Spring '14 -- 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, 2223 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 in an email to Prof. Smith by 5:00 PM CDT on May 6. The topic selected with a one page outline must be submitted in class on April 8. 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/The Higgs Boson January 21, 2014
Albrecht Karle High Energy Neutrinos with Ice Cube January 28, 2014
Duncan Carlsmith Garage Physics Projects February 4, 2014
Maxim Vavilov Counting Microwave Photons February 11, 2014
Peter Timbie The Early Universe February 18, 2014
Yang Bai Dark Matter Searches February 25, 2014
Clint Sprott Chaos March 4, 2014
Dan McCammon X-ray Astronomy from Sounding Rockets March 11, 2014
Sue Coppersmith Quantum Computing March 25, 2014
Mark Rzchowski Designing Interfaces at the Atomic Scale April 1, 2014
John Kelley South Pole Ultra-high-energy neutrinos with ARA April 8, 2014 (Outline Due)
Thad Walker Quantum noise in magnetometers  April 15, 2014
Bob Joynt Superconductivity April 22, 2014
Sridhara Dasu LHC Dark Matter Searches April 29, 2014
Stefan Westerhoff First Light with HAWC Gamma-Ray Observatory May 6, 2014 (Paper Due)

 (Get course poster here).