One of the best ways to expand your knowledge is to attend seminars and listen to talks in a variety of topics. Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students of the PAMS department and the MSU community are highly encouraged to attend our weekly seminars, given by invited speakers and our own graduate students. Unless otherwise noted below, the PAMS department seminars are held on

Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.
Kemper Hall #206

Refreshments are usually served at 3:45 p.m. at the top of the stairs.

(See the CNAS Events for other seminars, e.g., in Chemistry or Biology.)

Fall 2019 Seminar Schedule

Date Speaker Title
Aug. 22 1st week of classes: No seminar
Aug. 29

Rajan Khadka
PAMS Graduate Student

Study of Amorphous Boron Carbide (a-BxC) Materials using Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Hybrid Reverse Monte Carlo (HRMC)
Muztoba Rabbani
PAMS Graduate Student
Development of Multicomponent EAM Potential for Ni Based SuperAlloy
Sep. 5

Hayley Sohn
University of Colorado Boulder

Active Liquid Crystal Skyrmions

Note: Hayley is a former MSU student, and will hold an informal session (2:30 p.m. in Kemper 101M) with students to discuss the PhD process and her experience. Anyone interested in graduate school is encouraged to attend and chat with Hayley.

Abstract: The coexistence of order and fluidity in soft condensed matter often mimics that found in biological cells, which allows for complex collective dynamics and highly technological applications, like displays and sensors. In active soft matter, different forms of emergent order can even arise because of the out-of-equilibrium dynamic behavior, powered by local energy conversion. We show that this emergent ordering can mimic behavior of familiar living systems with coherent motion, like crowds of people and schools of fish. Most active matter systems are biological in origin, although the discovery of inanimate, purely synthetic particles capable of such emergent behavior would enable new breeds of materials and nanomachines. Such examples are limited, typically with chemical or mechanical agitation sources of energy.
     Here we show that millions of particle-like topological solitons, dubbed “skyrmions”, can exhibit collective dynamics when each converting macroscopically supplied electric energy into motion along spontaneously selected directions uncorrelated with the direction of electric field. We demonstrate that this motion emerges mainly from spatially asymmetric changes of director structures that evolve non-reciprocally upon the application and removal of an electric field, so that the periodic modulation of an applied field yields net translational motion of solitons. Uniquely to our system, the emergent orderly motion and giant number fluctuations in “schools” of liquid crystal skyrmions, generated at large number densities, are tuned by the inter-skyrmion cohesion that stems from the orientational elasticity of the chiral nematic host. We uncover how liquid crystal skyrmions convert electric energy into motion and self-organize into various types of clusters and chains, moving together like dynamic schools that exhibit a tunable crossover of active matter behavior and promise many technological uses.
Sep. 12 Sabila Kader Pinky
PAMS Graduate Student
Molecular Dynamics (MD) Study of Creep Deformation in Ni-based Superalloy
Sep. 19 Moudip Nandi
PAMS Graduate Student
Synthesis and Characterization of Oxide Carbide Core Shell Nano Particles
Joy Roy
PAMS Graduate Student
Fabrication of CFO@C Core/Shell Nanoparticles by Laser Ablation
Sep. 26 Abdullah Shafe
PAMS Graduate Student
Structural and Magnetic Properties of NiO@MnxNi1-xO Core-Shell Nanoparticles Synthesized at Varying pH Values
Sinjan Majumder
PAMS Graduate Student
Development of a CVD Assisted PLD System for Growing Thin Films
Oct. 3 Dr. Alexander Kozhanov
Georgia State University
Spin Waves in Structured Ferromagnetic Materials

Abstract:  A current technology drive, directed toward future signal processing and logic devices, attempts to introduce spin degrees of freedom as an alternative, complement or companion to semiconductor charge based electronics. Magnonics aims at using spin waves to transfer and process information and have the potential for spin control without directly moving charge.
     In this talk I will review our experiments on spin wave propagation in ferromagnetic micro-structures and domain wall dynamics in ultrathin ferromagnetic heterostructures. I will also discuss the magnonic logic device operation and approach to its implementation.

Oct. 10 Fall holiday: No seminar

Oct. 16 (Wed.)

Dr. Lloyd Lumata
University of Texas Dallas

Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance: Enhancing NMR and MRI Signals by >10,000-fold for Real-Time Metabolic Assessment of Cancer

Note! This is a joint seminar with Chemistry, on Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., in Glass Hall 346.
Abstract: In vivo or in vitro nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and imaging (MRI) of nuclei other than proton is hampered by the low signal sensitivity due to the minute differences in spin populations between the nuclear Zeeman energy levels. Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) or hyperpolarization, an offshoot of a particle physics technology, has recently solved this insensitivity problem by amplifying the magnetic resonance signals of insensitive nuclei such as carbon-13 by 10,000-fold or higher. The trick is to transfer the high electron thermal polarization to the nuclear spins via microwave irradiation at low temperature (close to 1 K) and high magnetic field (> 1 T), then rapidly dissolve the frozen polarized samples into hyperpolarized liquids at physiologically tolerable temperature. In this talk, I will delve into the discussion of the physics, instrumentation and engineering aspects, optimization methods, and biomedical applications of the DNP technology. This cutting-edge physics technology is currently improving cancer diagnostics by providing biochemical and metabolic information at the molecular level with superb sensitivity and specificity.
Oct. 24

Dr. Marco Cavaglià
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Unraveling the Universe's Deepest Mysteries with Gravitational Waves
Note! This seminar will be held in Library 101.

Abstract: In 1916 Albert Einstein demonstrated that space and time can be warped in the shape of a wave. However, because of the extreme weakness of gravity, it just seemed impossible that we could ever observe these "ripples of space-time".
     On February 11, 2016, one hundred years after Einstein's paper on gravitational waves, scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration announced the first observation of a gravitational wave from two colliding black holes.
     Rather than being the end of a century-long scientific journey, this scientific achievement marked the beginning of a new way of exploring our Universe. Less than two years later, LIGO and Virgo scientists detected gravitational waves from the collision of two neutron stars, an event rapidly followed by the observation of light in all regions of the electromagnetic spectrum by hundreds of telescopes around the world and space in what became the most observed cosmic event in the history of humankind.
     Gravitational-wave observations are a new way to explore the sky and uncover the Universe's deepest mysteries. They allow scientists to test Einstein's General Relativity under extreme-gravity conditions, get important clues on the structure of dead stars, understand the origin of matter and the evolution of the Universe. With routine detections of gravitational waves, we can now map the dark universe. How many black holes populate the sky? How do they form and merge? What is the origin of gamma-ray bursts? Is General Relativity the correct theory of gravity? These are just a few of the unanswered questions that gravitational-wave astronomy is helping to answer.

Oct. 31 Dr. Rao Khan
Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine
Keeping Physics Relevant in Ever-changing Practice of Radiological Medicine
Note! This is a joint seminar with Biology. It will be held in in Glass Hall 344.
Abstract: Around 40% of men and women in the United States would succumb to cancer in their lifetime; at least half of them would undergo a course of radiation therapy. Since the discovery of X rays by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895, ionizing radiation have emerged as a critical tool in cancer treatment. Medical physics an offshoot of physics, prides in its strong roots and foundations in the principles of physics is practiced in patient-centered medicine every single day. In this discourse, we will present some examples of innovative therapy paradigms practiced in radiation oncology, and trace their origins to physics and scientific principles.  At WashU, we keep our focus on physics by designing and implementing new education and training pathways to practice physics for a continually changing landscape of medicine.
Nov. 7 Dr. Yew San Hor
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Promising Candidates for Topological Superconductors

Abstract: Topological superconductors are predicted to have a full superconducting pairing gap in the bulk and gapless surface states consisting Majorana fermions which are spinless quasiparticles with no charge. This Majorana fermionic surface state, if detectable, could be useful for quantum computer. However, topological superconductors and the associated Majorana quasiparticles have not been conclusively established in real materials so far. This presentation will show, by chemical doping, Bi2Se3 topological insulator can be tuned into a bulk superconductor that could be a candidate for topological superconductor. The first example i.e. CuxBi2Se3 was discovered few years ago to be a promising one. Recently, NbxBi2Se3 is found to be another promising system for the topological superconductivity studies. Physical properties of the superconductors will be shown.
Nov. 14 Christopher Robledo
PAMS Graduate Student
Heterostructure of 2D Materials
Shahidul Asif
PAMS Graduate Student
A Comparative Study of Characteristics of ZnO TFT for Various Substrate and Fabrication Parameters
Nov. 21

No seminar

Nov. 28 Thanksgiving: No seminar
Dec. 5 Dr. Emmett Redd
Missouri State University
Mathematics and Physics: How to Make Artificial Intelligence More Like Biological Intelligence
Abstract: Alan Turing claimed that digital computers were and would remain unintelligent. To achieve intelligent machines, one would need higher computational complexity models. Hava Siegelmann found some in the 1990s, one of which could be physically realized. We have been exploring the power of this model, its implementation of the stochastic resonance physical phenomenon, and its ability to mimic physical models of chaos. Noise-enhanced digital simulations optimize chaos mimicry at similar levels to those which increase analog-to-digital measurement resolution. Qualitatively, bio-intelligence has features matching Siegelmann's model.
Dec. 12 Finals week: No seminar


Spring 2020 Seminar Schedule

Date Speaker Title
Jan. 16 1st week of classes: No seminar
Jan. 23


Jan. 30    
Feb. 6 Dr. Mallory Molina
Montana State University
Feb. 13    
Feb. 20 Dr. Bharat Ratra
Kansas State University
The Accelerating Expanding Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and Einstein's Cosmological Constant, or Why Jim Peebles was Awarded Half of the 2019 Physics Nobel Prize
Abstract: Dark energy is the leading candidate for the mechanism that is responsible for causing the cosmological expansion to accelerate. In this non-technical talk, Bharat Ratra will describe the astronomical data which persuade cosmologists that (as yet not directly detected) dark energy and dark matter are by far the main components of the energy budget of the universe at the present time. He will review how these observations have led to the development of a quantitative "standard" model of cosmology that describes the evolution of the universe from an early epoch of inflation to the complex hierarchy of structure seen today. He will also discuss the basic physics, and the history of ideas (many developed by Jim Peebles), on which this model is based.
Feb. 27 Dr. Wouter Montfrooij
University of Missouri, Columbia
Mar. 5    
Mar. 12 Dr. Xiaobo Chen
University of Missouri, Kansas City
Mar. 19 Spring break: No seminar
Mar. 26    
Apr. 2


Apr. 9 Spring holiday: No seminar
Apr. 16    
Apr. 23 Dr. Justin Walensky
University of Missouri, Columbia
Note! This is a joint seminar with Chemistry. Regular PAMS seminar time and location.
Apr. 30 Dr. Eliot Myers
University of Missouri, Kansas City
May 7    
May. 14 Finals week: No seminar