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News & Events

About November 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Physics Announcements in November 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2012 is the previous archive.

December 2012 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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November 2012 Archives

November 5, 2012

Congratulations to our 2011-2012 Doctoral Candidates


Congratulations to our 2011-2012 Doctoral Candidates!

Congratulations to the 10 Physics Graduate Students who advanced into PhD Candidacy during the past year:

Brian Kirby (advisor: Dr. Franson)
Erika Nesvold (advisor: Dr. Georganopoulos)
Liwang Ye (advisor: Dr. Gougousi)
Hong Cai (advisor: Dr. Johnson)
Joel Coley (advisor: Dr. Henriksen)
Amanda Dotson (advisor: Dr. Georganopoulos)
Neetika Sharma (advisor: Dr. George)
Patricia Sawamura (advisor: Dr. Hoff)
Adriana Lima (advisor: Dr. Martins)
Barry Baker (advisor: Dr. Sparling)

These students were recognized at the Graduate School's annual Doctoral Candidates Reception on November 1, 2012. Pictured at the reception are (l to r): Dr. Lynn Sparling, Dr. James Franson, Dr. J. Vanderlei Martins, Adriana Lima, Brian Kirby, Barry Baker, Joel Coley, Dr. Mark Henriksen.

November 7, 2012

Seminar: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Multiple Exciton Generation in Lead-Salt Nanostructures
Paul D. Cunningham
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

In a typical solar cell, only part of the energy from absorbed light is converted to electricity. Each absorbed photon produces an electron-hole pair, i.e. exciton, which ultimately cools till it possesses only the semiconductor bandgap energy. The excess energy that is typically wasted can be harnessed by exploiting multiple exciton generation, whereby the excess energy is used to excite additional excitons. This process was recently shown to be more efficient in nanocrystals than in the bulk. We have discovered that multiple exciton generation is significantly enhanced in quasi-one-dimensional nanorods compared to nanocrystals. Devices exploiting this enhancement have the potential to show enhanced photovoltaic efficiencies. I will discuss our transient absorption measurements of multiple exciton generation in PbSe nanostructures. Complications arising from the quasi-one dimensionality of these nanostructures will be explained. Multiple exciton dynamics and lifetimes will also be discussed, as well as promising future directions.

Location: Physics Bldg., Room 401

November 14, 2012

Seminar: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Signposts of Planets:
What can images of dusty disks tell us about extrasolar planets?
Marc Kuchner

Images of dusty debris disks around nearby stars from the Hubble Space Telescope and ALMA show warps, rings, and other spectacular patterns. Some of these patterns are probably caused by known extrasolar planets or undetected extrasolar planets hidden in the dust. So dynamical models of these images can sometimes allow us to constrain the properties of the planets we see and find planets that would otherwise be hidden.

But adding a bit of gas to our dynamical models of debris disks-- too little gas to detect--seems to change the story. Small amounts of gas lead to new dynamical instabilities that may mimic the narrow eccentric rings and other structures planets would create in a gas-free disk. Can we still use disk patterns to find hidden exoplanets?

Location: Physics Bldg., Room 401

November 19, 2012

Dr Anthony Johnson elected to Executive Board of the APS

Anthony Johnson For the second time in his career, Dr. Anthony Johnson has been elected to serve on the Executive Board of the American Physical Society (APS). The APS is one of the leading voices for physics and an authoritative source of physics information for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity. The membership of the Society is close to 50,000. Dr. Johnson is also a member of the APS Council representing the Division of Laser Science.
The International Society for Optics & Photonics (known as SPIE) interviewed and video taped Dr. Johnson along with Research Associate Dr. Elaine Lalanne at the UMBC/CASPR Ultrafast Optics & Optoelectronics Lab in April. You can read more about the work underway within this lab, and watch the video on the SPIE WWW site.

November 28, 2012

Seminar: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

The DARPA Shredder Challenge
Don Engel

In November 2011, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) challenged civilians to come up with novel ways to reconstruct shredded documents. This talk will examine the strategy our team of two physicists developed, enabling us to place second out of about 9,000 teams. Our approach involved signal/noise analysis, computational linguistics, and innovative user interface design. DARPA has open competitions regularly and future competitions may be of interest to UMBC students, faculty, and staff.

Location: Physics Bldg., Room 401