Spring '16 -- Prof. Wesley Smith

PHYSICS 301 -- Physics Today/Undergraduate Colloquium

Description: A series of weekly presentations and discussions of current research topics in physics by the scientists involved in those studies. this course is designed to expose students to the topics and excitement of the research frontier. Each lecture will be given by a different researcher who will describe his/her field and his/her own work. Opportunities will be offered for students to become involved in research work. This course is designed to help foster contact between students and faculty to enable opportunties for independent study, directed study, or senior thesis projects with faculty in subsequent semesters. Students will learn about a broad variety of physics research and how this research is carried out. Further information may be found on the course web page:

Credits: 1 Credit, may not be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: Physics 207-208 or equivalent.

Meetings: Tuesdays, 1:20 - 2:10, 2241 Chamberlin.

Recommended Text: Invitation to Contemporary Physics, 2nd edition, Q. Ho-Kim, N. Kumar & C.S. Lam, World Scientific Press, 2004.

Coursework: Describe a particular piece of physics research being actively pursued this year. The paper is due for submission by a pdf file (MS-word is accepted but not preferred) that has your name and "301" in the file name using the following link by 5:00 PM CDT on May 3

The topic selected with a one page outline must be submitted using the same link above by 5:00 PM CDT onApril 5. The paper must be typed double spaced, use proper footnotes and have a total length of not less than 7 and not more than 10 pages. The primary resource for this paper is the Physics Dept. Library . The librarian, Kerry Kresse , will be able to assist you. Honors students must proceed under the direction of a faculty member of their own choice.

Office Hours: By appointment, 4275 Chamberlin, 262-4690. wsmith@hep.wisc.edu , http://www.hep.wisc.edu/wsmith/

Speaker Title Date
Clint Sprott Chaos January 19, 2016
Matthew Herndon Discovery of the Higgs boson January 26, 2016
Stefan Westerhoff HAWC: A New Gamma-Ray Observatory to Study Astrophysics at the High-Energy Frontier February 2, 2016
Jan Egedal Magnetic reconnection, a celestial phenomenon in the laboratory February 9, 2016
Alex Levchenko Coulomb drag and anomalous Hall transport phenomena  February 16, 2016
Kam Arnold Cosmology using cosmic microwave background polarization February 23, 2016
Maxim Vavilov Quantum Computing with Electronic Circuits March 1, 2016
John Kelley The Askaryan Radio Array: Searching for Ultra-high-energy Neutrinos at the South Pole March 8, 2016
Kael Hanson Catching Neutrinos in the Deep Ice: an IceCube Tutorial March 15, 2016
Franz Himpsel Solar Energy March 29, 2016
Bob Joynt Superconductivity April 5, 2016 (Outline Due)
Dan McCammon X-ray Astronomy with Sounding Rockets April 12, 2016
Pupa Gilbert biomineralization April 19, 2016
Mark Saffman Atoms and qubits - solving complex problems with simple quantum systems April 26, 2016
Robert McDermott Superconducting Quantum Information Processing May 3, 2016 (Paper Due)

 (Get course poster here).