Mathematics and Physics Colloquium Series II

This series of talks will be devoted to any subject of interest to our general community of Mathematics and Physics enthusiasts.

The colloquium is on hiatus over the summer break. Stay tuned for more talks during Fall 2024!




2023-2024 Academic Year
The first talk of the school year was given by Larry Susanka on September 26. The topic was "Gamma matrices and the Dirac algebra." The definition and properties of this 16-dimensional matrix algebra were explored, with MATLAB code (Last modified on 09/25/23 at 15:22) used to carry out calculations. The slides for this talk are provided here. (Last modified on 09/26/23 at 19:01.) Victor Polinger spoke on Tuesday, October 3. The topic was "How Physicists use Gamma matrices and the Dirac algebra." Slides for this talk can be found here. (Last modified on 10/4/23 at 10:52) Trevor Gamble spoke on Tuesday, October 10 at 2 pm. The topic was "Is the universe infinite? Fine-tuned constants, and other mathematical details"
Steve Ziskind spoke on Tuesday, October 17 on "Comparing the Size of (Large) Sets" Steve Ziskind spoke on Tuesday, October 24 at 2 pm. He explored, further, "Comparing the Size of (Large) Sets." Slides for this talk may be found here. (Last modified on 10/25/23 at 13:56) On Tuesday, October 31, Larry Susanka spoke on "Modern Set Theory and Mathematical Foundations." This one-hour talk was expository, with some historical notes. The Zermelo-Fraenkel Axioms, which provide foundation for most of modern mathematics, were then listed and briefly discussed. Here are the slides for this talk. (Last modified on 10/31/23 at 15:45)
On Tuesday, November 7, Charlie Keller spoke. The topic was "Isotope Cosmology and Geology." On Tuesday, November 14, Tim Winchester spoke. The title of his talk:
"Neutrino Masses: Why we thought neutrinos were massless, how we know they're not and why it matters, like, potentially a lot, and what we are doing about it."
On Tuesday, November 21, Luke Rawlings, BC Math Faculty and Artist, spoke. The title of his talk: "Math Doodling"
On Tuesday, November 28, Larry Susanka spoke. The subject was a (mostly independent) extension of several other recent talks on the subject of "Lie Groups and Algebras." The slides may be found here. (Last modified on 11/28/23 at 18:13) On Tuesday, January 30, Trevor Gamble spoke on a variety of topics. The title of his talk was "A few words on Cantor/infinity, and Contemporary Space Missions." On Tuesday, February 6, Larry Susanka spoke. The topic: "Probability and Markov Chains." Click here for the slides/handout. (Last modified on 02/7/24 at 17:44)
On Tuesday, February 13, Steve Ziskind spoke. The topic: "The Four Color Problem." This was the first of two talks, to be continued next week. Some slides can be found at this link here. A Scientific American article (October 1977) can be found at this link here. On Tuesday, February 20, Steve Ziskind gave the second of two talks on "The Four Color Problem." On Tuesday, March 5, Elijah Burns spoke. The title of his talk was "A General Introduction to Quantum Computing." The slides for this talk are provided here. (Last modified on 03/12/24 at 12:32.)
On Tuesday, March 12, Larry Curnutt spoke. This was the first of three on this topic, to be continued at the start of next quarter. The title of his talk was "Complex Analysis: The Way It Ought To Be." On Tuesday, April 9, Larry Curnutt gave the second of three talks on complex variable theory. On Tuesday, April 16, Larry Curnutt gave the third and (possibly) final talk on complex variable theory. "Complex Analysis: The Way It Ought To Be." This time Larry discussed Green's Theorem, Cauchy's Theorem and the Cauchy Integral Formula. The slides for this talk are provided here. (Last modified on 04/16/24 at 16:40.)
On Tuesday, April 23, Liam Anderson spoke. His Title: "Advanced Integration Techniques Not Normally Taught in Calculus." Here are his slides. (Last modified on 05/24/24 at 17:42.) On Tuesday, April 30, Karina Belokapov spoke. Title: "Every Way We Have Failed to Emulate Our Brains." She describes her talk as "...not quite neuromorphic computing, though I might touch on it. More like comp neuro/ML, Hopfield networks, GNNs, cellular automata, transformers." Here are her slides. (Last modified on 05/5/24 at 05:35.) On Tuesday, May 7, Luke Rawlings spoke. Title: "How Many Angels Will Fit on the Head of A Pin?" Angels and pins were considered in depth. Slides are posted here.
On Tuesday, May 14, Victor Polinger spoke. This was the first of (at least) two talks on Broken Symmetries and the Jahn-Teller Effect. Victor will continue next week. On Tuesday, May 21, Victor Polinger concluded his presentation of Broken Symmetries and the Jahn-Teller Effect. On Tuesday, May 28, Trevor Gamble spoke. Title: The physics behind the Aurora Borealis (and a few cool pictures).
On Tuesday, June 4, AJ (Alex Kapur) spoke. Title: FrankenFood. On Tuesday, June 11, Elijah Burns spoke on Linear Optical Quantum Computing, AI & The End Of The World. Here are his slides. (Last modified on 06/12/24 at 13:01.)
2022-2023 Academic Year
The first talk of the new post-pandemic series was presented by Larry Susanka on January 24, 2023 and featured an historical review of past talks and proceeded to a discussion of essential topics from linear algebra and will eventually proceed to groups and algebras, important topics to Physicists. This is the first of several related talks (not on consecutive weeks!) and the presentation is from the mathematician's perspective. Physicists in the audience will have to step up to tell us what it means for quantum mechanics or relativistic mechanics.

Notes for these talks may be found at algebras1Handout.   (Last modified on 04/11/23 at 13:14.)

On Tuesday, January 31, 2023 Larry Susanka continued a condensed review of the parts of Linear Algebra needed to explore symmetry and the algebras of Mathematical Physics. On Tuesday, February 14, 2023 Larry Susanka continued.
On Tuesday February 21, 2023 Luke Rawlings spoke. The Topic: "Groups of Symmetries of the Plane Which Leave My Art Invariant." In this talk he defined groups and examined a few of his artworks. On Tuesday February 28, 2023 Luke Rawlings continued with "Groups of Symmetries of the Plane Which Leave My Art Invariant." On Tuesday March 14, 2023 Steve Ziskind spoke. He explained how some basic ideas from Calculus (Math 151) can be combined with facts from physics and chemistry to determine the age of rocks. The talk will be aimed at students, not faculty. All background knowledge will be provided. Slides: RockDate.pdf.   (Last modified on 03/15/23 at 09:18.)
On Tuesday March 21, 2023 Steve Ziskind continued to speak on the physics and chemistry used to determine the age of rocks. On Tuesday April 11, 2023 Larry Susanka talked about groups as part of a (non-consecutive) series of talks on the algebras of mathematical physics. On Tuesday April 18, 2023 Robert Hobbs spoke on a novel variation of the demonstration showing eddy currents produced by a magnet falling inside a vertical conducting tube. The innovation was in using multiple layers of thin walled brass tube which allows for controlled variation of the eddy curent path resistance. The terminal velocity dependence on this path resistance was measured and compared to theory. This talk was recently presented at a meeting of the Pacific Northwest Association for College Physics and a paper related to this talk will be published soon in the Physics Teacher.
On Tuesday April 25, 2023 Larry Susanka talked more about group theory. On Tuesday May 2, 2023 Larry Susanka talked more about group theory. On Tuesday May 9, 2023 Larry Susanka discussed group homomorphisms and normal subgroups.
On Tuesday, May 16, Tim Player discussed recent developments in robotic grasping technology. He explained methods that are particularly suited to underwater environments. On Tuesday, 5/23, Steve Ziskind gave the first of a pair of lectures explaining the RSA Encryption Algorithm. The first talk provided the number theory background on which the algorithm is based. On Tuesday, 5/30, Steve Ziskind gave the second of a pair of lectures explaining the RSA Encryption Algorithm.
Slides for this talk.
Evgeny Milanov's RSA notes.
Steve's Euclidean Algorithm notes.
Steve's Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic notes.
On Tuesday, June 6, Larry Susanka spoke about homomorphisms, concluding the second series of talks aiming toward a discussion of the algebras of mathematical physics. Here are the collected notes for this and other recent group theory talks.  (Last modified on 06/7/23 at 18:55) On Tuesday, June 13, Trevor Gamble spoke about an interesting optics experiment involving quantum entanglement that he is reviving (with assistance from Kevin Wheelock) here at BC.


Link to the Direct Progenitor Series, the Mathematics and Physics Colloquium Series, 49 Meetings from May 2018 to March 2020

Link to the Mathematical Methods for Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity Colloquium Series, 67 Meetings from January 2016 to March 2018

Link to the past series, Hilbert Space for Quantum Mechanics, 87 Meetings from January 2013 to December 2015

Link to the Older Mathematics and Physics Colloquium Series, 45 meetings from January 2003 to May 2006

Descriptions of a few Prehistoric Talks, before 1990.
(Only rumors and hints about this mysterious period remain, before the birth date of many of our current faculty. If you have additional information or corrections please contact the Colloquium organizer.)


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I can be contacted by e-mail at WebContact@Susanka.org.
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This page was last modified on 06/12/24 at 11:02.