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“ That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer. ”
- Jacob Bronowski
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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
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
University of Ottawa
Apr '20
Apr '20
Ricardo Herbonnet  -  Monday, April 27, 2020
May '20
Alipasha Vaziri  -  Monday, May 4, 2020
Rockefeller University