Physics Colloquium

This Fall 2021 hybrid Physics Colloquium will be a showcase of our Alumni. We hope this showcase will bring our physics majors enthusiasm and encouragement while understanding how a Kennesaw State University (KSU) physics major could contribute to the STEM workforce. 

Friday, Steptember 17, 2021

  • Speaker: Mr. Christopher Rose, Physics Alumni and Sr. Satellite Engineer
    Space Systems Engineering and Operations; Intelsat
  • Title: "Why be a physics Major - Reflections from a Physics Alumni"
    • Session 1: 12:30 to 1:15 pm
      Joe Mack Wilson Student Center A 216 (Marietta Campus)
      Meet with the speaker for one-one
      RSVP -

    • Session 2: 1:30 to 2:30 pm 
      Joe Mack Wilson Student Center A 216 (Marietta Campus)
      Colloquial - Reflection Talk

Friday, October 1, 2021

  • Time: 1:30-2:30 pm 
  • Room: A214 (Marietta Campus)
  • Refreshments 12:15 pm
  • Speaker: Dr. Mahmoud Asmar, Assistant professor of Physics KSU
  • Title: "Photo-Control of Quantum Materials"
  • Abstract: Recent advances in condensed matter physics have allowed for the synthesis and exfoliation of quantum materials, and some of these materials are effectively described by the Dirac equation. These materials are known as Dirac materials and offer new paradigms in the understanding and realization of electronic, information transfer, and optoelectronic applications. I study the functionalization of Graphene, the first Dirac material, and the formation of photo-controllable bound states. I also explore the impact that spin-orbit coupling, and topological phase transitions have on the indirect exchange interaction between magnets in hybrids enclosing this material. Additionally, I explore the photo-control of the magnetic exchange interaction mediated by irradiated metals in lateral heterostructures, and the realization of a photo-sensitive transfer of information between magnets.

Friday, October 8, 2021

  • Time: 1:30-2:30 pm
  • Room: 216 A or virtual via
  • Refreshments 1:15 pm
  • Speaker: Mr. Duncan Bohannon; SPSU/KSU Physics Alumni and PhD Candidate Ga Tech
  • Title: "Prediction of Plan Adaptation in Head and Neck Cancer Proton Therapy"
  • Abstract: Proton therapy has great advantage over photon therapy in head and neck cancer radiotherapy due to the absence of exit dose from the proton beams. However, proton therapy is much more sensitive to anatomical changes and setup uncertainties, which results in up to 40% re-planned rates in head and neck cancers (H&N). Using clinical data from over one hundred H&N patients treated with proton therapy, this project aims to create a neural network which will be trained with patients' clinical, radiographic, and dosimetric information, and will be able to evaluate plan quality and predict the probability of plan adaption. This will be a great tool to guide clinical practice in proton therapy for not only head and neck cancer treatments, but also other treatment sites that suffer frequent plan adaptations. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

  • Time: 1:30-2:30 pm 
  • Room: Virtual
  • Speaker: Michael Bowles; SPSU Physics Alumni and Scientist at John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
  • Title: "Minimizing background for the Super CDMS SNOLAB Dark Matter Experiment"
  • Abstract: Astronomical and cosmological observations indicate that an unseen Dark Matter outweighs normal matter in our Universe by 5 times. SuperCDMS SNOLAB is a next-generation Dark Matter experiment that will deploy high-purity, cryogenic, superconducting detectors deep underground. The detectors are designed to measure low-energy nuclear recoils arising from very weakly interacting particle Dark Matter while rejecting naturally occurring radioactive backgrounds. In this talk, I describe the SuperCDMS detectors, nuclear-recoil energy calibration, and the dominant backgrounds which come from radon. I outline the commissioning and operation of a system used to measure radon emanation and another to measure radon diffusion. With these measurements, we identified practical materials to seal the radon purge surrounding the SuperCDMS detectors. This ensures that these dominant backgrounds contribute <1% of the radioactivity intrinsic to the detectors.

Friday, November 12, 2021

  • Time: 1:30-2:30 pm 
  • Room: Virtual
  • Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Black, SPSU Physics Alumni and Physicist at National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Title: "Optical synthesis by spectral translation"
  • Abstract: Optical-frequency synthesizers are lsers stabilized and programmed from a microwave clock for applications, especially in fundamental measurements and spectroscopy, optical-communication links, and precision sensing of numerous physical effects. I will present an optical-frequency synthesizer based on four-wave-mixing spectral translation of a tunable laser and an optical-frequency comb. The synthesizer is demonstrated using advanced integrated photonic microresonators. Intrinsic energy and momentum conservation in four-wave-mixing ensures deterministic synthesis, and it allows a nearly arbitrary frequency tuning range by the dependence of resonant four-wave-mixing on group-velocity dispersion, temperature, and tunable laser frequency. The synthesizer can be operated across output ranges up to 200 THz with sub-Hz accuracy. Our experiments demonstrate a near limitlessly broadband approach to optical-frequency synthesis, enabling diverse controls for generation of optical frequencies and the ability to create complex integrated-nonlinear-photonic circuits.