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. There will be no refreshments this semester due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

The PAMS department seminars will be held on (unless otherwise noted)

Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.​​​​​​​
External Speaker seminars will be given via Zoom
​​​​​​​Graduate Student seminars will be held
in Kemper Hall #206 and via Zoom

Zoom meeting ID:
955 2509 1021

See the CNAS Events for other seminars, e.g., in Chemistry or Biology.
List of previous seminars.

Fall 2020 Seminar Schedule

Date Speaker Title
8/20 1st week of classes: No seminar

Dr. Tiglet Besara

Research at the Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science
9/3 David Magness (PAMS) Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulations of Atomic Layer Deposition
Tauhidul Islam (PAMS) Study of Size-controlled CoO@MnFe2O4 Core-shell Nanoparticle
9/10 Dr. Matthew Horton
​​​​​​​Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Democratizing Access to Materials Science with the Materials Project

Abstract: The Materials Project provides an open-access data repository of the predicted properties of over 100,000 crystalline materials, along with a variety of web apps to explore and analyze this data. The properties offered by the Materials Project are calculated using a theoretical technique called Density Functional Theory that was, historically, outside the reach of large-scale application due to its computational complexity. With the advent of high-throughput computing, it’s now possible to perform DFT calculations at scale and this capability has resulted in a shift in how materials scientists can search for and discover new materials, drastically accelerating what has traditionally been a decades-long process to find and characterize new materials, whether these are materials for batteries, solar, water splitting, optoelectronics or other applications. This talk will discuss the Materials Project, our history and latest advances, and also the ways an open-source ethos and strong community has been crucial to the success of the project and what this means for how we can most effectively do science in the future.

9/17 Nadib Akram (PAMS) A Raman Study of Actinide Complex Species in Aqueous Chloride Solutions at High P-T Conditions
Sudha Krishnan (PAMS) Exploring Topological Weyl Semimetals Isostructural to YbMnBi2​​​​​​​ and Co2​​​​​​​MnGa
9/24 Dr. Andrew Mason
University of Central Arkansas
Do They Care, and Does It Matter? An Analysis of Learning Goals and Perceived Relevance of Introductory Physics to Life Science Majors
Abstract: Physics departments frequently have a large enrollment of life science majors in introductory physics course sequences; a strong recent topic in physics education research regards course transformations for Introductory Physics for Life Science (IPLS) after considering life science majors’ interests and aims in the course. In a study at the University of Central Arkansas, biology majors and health science majors enrolled in introductory algebra-based physics demonstrated explicit achievement goals (mastery vs. performance) and briefly discussed perceived relevance of the course material to their majors, in a short-answer feedback survey regarding the utility of a metacognitive problem-solving pre-lab exercise, as confirmed by inter-rater reliability analysis of student responses. Students’ expressed learning goals and perceived relevance (thus far, separated between students who perceived no relevance and students who found some form of relevance) were then checked against background data and against other common pre-post quantitative measurements of students’ conceptual understanding and attitudes towards learning physics. Results indicate that both achievement goals and perceived relevance are factors with regard to attitudinal pre-post shifts towards learning physics. Discussion of the results include limitations of the feedback survey and ramifications upon future plans for IPLS course design.
10/1 Dr. Jessica Krogstad
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Exploring the Potential of Concentrated Point Defects: Their Role in Mass Transport, Microstructural Evolution and Material Functionality
Abstract:​​​​​​​ Point defects are ubiquitous within materials. In many cases these defects contribute to useful material functionality but in excess they can also lead to degradation. Here we present several vignettes in which concentrated populations of point defects interact with microstructural features resulting in new perspectives on phase transformations and diffusion kinetics. We will approach this discussion from two angles: material systems wherein the excessive point defect population predominantly arises through materials synthesis choices and the other in which point defects are introduced via bombardment of an already crystalline system. In the former, the evolution of defects are driven by both intrinsic materials properties such as the stacking fault energy and extrinsic parameters such as substrate temperature and plasma energy. In the later, the crystalline lattice must respond and adapt to the flux of defects. However, in both cases, when the resulting nonequilibrium materials are allowed to relax, they do so in unexpected ways. We will present these observation as well as the broader potential of nonequilibrium point defect populations in understanding microstructural evolution, mass transport and material functionality.
10/8 Fall holiday: No seminar

Dr. Paul Canfield
Ames National Laboratory &
​​​​​​​Iowa State University

Cooking, Fishing and Jogging through Phase Space: A Practical Guide to Discovering and Understanding New Materials
Abstract: The design, discovery, characterization and control of novel materials is perhaps the most important research area for humanity as it moves into the 21st century. A myriad of societal problems concerning energy, clean water and air, and medicine all need to be solved by the discovery of new compounds with dramatically improved, or even new, properties. The search for such materials requires a blending of skills and mind sets that, traditionally, have been segregated into different academic disciplines: physics, chemistry, metallurgy, materials science. In this colloquium I will outline the basic philosophy  and techniques that we use to search for novel materials. These include a combination of intuition, experience, compulsive optimism and a desire to share discovery.
    In the second half of the lecture, the specific case of superconductivity will be used as an example of one such search. Over the past couple of decades a growing sense of where and even how to search for new superconductors has been developing, with the discoveries of MgB2 and the FeAs based materials providing, at least for me, clear guidance.
10/22 Dr. Dilpuneet Aidhy
University of Wyoming
Properties of Concentrated Alloys Predicted from Atomistic Calculations and Machine Learning
Abstract:​​​​​​​ Concentrated alloys, including high entropy alloys (HEAs), consist of multiple principal elements that are randomly distributed on a crystal lattice. The random distribution of elements leads to a varying energy landscape at each atomic site. Consequently, large variations in various types of defect energies including point defects and stacking faults is commonly observed in HEAs. Statistically capturing the variation requires performing large number of density functional theory calculations. The challenge is compounded due to the exponentially large number of compositions that are possible in HEAs. We solve the problem by leveraging machine learning tools where the defect energies computed from binary alloys are used to train the models to predict energies in multi-element alloys. We demonstrate accurate predictions of defect energies in Ni-based HEAs. A major benefit of this approach is that once the binary database is built and the model is trained, defect energies can be easily predicted thereby bypassing the need to perform large number of calculations every time a new composition is discovered.
10/29 Abiodun Odusanya (PAMS) TBA
Sajal Islam (PAMS) TBA
11/5 Alin Niraula (PAMS) TBA
Abu Zobair (PAMS) TBA
11/12 Dr. Alannah Hallas
University of British Columbia
11/19 Kwabena Asante Boahen (PAMS) TBA
Bikash Timalsina​​​​​​​ (PAMS) TBA
11/26 Thanksgiving holiday; No seminar
12/3 Dr. Catherine Espaillat
Boston University
12/10 Finals week: No seminar

Previous Seminars

Spring 2020
Date Speaker Title

Yuxuan Lu (PAMS)

Reactive MD Simulation on the Formation of Amorphous Sub-nano Alumina Layer 
Moudip Nandi (PAMS) Synthesis and Characterization of Barium Titanate and Carbon-based Core-Shell Nano Particles
1/30 Abdullah Shafe (PAMS) Magnetic Properties of NiO Based Magnetic Heterostructured Nano Crystals (MHNCs)
Joy Roy (PAMS) Fabrication of CFO@C Core/Shell Nanoparticles by Laser Ablation
2/6 Dr. Mallory Molina
Montana State University
Resolving Black Hole and Star-Formation Activity in Nearby Galaxies
2/7 Dr. Mallory Molina
Montana State University
Towards a More Inclusive Astronomy: Building Community for All in Academia
2/13 Christopher Robledo (PAMS) Heterostructure of 2D Materials
Shahidul Asif (PAMS) Study of ZnO for Thin Film Transistor
2/20 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
2/27 Dr. Wouter Montfrooij
University of Missouri, Columbia
Does Spontaneous Fragmentation of a Magnetic Lattice Lead to Heavy Fermion Behavior?
3/5 Dr. Ariful Haque
North Carolina State University
Fabrication of Q-carbon and Diamond Films by Ultrafast Laser Processing and Deposition for Electron Field Emission and Electrocatalysis Applications


Fall 2019
Date Speaker Title

Rajan Khadka (PAMS)

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

Hayley Sohn
University of Colorado Boulder

Active Liquid Crystal Skyrmions

9/12 Sabila Kader Pinky (PAMS) Molecular Dynamics (MD) Study of Creep Deformation in Ni-based Superalloy
9/19 Moudip Nandi (PAMS) Synthesis and Characterization of Oxide Carbide Core Shell Nano Particles
Joy Roy (PAMS) Fabrication of CFO@C Core/Shell Nanoparticles by Laser Ablation
9/26 Abdullah Shafe (PAMS) Structural and Magnetic Properties of NiO@MnxNi1-xO Core-Shell Nanoparticles Synthesized at Varying pH Values
Sinjan Majumder (PAMS) Development of a CVD Assisted PLD System for Growing Thin Films
10/3 Dr. Alexander Kozhanov
Georgia State University
Spin Waves in Structured Ferromagnetic Materials


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


Dr. Marco Cavaglià
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Unraveling the Universe's Deepest Mysteries with Gravitational Waves
10/31 Dr. Rao Khan
Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine
Keeping Physics Relevant in Ever-changing Practice of Radiological Medicine
11/7 Dr. Yew San Hor
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Promising Candidates for Topological Superconductors

11/14 Christopher Robledo (PAMS) Heterostructure of 2D Materials
Shahidul Asif (PAMS) A Comparative Study of Characteristics of ZnO TFT for Various Substrate and Fabrication Parameters
12/5 Dr. Emmett Redd
Missouri State University
Mathematics and Physics: How to Make Artificial Intelligence More Like Biological Intelligence