This page lists all of the abstracts for the Spring 2011 colloquium series. For dates and speakers, see link.

"Creation of the Elements or Where did Carbon come from?," colloquium March 4, 2011

Alex Rudolph, CSU Pomona    

The question of our origins can take many forms: Where was I born?, Where did my ancestors come from?, How did humans evolve?, How did life form?, How did the Earth and Solar System form?  This talk addresses one of the most fundamental questions possible: Where did the elements come from?  The story of the creation of the elements will be followed by a description of research I have conducted with undergraduates on measurements of elemental abundances in our own Milky Way galaxy, using techniques of infrared and radio astronomy.

"Lukewarm Dark Matter: Cosmology of a Bose-Condensed Scalar Field," colloquium March 11, 2011

Andy Lundgren, Penn State

Our universe is much more than just what we see. On the scales of galaxies and larger, 90% of the mass is dark matter which doesn't interact with light or with normal matter. I will review the evidence for dark matter, and our current best understanding of cosmology from the Big Bang to the current day. I will then introduce a model for dark matter as a Bose-condensed scalar field with a realistic thermodynamic history that passes important cosmological tests and provides an interesting solution to some problems with the dark matter story.

"Japan in Crisis: M=9.0 Honshu Japan Earthquake What happened? Could it happen here?" special seminar March 16, 2011

Dave Bowman, Geology, Greg Childers, Physics

The magnitude 9.0 March 11, 2011 Japan Earthquake is the worst natural disaster in the history of modern Japan. This special seminar will outline our preliminary knowledge of what happened in the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, and will explore the risks that we face from earthquakes in southern California. We will also discuss the damage to Japanese nuclear power plants and its implications for California.

Note the special date & place: 4 pm Wednesday 3/16 MH-238

"Label-free biomedical microscopy based on stimulated Raman scattering," colloquium March 17, 2011

Yasuyuki Ozeki, Osaka University

Optical microscopy is a popular tool for biological imaging as well as for pathological diagnosis. However, staining or labeling processes are necessary before the observation because most of cells are typically transparent. In this colloquium, I’ll talk about stimulated Raman scattering microscopy, which allows label-free imaging. This technique is based on molecular vibrational spectroscopy with high sensitivity using the stimulated Raman process induced by two-color laser pulses. I’ll explain the principle and features of the technique and demonstrate a technique I’ve developed for improving the sensitivity.

"Study on interaction of electrons, ions, and x-rays with solid surfaces," colloquium March 17, 2011

Takaharu Nagatomi, Osaka University

Surface chemical analysis using electrons, ions, and photons has been one of the most powerful techniques to characterize the solid surface from a view point of not only academic interests but also the industry. For the improvement of the accuracy in quantitative analysis, understanding of interactions of electrons, ions, and photons with the solid surface is essential. For this end, I have been involved in studies on developing new analytical approaches to understanding measured spectra and new experimental tools and techniques for performing measurements more accurately and/or under unusual conditions. In this colloquium, I am going to introduce parts of such researches, in particular, the keV-electron scattering in the near surface region and charging of insulator surface under ion irradiation.

"Atomic physics using high-performance computing," colloquium March 18, 2011

James Colgan, Los Alamos National Lab     

The last 25 years or so have seen a spectacular increase in raw computing power, both in processor speed and memory resources, as well as the availability of supercomputing facilities. This increase has allowed larger calculations and numerical simulations to be performed in all areas of physics, greatly enhancing understanding of many physical processes. This computing power increase has also significantly impacted atomic collision physics.

This talk will describe how large-scale computing has facilitated investigations of fundamental problems in collision physics, such as the so-called Coulomb three-body problem, which has no analytic solution and has, until recently, defied numerical solution. Examples will be drawn from several recent areas in which progress has been made. Some other areas in which high-performance computing may be expected to impact on atomic collision physics will also be described.

"Optical remote sensing in a turbulent atmosphere," colloquium April 15, 2011

Dan Slater, Nearfield Systems

Finding, identifying and characterizing distant terrestrial objects with ground based electro-optical sensors presents several difficult technical challenges. The entire optical path is fully immersed in a dense and turbulent atmosphere which results in a significant loss of scene contrast and resolution. Although there are strong similarities to the problems of ground based high resolution astronomical and space object imaging, there are also significant differences. The first part of the presentation discusses the problem of high resolution terrestrial imaging through a turbulent scattering atmosphere. Several ground based optical instruments specifically designed for long range remote sensing will be described including MIST (Miniature Integrated Speckle imaging Telescope) and TFIC (Terrestrial Fusion Imaging Camera). MIST supports a variety of imaging and non imaging experiments. TFIC is a portable high resolution camera that also includes wideband radiometric capabilities. The TFIC image processing workflow, using a combination of luminance processing, speckle imaging and image fusion is described. Representative high resolution urban and marine environment imagery with horizontal path distances up to 128 km (80 miles) is shown.

The second part of the presentation discusses long range electro-optical sensing using non cooperative specular sensing probes. Solar illuminated glinting objects can serve as in situ sensor probes that are observable from very long distances. Retro reflective objects produce glints when illuminated by coaxial illumination sources such as lasers. These glints are modulated by illumination source variances, the local probe environment, the intervening propagation paths and the remote sensing receiver. The modulating signals can be recovered by using detectors with temporal, spatial, wavelength, directivity or polarization sensitivity. Spatial glint correlation and glint beam forming using clustered and moving specular probes can provide additional information.

Keywords: high resolution imaging, remote sensing, atmospheric turbulence, glints, retroreflectors

About the speaker:

Dan Slater is vice president, co founder and head of research and development for Nearfield Systems Inc. (NSI). Previously he was a long term consultant to TRW (now Northrop Grumman), Paramount Pictures and others. He has consulted on a variety of projects including spacecraft antenna measurements, launch vehicle avionics, flight simulation, imaging radar design, photo instrumentation and motion picture special effects. He has designed numerous aerospace, underwater and motion picture optical systems and lenses. He has received two Academy Awards for motion picture camera technology developments and holds 14 US patents. He is the author of the technical book "Nearfield Antenna Measurements" (Artech House 1991) and numerous technical papers. He is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association (AMTA)

"Whispering with Atoms and Light: Probing Coherent Dynamics and Atomic Motion near Boundaries with Single Photons," colloquium March 18, 2011

Nathaniel Stern, Caltech

Strong, coherent interactions between a single atom and one photon within the setting of cavity quantum electrodynamics (cQED) could form the basis for quantum information networks.  To move beyond current proof-of-principle experiments involving one or two conventional optical cavities to more complex scalable systems requires the localization of individual atoms on distance scales ~100 nm from a resonator's surface.   Under these conditions, an atom can be strongly coupled to a single intracavity photon while at the same time experiencing significant radiative interactions with the dielectric boundaries of the resonator.  Offering an initial step into this new regime of cQED, I present one realization of a scalable quantum node consisting of a whispering-gallery mode microcavity coupled to a single atom.   I will discuss experiments that exploit strong interactions of atom and cavity field to probe atomic motion through the evanescent field of the resonator, demonstrating both the significant role of Casimir-Polder physics and the manifestly quantum nature of the atom-cavity dynamics.  In the last part of my talk, I will discuss efforts for trapping atoms near micro- and nano-photonic elements. 


Faculty Research Seminar, Friday April 29, 2011

Faculty, Cal State Fullerton


All faculty members will present 5 minute overviews of their research. Students interested in research opportunities especially encouraged to attend.

12-12:05    Greg Childers
12:05-12:10 Patricia Cheng
12:10-12:15 Heidi Fearn
12:15-12:20 Jim Feagin
12:20-12:25 Morty Khakoo
12:25-12:30 Mike Loverude
12:30-12:35 Josh Smith
12:35-12:40  Ionel Tifrea
12:40-12:45   Keith Wanser


Technological Advances in Atomic and Molecular Physics: Studies of electron interactions with molecular radicals, colloquium May 6, 2011

Leigh Hargreaves, Cal State Fullerton

Fundamental interactions between electrons and atoms or molecules underpin our understanding of diverse fields, ranging from industry and research focused applications such as laser and discharge physics, through to medical techniques such as radiation cancer therapy. Experimental research on interactions between electrons and atoms or molecules accordingly dates back almost a century to the pioneering Franck-Hertz experiment in 1914, which provided support of the Bohr model of the atom and was a precursor to modern Quantum Physics. Since that time, experimental atomic and molecular physics has become a mature field. The development of high resolution sources and detectors has enabled high precision studies into molecular electronic and vibrational spectroscopy and transition rates, magnetic bending of scattered particles allowed researchers to overcome the geometrical limits of their apparatus and coincidence methods allowed the very shape of an atom’s electron charge cloud to be mapped.

In this talk, I will review some of the commonly available techniques available to researchers today to study electron/molecule collisions. I will then discuss the development of a new type of experiment which enables electron collision studies with unstable molecules, particularly fluorocarbon radicals. Radicals are highly reactive atoms or molecules which exist for only very short times in any real system. However, in spite of their short lifetime, their high reactivity’s mean that radicals dominate the chemistry of any environment they find themselves in, one prominent example being the fluorocarbon plasmas used to dry etch computer chips. In spite of the importance of these species, laboratory studies on radicals are difficult using traditional methods, since one cannot easily prepare a study sample of such unstable species. The talk will focus on the techniques necessary to study these important targets, and the experimental challenges one faces to develop such an experiment.

Student Research Colloquium, May 13 2011

Brian Kuper, Chris Johnstone, Rehab Al-Buraidi, Brent Yates, Casey Sanchez, Cal State Fullerton

In this last colloquium of the semester several of our student researchers will present the results of their projects.