Junior and senior physics majors attend our biweekly colloquium series, held on Tuesday afternoons at 4:30 pm in Shanahan B460. The talks are open to all students and to the public, and are frequently attended by scientists from the other Claremont Colleges, Cal Poly Pomona, and others. The series features speakers from a broad range of institutions and fields of physics.

HMC Physics Colloquium shot
Dec. 10, 2019 Vivien Zapf (’97), Los Alamos National Laboratory
The National High Magnetic Field Lab and Magnetism influencing Ferroelectricity


Oct. 8, 2019 Sarah Marzen, WM Keck Science Center
How can we predict efficiently?

Organisms have to predict the future to best choose actions.  How do they do it, especially given the resource constraints that govern their ability to process information?  We evaluate the ability of machine learners, bio-inspired neural networks, neurons, and humans to predict and memorize, with surprising preliminary findings.

April 30, 2019 Vedika Khemani, Harvard University
Quantum Matter Out of Equilibrium

Statistical mechanics is one of the foundational pillars of modern physics. At its core is the idea of thermal equilibrium, which allows for a simple description of a many-particle system in terms of a few macroscopic, equilibrium properties like temperature or pressure. Although many of the fundamentals of quantum statistical mechanics were formulated almost a century ago, recent developments have …

April 23, 2019 Alex Frañó, University of California at San Diego
The “quantumness” of quantum materials explored by resonant x-ray scattering

We are in exciting times for synchrotron science and condensed matter physics. Modern x-ray experiments offer a powerful tool to address fundamental questions about materials. In this colloquium, I will illustrate some intriguing cases involving materials in which electronic correlations yield intertwined, ordered patterns of the spin, charge and orbital character of the wave functions. I will discuss x-ray scattering …

April 9, 2019 Jun Allard, University of California at Irvine
Force-sensitivity and cooperativity arising from polymer properties of formins and other intrinsically disordered molecules.

Many proteins fold into a specific shape, or structure, and the details of the shape allow the protein to carry out a job in a cell. This has lead to a dogma in molecular biology that structure determines function. However, many proteins lack a single dominant structure, but instead have "intrinsically disordered regions". These appear often in cell signaling and …

April 2, 2019 Yangyang Cheng, Cornell University
The Biggest Baddest Machines for the Deepest Darkest Secrets

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located at the Swiss-French border, is the largest and most complex machinery on earth. It smashes proton and heavy ion beams at nearly the speed of light, seeking answers to some of the most fundamental questions about the structure and interactions of our universe. The CMS detector, one of the main experiments at the LHC, …

March 5, 2019 Aaron Streets, University of California at Berkeley
Imaging and sequencing individual cells

Quantitative cellular imaging with coherent Raman microscopy reveals morphological characteristics and chemical composition at the single-cell level.  Meanwhile recent advances in high-throughput sequencing have enabled whole-transcriptome profiling of gene expression in single cells. Both measurements can uncover heterogeneity in cellular populations that would otherwise be obscured in ensemble measurement. Furthermore both imaging and gene expression profiling can be used to …

Feb. 19, 2019 Seyda Ipek, University of California at Irvine
Why Are We Here? Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry Of The Universe

Everything around us, cookies, rocks, stars, galaxies, etc. is made up of “matter” and not “antimatter”. We know that if antimatter comes close to matter, they annihilate each other leaving only energy behind. That we are here means there is no antimatter to annihilate with us. But what happened to the antimatter in the Universe? Where did it go? How …

Feb. 5, 2019 Simona Murgia, University of California at Irvine
The Brighter Side of Dark Matter

Evidence for dark matter is overwhelming. From experimental data,  we can infer that dark matter constitutes most of the matter in the Universe and that it interacts very weakly, and at least gravitationally, with ordinary matter. However we do not know what it is. It is plausible that dark matter is made of a new kind of particle (or particles) …

Jan. 22, 2019 Brian Shuve, Harvey Mudd College
REU Opportunities

REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) opportunities will be discussed with HMC’s own Prof. Shuve leading the discussion. Other physics faculty will be in attendance as well to contribute and answer any questions you may have.

Shanahan B460

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

4:30 p.m. with refreshments at 4:15

Dec. 11, 2018 John Jeang, Vivian Phun, Sophie Harris, Luis Martinez, Harvey Mudd College
Senior Theses Talks #4

HMC Physics Colloquium – Tuesday, December 11, 2018 @ 4:30 – Refreshments at 4:15.

 Shanahan B460

“Senior Talks”

John Jeang, Vivian Phun (HRL), Sophie Harris, Luis Martinez (LLNL)


Please join us!

Dec. 4, 2018 Colter Downing, Qianti Min, Sophie Ehlen, Harvey Mudd College
Senior Theses Talks #3

HMC Physics Colloquium – Tuesday, December 4, 2018 @ 4:30 – Refreshments at 4:15.

 Shanahan B460

“Senior Talks”

Colter Downing, Qianti Min, Sophie Ehlen

Please join us!

Nov. 27, 2018 Claudia Ojeda-Aristizabal, California State University, Long Beach
Thin film C60: a new available block to build van der Waals heterostructures

C60, the organic molecule made of sixty carbon atoms arranged in soccer-ball looking structure, has brought a lot of excitement to condensed matter physicists, chemists and material scientists since it appearance in 1985. The combination of the buckyball structure made of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons (a volume known since the time of Leonardo DaVinci) together with important electron-electron and …

Nov. 13, 2018 Flip Tanedo, University of California at Riverside
The WIMP is Dead, Long Live the WIMP

Laboratory searches for dark matter now exclude many of the "weakly interacting massive particle" models that were favored by particle physicists for decades. We discuss what this means for the theoretical and experimental frontier of particle physics and address what we really mean when we say "WIMP."

Nov. 6, 2018 Jatin Abacousnac '18, Quentin Barth '18, and Nathan Pope '18, Harvey Mudd College
Senior Theses Talks #3

Three senior Physics majors talk about their senior projects.