Colloquium: Are the parameters of the Standard Model fine tuned for carbon-based life?

Colloquium on Thursday, 5 Februar, at 16:00 in the Lehman Hall of the SEH by

Dr. Dean Lee
North Carolina State University

Dr. Lee will discuss some recent results obtained using ab initio lattice simulations of effective field theory to probe nuclear structure.  In particular he will present recent lattice calculations of the Hoyle state of carbon-12 and  whether or not light quark masses must be fine-tuned for the viability of carbon-based life.


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Colloquium: Broadband View of the Most Extreme Transients

Colloquium on Thursday, 23 January, at 16:00 in the Lehman Hall of the SEH by

Alexander van der Horst (most recent GW faculty member):

While most of the observable sky is steady and does not change on human timescales, there are objects displaying variability on timescales of years to days, to seconds, and even small fractions of a second. These so-called transients are usually associated with the most extreme objects in the Universe like neutron stars and black holes, or their formation in stellar explosions as supernovae or gamma-ray bursts. They all display emission across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from high-energy gamma rays to low-frequency radio waves. Much of our knowledge of the physics behind these phenomena comes from broadband observations. In this talk I will show how information from the various spectral regimes has led to a broadband picture, and how detailed modeling of these regimes together can give answers to some key astrophysical questions. I will highlight recent developments, both observationally and in modeling work, and discuss the possibilities that several new observatories and facilities will offer in the near future to obtain a better understanding of the physics of transient astrophysical phenomena.


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NSF CAREER Award in Nuclear Theory: Michael Doering

Michael Doering, Assistant Professor of Physics, was offered a prestigious NSF CAREER award to explore hadronic systems at medium energies in Theoretical Nuclear Physics. He joined the department in 2014.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a National Science Foundation-wide activity that offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education and build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education. NSF receives approximately 2600 proposals annually and selects around 400 proposals each year for award grants. The award philosophy is to allow outstanding junior faculty to concentrate on building a strong research group in the first 5 years, with the resources provided to allow for long-term pursuit of their goals.

Prof. Doering’s successful application continues the string of four previous CAREER awards in Physics: Profs. Feldman (1997, Nuclear Experiment), Zeng (2001, Biophysics Theory), Griesshammer (2007, Nuclear Theory) and Alexandru (2012, Nuclear Theory).

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Accepting IRES Applications

Last Summer, four undergraduate students from GW, and one from American University headed out to Mainz, Germany to gain research experience in nuclear physics at the Mainzer Microton (MAMI). They were accompanied by three graduate students, and Professors Briscoe and Downie with  Prof. Teodorescu providing remote support.  The summer research program is supported by the NSF IRES program: International Research Experiences for Students under Award number IIA-1358175.


The summer research experience involved working on the experiments within the A2 Collaboration: doing shifts on the experiments, working on the apparatus, simulating new experimental directions and analyzing data.   In addition to working on the experiments in Mainz, Germany, the Summer students also made trips to work with collaborators at the University of Glasgow, in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Villigen, near Zurich, Switzerland. At PSI, the students also had chance to learn about the MUSE experiment.

If you think this sounds like a great opportunity for you, or a friend, Professors Briscoe, Downie and Teodorescu are now accepting applications for Summer 2015.  More details and the application pack can be found here!  The deadline for applications is February 15th 2015.

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Physics Department Welcome Colloquium

We returned to our traditional colloquium timeslot at a new venue:

Thursdays at 4:00 pm,

in the Lehman Lecture Hall (B1220) of the Science and Engineering Hall.

First colloquium: 15 January

Faculty, staff and new student introductions, followed by a social mixer.

All are Welcome!

Light snacks will be served.



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