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Physics Conference Room, SB B326
Coffee starts at 12:00 PM and talk starts at 12:15 PM
Feb '20
Michael Lubell  -  Monday, February 10, 2020
PDFDownload PDF locationScience Building C201 talk time12:15 pm
ABSTRACT: Science and the technologies it has spawned have been the principal drivers of the American economy since the end of World War II. Today, economists estimate that a whopping 85 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) growth traces its origin to science and technology. The size of the impact should not be a surprise, considering the ubiquity of modern technologies.

Innovation has brought us the consumer products we take for granted: smart phones and tablets, CD and DVD players, cars that are loaded with electronics and GPS navigating tools and that rarely break down, search engines like Google and Yahoo, the Internet and the Web, money-saving LED lights, microwave ovens and much more. Technology has also made our military stronger and kept our nation safer. It has made food more affordable and plentiful. It has provided medical diagnostic tools, such as MRIs, CT scanners and genomic tests; treatments for disease and illness, such as antibiotics, chemo-therapy, immunotherapy and radiation; minimally-invasive procedures, such as laparoscopy, coronary stent insertion and video-assisted thoracoscopy; and artificial joint and heart valve replacements.

None of those technological developments were birthed miraculously. They owe a significant part of their realization to public and private strategies and public and private investments. Collectively the strategies and investments form the kernel of science and technology policy. Navigating the Maze is a narrative covering more than 230 years of American science and technology history. It contains stories with many unexpected twists and turns, illustrating how we got to where we are today and how we can shape the world of tomorrow.


Michael Lubell is the Mark W. Zemansky Professor of Physics at the City College of the City University of New York (CCNY). He has spent much of his career carrying out research in high-energy, nuclear and atomic physics, as well as quantum optics and quantum chaos, and is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society He is well known in public policy circles for his ground-breaking work in Washington, DC, where he served as director of public affairs of the American Physical Society for more than two decades. He has published more than 300 articles and abstracts in scientific journals and books and has been a newspaper columnist and opinion contributor for many years. He has been active in local, state and national politics for half a century and has lectured widely in the United States and Europe. Navigating the Maze is his first full-length book.
Feb '20
ABSTRACT: In this talk, I will discuss the optical biopsy (OB) techniques we have used for cancer diagnosis. Currently the gold-standard method for cancer diagnosis is needle biopsy along with histopathology. This process is invasive, time consuming, and subjective due to the judgment of pathologists. OB is a collection of alternative optical spectroscopy and imaging techniques that are used as diagnostic tools and have attracted enormous attention in the past decades. Native fluorescence spectroscopy (NFS) and Raman spectroscopy (RS) are two important OB techniques which can detect biochemical and morphological information in biological samples at the molecular level based on the excitation, emission, or vibrational properties of the molecules. Such techniques are label free and non-invasive, and can operate rapidly in vivo. We have used these techniques to diagnose different types of cancer, distinguish normal and cancerous tissues, identify cancer grades, detect metastatic ability of cancer cells, etc. 
In particular, I will discuss a new Raman technique, visible resonance Raman (VRR) using 532nm for excitation. Most Raman-based cancer studies in the literature have used near-infrared (NIR) laser excitation, where Raman signal is very weak. Using high power (e.g. 300mW) or long exposure time (e.g. minutes) led to limitation of the technique for practical applications. In contrast, due to the resonance effect, VRR was shown to provide enhanced Raman peaks for key biomolecules which may be used as markers for cancer diagnosis. 
In the meantime, I will discuss the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the research. Often times, analyzing spectral or imaging data from biological samples is challenging due to the complexity of the data. Machine learning (ML) or deep learning (DL) for AI has been shown to be a promising approach to analyze the “big” data. AI can detect salient features from the high-dimension spectral data, reveal biochemical and morphological information, for accurate diagnosis and prognosis of cells/tissue. 
Optical biopsy with AI techniques brings great opportunities to the field of healthcare. In particular, it provides promising novel techniques for accurate, noninvasive, early detection of cancers.
Mar '20
ABSTRACT: Our understanding of the universal phenomenon in many-body systems ranging from subatomic to astronomical scales relies largely on the hydrodynamical framework. Thus the discovery of new hydrodynamic effect opens new understanding in a multitude of physical systems.  Such hydrodynamical effect recently has come to fore from Quantum Hall Effect (QHE), where Avron, Seiler, and Zograf showed that the viscosity of QH fluid is purely dissipation-less and is the off-diagonal component of the total viscosity tensor, dubbed `odd' or `Hall' viscosity. It turns out that odd viscosity is not limited to QH, but a special symmetry allowed term of a parity broken system in two dimensions. In this talk, I will outline several fascinating fluid phenomena induced by odd viscosity term such as “odd" torque, “odd" surface waves and  "odd" bubbles and discuss their applicability in a wide class of systems ranging from chiral active matter to fractional quantum Hall effect.
Mar '20
Ksenia Dolgaleva  -  Monday, March 30, 2020
ABSTRACT: Rapid development of nanofabrication has stimulated the growth of the field of nonlinear photonics. Nonlinear photonic devices are finding their applications in more and more areas, including (but not limited to) classical and quantum communications, sensors, nonlinear spectroscopy. The material platforms used for nonlinear photonics on-a-chip range from transparent dielectrics with a relatively weak nonlinearity to semiconductor materials with strong nonlinear interactions. The established nanofabrication techniques also allow to produce artificial nanostructured materials (metamaterials) with tailored linear and nonlinear optical responses. 

Among the materials for nonlinear photonics on-a-chip, III-V semiconductors stand out due to the large variety of compounds suitable for different spectral ranges. There is, however, very little information available on the nonlinear optical performance of various III-V semiconductor compounds. There are very few isolated representatives of this group of materials that have been assessed for their nonlinear optical performances (e.g., AlGaAs), while there exist many other material representatives of this group of semiconductors, offering a variety of operation ranges and applications, that have never been studied for that role.

In this presentation, I propose an approach towards identifying interesting material candidates suitable for nonlinear photonics, and present the results of some experimental studies performed in this direction. More specifically, I will talk about our studies of GaN waveguides with wide electronic bandgap, suitable for the applications in the visible and near-infrared spectral ranges. I will also present the results of our experimental realization of passive InGaAsP waveguides that have potentials of being used for wavelength conversion to beyond 2 micrometers, thus expanding the operation range of well-established InGaAsP laser sources to the longer wavelengths. In addition, I will briefly describe our collaborative projects focused on nonlinear metamaterials and nonlinear optical interactions at the Terahertz frequencies.
Apr '20
Apr '20
Ricardo Herbonnet  -  Monday, April 27, 2020
ABSTRACT: In the last few decades astronomical observations have revealed the strange nature of the Universe. Observations of phenomena at vastly different ages of the Universe consistently require more than baryonic matter and baryonic physics to be explained. Both dark energy, the cause of the accelerated expansion of the Universe, and dark matter, mostly responsible for the gravitational build-up of large scale structure in the Universe, have, to date, no clear physical explanation. By putting strong limits on the energy density of these dark components with astronomical observations, theoretical models of dark matter and dark energy can be tested and refined.
A promising tool is to study the growth of structure through cosmic time. Higher density of dark matter in the Universe leads to more clustered matter distributions at the present time, whereas dark energy pulls these structures apart. Therefore, by measuring the number and mass of large objects in the Universe, we can determine the energy density of the dark components. The largest objects in the Universe are galaxy clusters and their rarity makes them a very powerful probe of cosmology. Approximately 85% of the mass of clusters is in the form of dark matter and and requires a probe of gravitating mass to be weighed. Mass estimates based on the baryonic content of the cluster are known to be biased from simulations, but gravitational lensing provides the tool to measure an unbiased total mass of dark matter and light-emitting matter. The combination of gravitational lensing with baryonic mass proxies is the key to galaxy cluster cosmology.
I will review how galaxy clusters are found and discuss the latest gravitational lensing measurements of galaxy clusters and their impact on cosmology.
May '20
ABSTRACT: Understanding how sensory information is represented, processed and leads to generation of complex behavior from the activity of neurons is the major goal of systems neuroscience. Many brain functions are emergent functional states of highly distributed functional networks that include the dynamic interaction of local circuits with long-range neuronal connections. However, the ability to detect and manipulate such large-scale functional circuits has been hampered by the lack of appropriate tools and methods that allow parallel and spatiotemporally specific manipulation of neuronal population activity while capturing the dynamic activity of the entire network at high spatial and temporal resolutions. I will present the development of different optical neurotechnologies in our laboratory that have been aimed at addressing this technological gap over the last decade. Through these we have consistently extended the boundaries of speed, resolution and volume size up to the level of whole brains at which neuronal circuits can be functionally recorded across different model systems.