Upcoming Colloquia

Friday, September 20

12:00 PM, C215 ESC

Dan Russell

Penn State University

Physics (Acoustics and Vibration) of Hand-held Sports Equipment

The three most relevant criteria with which a player assesses the quality of a hand-held sports implement (bat, club, racket, stick, or paddle) are: (i) what it sounds like, (ii) how it feels during/after an impact, and (iii) the apparent trajectory of the ball. Two of those three criteria depend entirely on structural acoustics and vibration.  In this seminar I’ll explore several applications of structural acoustics and vibration using sports equipment as the objects of study.  I’ll explain how vibrational modes of circular membranes, flexural bending in beams, elliptical plates, and thin-walled cylindrical and spherical shells may be used to explain the vibrational behavior of tennis and racquetball rackets, golf clubs, baseball and softball bats (wood, aluminum and composite), field hockey sticks, ping-pong paddles and balls, and basketballs. I’ll explain: the sweet-spot of a baseball bat and how a vibration absorber can reduce the painful sting for hits away from the sweet spot; why one of the highest performing golf drivers was a commercial failure; why popular dampers for tennis rackets don’t actually reduce vibration; how a simple mass-spring model of the hoop mode in a hollow cylinder played a role in convincing the NCAA to adopt the BBCOR=0.5 bat standard in 2011; and why a basketball makes a “ping” sound when it bounces.

 

Dr. Daniel A. Russell has a B.S. in Physics, B.Mus. in Piano Performance, M.S. in Applied Physics, and a Ph.D. in Acoustics (Penn State, 1995).  He spent 16 years on the physics faculty at Kettering University, teaching undergraduate physics and acoustics and developing an active undergraduate acoustics laboratory and research group. He returned to Penn State in 2011 as a Teaching Professor of Acoustics and the Distance Education Coordinator for the Graduate Program in Acoustics, where he teaches several first-year graduate acoustics courses as well as electives in noise control engineering and the acoustics of musical instruments. His primary research area involves the acoustics and vibrations of sports equipment.  He has provided testing and vibration consulting services for several sporting goods manufacturers, including Easton Baseball, Ritual Field Hockey, Nike Golf, Louisville Slugger, and CE-Composites.  Dr. Russell is well known throughout the acoustics education community for his acoustics and vibration animations website (http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/demos.html).

Friday, September 27

12:00 PM, C215 ESC

No Colloquium Scheduled

Friday, October 4

12:00 PM, C215 ESC

Advanced Undergraduate Physics-Lab Reports

Brigham Young University

TBA

Friday, October 11

12:00 PM, C215 ESC

Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi

American Museum of Natural History

Distinguishing formation pathways through substellar multiplicity

Multiplicity is a direct outcome of formation and a key statistic to discriminate between brown dwarf and giant planet formation pathways. However, we lack a reliable measure of the multiplicity fraction at the mass boundary between brown dwarfs and giant planets. This statistic is crucial to distinguish between the formation history, environmental conditions, and dynamical evolution leading to the least massive brown dwarfs and the most massive planets at the intersection of their mass functions. To achieve this goal, we need a comprehensive characterization of both the statistical distributions of the population of ultracool dwarf multiple systems and the fundamental properties of their individual components as a function of age. In this talk, I will review previous multiplicity results and describe strategies to determine  multiplicity across the deuterium-burning limit.

Friday, October 25

12:00 PM, C215 ESC

Abigail Mechtenberg

University of Notre Dame

TBA

Friday, November 1

12:00 PM, C215 ESC

Eddie Tatar

Idaho State University

Adventures in Particle Physics

This presentation is intended for people curious about the inner workings of the Universe. We will examine the puzzling behaviors of the smallest objects known to science: quarks and leptons, and will seek the connection with mysterious objects like giant black holes and neutron stars. We will see what the current research says about the fundamentals laws of Nature and discuss the challenges that lie ahead in for Modern Physics in an accessible and entertaining way.

 

Dr. Tatar received a BS degree in Physics from Sofia University, Bulgaria in 1989.  He worked as a junior physicist at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, before moving to the USA to study Physics at the University of Notre Dame under the supervision of Professor Neal Cason.  In 1999 Mr. Tatar presented a paper on Groups and Representation Theory and was awarded a MS degree in Applied Mathematics.  A year later, he completed a dissertation on Hadron Spectroscopy of Light Mesons and earned a PhD in Experimental Particle Physics.  Dr. Tatar joined the faculty of Idaho State University in August 2001, where he remains until now.  Dr. Tatar’s scientific interests are in experimental and phenomenological studies of strong and weak interactions and the possible extensions of the Standard Model.  He was a member of the team that discovered the first mesons with exotic quantum numbers, after analyzing a large data set from Brookhaven National Laboratory.  His current scientific work includes high-precision measurements of the neutron decay asymmetry at Los Alamos, and neutrino oscillation experiments at Fermilab. 

Friday, November 8

12:00 PM, C215 ESC

Greg Nordin

Brigham Young University

TBA

Friday, November 15

12:00 PM, C215 ESC

Jani Radebaugh

Brigham Young University

TBA

Friday, December 6

12:00 PM, C215 ESC

Angel Garcia

Los Alamos National Laboratory

TBA

We welcome anyone who wish to attend, and typically serve refreshments ten minutes before the colloquium begins. Speakers generally keep their presentation accessible to undergraduate physics students.