, XMM-Newton, Suzaku, NuSTAR, and NICER), and discuss current outstanding issues, such as the large iron abundances frequently required to fit the reflection spectra, controversies on the disk truncation in BHB, the origin of the soft excess in AGN, and the effects of high density in the observed spectra.

Sep 28 Blas Pedro Uberuaga
Los Alamos National Laboratory
host: Qiang Zhu
Using Accelerated Molecular Dynamics Simulations to Understand Helium Bubble Evolution in Tungsten

Designing materials to withstand the extreme conditions of fusion requires understanding, at the atomic scale, material evolution at those same conditions. Accelerated molecular dynamics (AMD) methods, which extend the timescale of conventional molecular dynamics while retaining the fidelity of the interatomic interactions, is a key tool in developing this understanding. We have used these methods to examine the behavior of helium bubbles in tungsten with the goal of informing higher level models of basic mechanisms over timescales relevant for fusion conditions. This talk will summarize both past results as well as more recent work, highlighting and contrasting the growth mode of bubbles in bulk tungsten versus at a grain boundary, examining the effect of helium arrival rate on the development and evolution of bubble networks, and determining the rate of migration of embryonic bubbles. Together, these results complement other simulation studies and provide a more comprehensive picture of the dynamics associated with helium bubbles in tungsten.

Oct 5

Oct 12

Oct 18
Thursday Evening
Mario Livio
UNLV Physics & Astronomy
host: Rebecca Martin

Oct 26 Nevada Day Recess

Nov 2 Chris Nixon
University of Leicester, UK
host: Rebecca Martin

Nov 9 Phil Armitage
University of Colorado
host: George Rhee

Nov 16 Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo
University of Washington, Bothell
host: Daniel Proga

Nov 23 Thanksgiving Day Recess

Nov 30 Wladimir Lyra
California State University, Northridge
host: Zhaohuan Zhu

Dec 7 Study Week

Dec 14 Finals Week

Future forums: Spring 2019 

Past forums: Spring 2018  Fall 2017  Spring 2017  Fall 2016  Spring 2016  Fall 2015   Spring 2015   Fall '14   Spring '14   Fall '13   Spring '13   Fall '12 Spring '12   Fall '11   Spring '11   Fall '10   Spring '10   Fall '09   Spring '09   Fall '08