To help you grow as a physicist, astronomer, or engineer, we have a colloquium series each semester.

The series gives you a chance to get away from the classroom setting, hear from people in the business, and see what’s been done elsewhere. We usually bring in about a dozen speakers per semester, including professors from other universities and scientists from business and government .

The colloquium is required, and you do get credit for it. Graduate students have to attend three series, undergraduates, one or two.

To make sure you've soaked it all in, we require that you give a presentation at the end of each semester about what you learned: an oral presentation in the fall and a poster presentation in the spring. These exercises will develop your presentation skills, which is essential in this discipline.

Fall 2019 Colloquium Series

Please join us for our physics and astronomy related seminars. All seminars take place in Cooper Physical Science Building (CP), room 144, and begin at 3:30 p.m. (unless noted otherwise). Refreshments are served at 3:15 p.m. in CP 108. Please call 765-285-8860 for further information.

Density functional theory (DFT), because of its successful simplification of the mathematics of quantum mechanics, has become the most widely used method for calculating the electronic properties of molecules and materials. Unfortunately there is no clear or systematic way to construct improvements to DFT, and much progress in developing functionals is either empirical or frustratingly ad hoc in character. An approach to try to develop systematic improvements to DFT is to find and apply scaling laws that are obeyed by electronic systems. A natural example is that generated by going down a column of the periodic table of atoms and extending the process theoretically to infinite nuclear charge Z. The result is an intriguing and unique form of electronic matter, with an infinite number of particles packing into a vanishingly small radius. And it is a limiting case where density functional theory becomes simple, so that exact functionals may be derived. The lessons learned in this limit are applicable to any merely "large" Z atom -- in practice, any atom bigger than hydrogen -- and suggest how functionals should be developed for finite Z. I discuss the use of scaling to large Z for two cases, first to improve DFT models of the correlation energy -- the potential energy due to dynamic interactions between electrons, and secondly, to construct "orbital-free" models that attempt to describe molecular bonding without the need and for and cost of computing electron orbitals.
Abstract of presentation will be added closer to the colloquium date.
Abstract of presentation will be added closer to the colloquium date.
Abstract of presentation will be added closer to the colloquium date.
Abstract of presentation will be added closer to the colloquium date.
Abstract of presentation will be added closer to the colloquium date.
As a requirement for PHYS 483/683, students are required to give a research presentation at the end of each semester.
As a requirement for PHYS 483/683, students are required to give a research presentation at the end of each semester.