Other Events, 2017
Society of Women in Physics: Dr. Kawtar Hafidi, "A Personal Odyssey: From Africa to America"
March 10, 2017 | 3:00 PM | ERC 576
Picture: Society of Women in Physics: Dr. Kawtar Hafidi, A Personal Odyssey: From Africa to America
Dr. Hafidi will present on her history and career in order to open up discussion about the experiences of women and underrepresented minorities in physics and science. An informal reception and discussion will follow.

Dr. Kawtar Hafidi is the Director of the Physics Division at Argonne National Laboratory. She is an experimental nuclear physicist who has received numerous awards recognizing her effective advocacy for increased diversity. Previously, she has led Argonne's Women in Science and Technology program and was chair of the American Physical Society's Committee on the Status of Women in Physics.

EFI colloquium: Adrienne Kolb, "Tunnel Visions: The History of the Superconducting Super Collider"
April 24, 2017 | 4:15 PM | ERC 401
Thirty-four years ago the US high - energy physics community planned the most powerful hadron collider ever attempted, the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), a 54 - mile, 20 TeV on 20 TeV proton collider costing $2 - 3 billion. It was proposed to the Department of Energy in 1983. The NAS and DOE conducted a nation - wide site search. Batavia, Illinois was among the finalists, but Waxahachie, Texas won the competition. Initial construction began in 1989, but by 1992 the project was in trouble. After spending nearly $3B, Congress cancelled the SSC in 1993, and Europe seized the energy frontier. In the talk I will recall the brief history of the SSC featuring highlights and low points of the project described in the author's 2015 book Tunnel Visions, the Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider, written with coauthors Lillian Hoddeson and Michael Riordan and published in 2015 by The University of Chicago Press.

2016-2017 Brinson Lecture: Nergis Mavalvala, "The Warped Universe: the one hundred year quest to discover Einstein's gravitational waves"
April 25, 2017 | 6:00 PM | School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 112 South Michigan Ave., MacLean Ballroom
Picture: 2016-2017 Brinson Lecture: Nergis Mavalvala, The Warped Universe: the one hundred year quest to discover Einsteins gravitational waves

Nergis Mavalvala, 2016-2017 Brinson Lecturer
Nergis Mavalvala is the Marble Professor of Astrophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a 2010 recipient of a MacArthur "genius" award. She is a physicist whose research connects the microscopic quantum world with some of the most powerful forces in the cosmos. She has worked on the detection of gravitational waves for decades, and is a longtime member of the scientific team that announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). Mavalvala has also conducted pioneering experiments on generation and application of squeezed states of light, and on laser cooling and trapping of macroscopic objects to enable observation of quantum phenomena in human-scale systems. Mavalvala received a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. from MIT. She was a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the California Institute of Technology before joining the Physics faculty at MIT in 2002.

2016-2017 Brinson Lecture: "The Warped Universe: the one hundred year quest to discover Einstein's gravitational waves"
In 2016, scientists announced the first ever detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes, launching a new era of gravitational wave astrophysics. Gravitational waves were predicted by Einstein hundred years earlier. I will describe the scientific and human story behind these discoveries that provide a window into some of the most violent and warped events in the Universe.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

NASA's Solar Probe mission discussion
May 30, 2017 | 4:30 PM | ERC 401
NASA will make an announcement on the first spacecraft to fly directly into the sun's atmosphere during a ceremony Wednesday, May 31 at the University of Chicago honoring Eugene Parker, professor emeritus in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UChicago.

Four of the key scientists involved in this mission will participate in a panel discussion about the science on Tuesday, May 30, at 4:30pm in ERC 401.

The panel members are
  • Dr. Nicky Fox (JHU/APL), Solar Probe Project Scientist
  • Dr. Russ Howard (Naval Research Laboratory), PI of the Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR)
  • Dr. Justin Kasper (University of Michigan/ Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory), PI of the Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) Investigation
  • Marco Velli (University of California, Los Angeles), PI for the Heliophysics Solar Probe

Solar Probe will plunge through the sun's atmosphere, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it, providing humanity with the first-ever close-up view of a star. The satellite will use seven Venus flybys over nearly seven years to gradually reduce its orbit around the sun, coming as close as 6.2 million kilometers to our star, well within the orbit of Mercury and more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before. Flying into the outermost part of the sun's atmosphere (e.g., the corona) for the first time, Solar Probe will employ a combination of in situ measurements and imaging to revolutionize our understanding of the corona and expand our knowledge of the origin and evolution of the solar wind. It will also make critical contributions to our ability to forecast changes in Earth's space environment that impact life and technology on Earth.

Physics with a BANG
December 9, 2017 | 11:00 AM | KPTC
Picture: Physics with a BANG
Children, families, students and teachers are all invited to attend this annual holiday lecture and open house at the Kresten Physics Teaching Center at the University of Chicago. Graduate students, undergraduate students and professors are going to perform breathtaking physics demonstrations with a bang. Participants could also take part in many hands-on activities relating to various topics in physics.