James and the Little Neutral One – Going Up Alleys, Episode 7

Professor James Loach (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) talks to SMU undergrad Nicole Hartman and me about the elusive neutrino.
Professor James Loach (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) talks to SMU undergrad Nicole Hartman and me about the elusive neutrino.

On this episode of “Going Up Alleys,” we hear from Professor James Loach (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) about the elusive subatomic particle known as the “neutrino,” Italian for “little neutral one.” I am joined this time by SMU undergraduate Nicole Hartman, a 2012 SMU President’s Scholar and my co-interviewer for this podcast.

This episode is centered on some audio I once recorded for the “Mustang Physics Podcast,” but which never saw the light of day in that podcast.

 

 

Going Up Alleys – Episode 7 – James and the Little Neutral One

James Loach is Professor of Physics at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. His doctoral and post-doctoral work have focused on the properties of the neutrino. He was part of the team at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) in Canada that resolved the “solar neutrino problem” – the observation that too few electron-type neutrinos come from the sun – by definitively concluding that neutrinos can change form (e.g. electron neutrinos can morph into muon neutrinos, a physical process called “oscillation”). This observation is part of the modern basis of all future neutrino studies, including the ongoing quest to measure the tiny, tiny mass of the neutrino.

SMU undergraduate Nicole Hartman
SMU undergraduate Nicole Hartman

Nicole Hartman is an SMU President’s Scholar hailing from Lewisville, TX. She joined us as an undergraduate at SMU in 2012 and among her many other academic and non-academic activities has been active in leadership in the SMU Society of Physics Students (SPS). Nicole and I had the pleasure of interviewing James when he came to SMU in the fall of 2012 to work with our dark matter colleagues and give a seminar on his neutrino work. Please enjoy!

 

 

Show Notes

  • 0:00: Opening Theme and Title
  • 0:51: Introduction – the story of the neutrino
  • 7:19: Interview with James Loach
  • 22:26: Closing Remarks – the future of the neutrino and the value of basic science
  • 24:58: Closing Theme and Credits
  • Music for the podcast is licensed under Creative Commons and is by the artist, Nicoco. The song used in the podcast is “Occipital,” from the album “Classicoco,” and is available from Jamendo.
  • This podcast was produced at Hampton House. Linux and Ubuntu were used in the making of this podcast, as was a Macbook, a set of BLUE Microphones, Audacity, and an reasonably insignificantly small amount of “too much free time.”

Maps, Climate Change, and the Great Lakes (Eps. 6, Going Up Alleys Podcast)

On this episode of “Going Up Alleys,” we are treated to a discussion of interdisciplinary work on maps, climate change, and the Great Lakes, centered on a seminar by Professor Robert Markley. Dr. Markley is a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and with his colleagues combined computing and the humanities to understand the irregularities of different cartographers over time as they mapped the Great Lakes.

Dr. Markley was hosted by SMU Professor of English Rajani Sudan, and is introduced by her just before his presentation.

This episode is centered on some audio I once recorded for the “Mustang Physics Podcast,” but which never saw the light of day in that podcast.

Listen to Episode 6: Maps, Climate Change, and the Great Lakes

Professor Robert Markley is the W. D. and Sara E. Trowbridge Professor of English, Writing Studies, and Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the Fall of 2011, he spoke at SMU about his interdisciplinary work on the study of maps from cartographers in the 1700-1800s, specifically maps of the Great Lakes. The cartographers – British and French – appear to map wildly different views of the lakes. Are these due to imprecision in their abilities, or are they faithfully mapping the lakes but mistaking ice and wetland for an evolving solid coastline? Can the maps tell us, in a fine-grained way, about climate and its effects on land before the era of instrumentation, and complement “climate proxies,” which are less-fine-grained? Dr. Markley explores these and other questions through digitized maps and computer algorithms, and a lively discussion ensues. Enjoy!

Show Notes

  • 0:00: Opening Theme and Title
  • 0:50: Introduction (to the introduction)
  • 4:05: Dr. Sudan introduces Dr. Markley
  • 6:00: Dr. Markley’s Seminar and some Discussion
  • 55:35: Closing Remarks
  • 59:22: Closing Theme and Credits
  • Music for the podcast is licensed under Creative Commons and is by the artist, Nicoco. The song used in the podcast is “Occipital,” from the album “Classicoco,” and is available from Jamendo.
  • This podcast was produced at Hampton House. Linux and Ubuntu were used in the making of this podcast, as was a Macbook, a set of BLUE Microphones, Audacity, and an reasonably insignificantly small amount of “too much free time.”

“Going Up Alleys” Podcast Episode 5 – High-Performance Computing (Part 2)

On this episode of “Going Up Alleys,” we continue the seminar by Professor Thom Dunning in which he spoke about the frontier of high-performance computing (HPC). This continues a multi-part series on interdisciplinary research – solving difficult problems by bringing together traditionally compartmentalized institutions, such as computing and humanities.

This episode is like a Matryoshka doll, since I dusted off some audio I once recorded for the “Mustang Physics Podcast,” but which never saw the light of day, and then nestled it inside this podcast. Aren’t you lucky?

Listen to Episode 5: High-Performance Computing (Part 2)

Professor Thom Dunning is the Distinguished Chair for Research Excellence in Chemistry and a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. Most importantly, he is the director of the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies (IACAT) and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The SMU Chemistry Department hosted Prof. Dunning for a seminar on October 19, 2011. They graciously invited students, researchers, and faculty from all science departments at SMU to participate in the seminar. Prof. Dunning spoke about many topics, including the state of high-performance computing (HPC), the technology behind recent advances and that needed for future advances, and the diverse scientific topics that demand more and more from HPC.

This podcast continues a series on interdisciplinary themes. In this episode, we explore applications of high-performance computing to attack very hard problems in the sciences,  and the challenges to the future of HPC. In the next and last episode in the series, we’ll hear a seminar by Prof. Robert Markley (UIUC) on his use of computing to explore maps of the Great Lakes.

Show Notes

  • 0:00: Opening Theme and Title
  • 0:51: Introduction (to the introduction)
  • 1:28: Vintage Introduction
  • 2:49: Thom Dunning continues his seminar
  • 31:45: Closing Remarks
  • 32:39: Closing Theme and Credits
  • Music for the podcast is licensed under Creative Commons and is by the artist, Nicoco. The song used in the podcast is “Occipital,” from the album “Classicoco,” and is available from Jamendo.
  • This podcast was produced at Hampton House. Linux and Ubuntu were used in the making of this podcast, as was a Macbook, a set of BLUE Microphones, Audacity, and an reasonably insignificantly small amount of “too much free time.”