Spring '15 -- 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, 2120 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 this linked web-page by 5:00 PM CDT on May 5. The topic selected with a one page outline must be submitted in class on April 7. 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
Wesley Smith Introduction/Particle Physics January 20, 2015
Matt Herndon The Higgs Boson January 27, 2015
Mark Rzchowski Building new physics with atomic-level design February 3, 2015
Franz Himpsel Photovoltaics February 10, 2015
Albrecht Karle High Energy Neutrino Astrophysics with Ice Cube February 17, 2015
Duncan Carlsmith Direct Search for Dark Matter February 24, 2015
Peter Timbie Physics of the Early Universe March 3, 2015
John Kelley South Pole Ultra-high-energy neutrinos with ARA March 10, 2015
Maxim Vavilov Quantum Information March 17, 2015
Mark Saffman Atoms and Computers March 24, 2015
Clint Sprott Chaos April 7, 2015 (Outline Due)
Yang Bai Puzzles for Particle Physics April 14, 2015
Mark  Eriksson Semiconductor Quantum Dot-Based Qubits April 21, 2015
Dan McCammon X-ray Astronomy April 28, 2015
Bob Joynt Superconductivity May 5, 2015 (Paper Due)

 (Get course poster here).