Physics and Astronomy Colloquia Series!


Contributed by Cheryl Gunther

I am happy to announce our Fall Colloquia schedule! Starting on next Tuesday, September 22, we will host a colloquia speaker every other Tuesday from 12:10 - 1 PM. Many of the speakers have offered to stay afterward and answer whatever questions you might have in a less formal setting! 

We will use the following recurring Zoom link:

This is a very exciting opportunity, as we’re able to invite many speakers from both near and far! Please feel free to invite your friends from across campus who you think may be interested! 

Our series kicks off with Professor Catherine Herne from SUNY New Paltz next Tuesday at 12:10 PM. Here is some information about her talk:

Seeing the unseen: finding force with light
Abstract: How can physicists see forces acting on optical materials? Optical tweezers, trapping and controlling objects with lasers, provides forces for laser-controlled micro-robotics. The precise motion of transparent “micro-arms” resulting from laser illumination is often hard to model; instead we measure the change in the laser light after passing through objects in order to infer forces acting on them. My students and I have developed a technique using polarization measurements to image these laser modes.  In this talk, calcite crystals feature as the micromachine and polarimetry as the measuring device. 

Bio: Dr. Catherine Herne is an Associate Professor of Physics at SUNY New Paltz where she teaches physics and does research using optical tweezers. Her teaching focuses on introductory physics, optics, and advanced labs, and her research investigates the interactions of light with matter.