Upcoming Comps talk abstracts

17 February 2020

Meritxell Colet
Wednesday, Feb 19th 2020
3:10 pm in Anderson 036

Ground Penetrating Radar

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a device that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. This geophysical method detects changes in the initial pulse due to subtle changes in the electrical conductivity of the ground and reveal the structure of the ground under your feet. GPR can lead to interesting physics questions such as how exactly does the GPR pulse discover buried roman architecture? Can you find a buried body or clandestine graves using GPR? How can you protect UNESCO cultural heritage sites using physics? In this talk, I will address these questions while also exploring fundamental principles of electromagnetic waves. I will also discuss wave propagation underground and in various media and show some interesting uses of GPR in various applied fields such as archaeology and geology.


Serena Moseley
Friday Feb 21st 2020
3:30 pm in Anderson 036

 Advancements in Radio Interferometry

Radio observations of astronomical sources from a single telescope suffer from inherently lower angular resolution than observations at shorter wavelengths. Astronomers have developed clever interferometry techniques to overcome this limitation. In this talk, I will discuss the mechanisms of radio telescopes and how they can be effectively combined together in interferometry arrays to resolve finer details of radio sources. I will then explore what happens when these telescopes are separated by trans-global distances in a technique known as very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). After investigating how astronomers use VLBI to construct high-resolution images, such as the image of the event horizon of a black hole recently released by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, I will conclude by discussing other significant applications of VLBI.


Michael McClurg
Monday, Feb 24th 2020                                                                                                                                                                                              8:30 am in Anderson 036

Modeling the Galactic Spiral Structure

Spiral arms dominate the appearance of most disk galaxies, like our own Milky Way, and appear to have a significant influence in the overall dynamics of their galaxies. In this presentation, I investigate theories of the spiral structure and the models we construct to investigate them. I start by introducing the spiral structure and the ways that we observe and learn about it from our place on Earth. I then use mechanical models to investigate the formation and evolution of spirals, particularly how they’re created and whether they are long-lasting. To do this, I introduce particle and fluid dynamic models of the galaxy and discuss their application to these questions.