Colloquium in Physics

The Physics Department is now officially sponsoring a Colloquium with the invitation of various speakers who work in the fields of Physics or Physics - related professions to give seminars on a variety of topics. 

Location: Archer Building Auditorium (Room 108)


Dr. Carl Blair - Personal Portrait

Dr. Carl Blair, Ph. D.

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)

Livingston, Louisiana

Carl Blair is a current employee at the LIGO facility in Livingston, Louisiana as a Post - Doc graduate from the California Institute of Technology and executes research into Opto-mechanics and Cosmology. The most recent publication under his name is titled: "Preventing transient parametric instabilities in high power gravitational wave detectors using thermal transient compensation."
October 2018: Colloquium Speaker
Date:  Friday, 5 October 2018
Time:  3:00 to 4:00 pm
Place: Archer Bldg. Room 108 (Physics Dept.)

"One Hundred Years of Gravitational Waves"

              The story that leads to the detection of gravitational waves has many twists and turns. Mistakes, retractions, false claims, and huge disappointments. In this presentation interesting parts of this story that - explain what gravitational waves are, how they are formed and how we detect them - will be highlighted. Gravitational wave detectors have come a long way since the conception of the Boyd-Feynman sticky beads thought experiment of 1957. The intricacies of the Advanced LIGO detectors will be used to describe the core components of contemporary gravitational wave detectors. The incredible transducer that turns the most explosive events in the universe into signals we can interpret via the smallest strain measurements ever achieved. The current detection catalog will be reviewed highlighting the promise of gravitational wave and multi-messenger astronomy. Finally, an imagined future of gravitational wave astronomy will be explored through the light of the proposed A+, Einstein Telescope, LISA and TianQin projects.


Lamar News & Events: Colloquia - LIGO Scientific Collaboration Publications

Dr. Carl Blair's Most Recent Publication: Journal of Classical & Quantum Gravity

Anamaria Effler self portrait image.
March 2018: Colloquium Speaker
Date:  Friday, March 23, 2018
Time:  3:00 to 4:00 pm

Anamaria Effler

Staff Scientist at LIGO 
Livingston, Louisiana

Title: The What, Why and How of LIGO: The challenge of gravitational wave detection


In this presentation, I will give a brief introduction as to how gravitational waves arise from the theory of General Relativity and how LIGO came to be the largest project funded solely by the NSF. I will go over a few of the signals seen by LIGO and what they mean for astronomy - we now can see phenomena which were hidden from us before, like the collision and merger of massive black holes. In 2017 the Nobel prize in physics was awarded to three of LIGO's founders: Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish. 

On the other hand, the LIGO instruments themselves are an engineering work of art, one of the most precise measurements ever devised. There are two LIGO detectors, one in Livingston, LA and one in Hanford, WA. They work (as much as possible) in conjunction with Virgo, the French-Italian detector near Pisa, Italy. In order to have seen the signals they've seen, they must be able to measure the difference in their 4 km arms to about 1 in 10,000th the size of a proton! I hope to convince you that such a feat is possible, and explain some of the tricks as well as some of the issues that we've had to face in the process of achieving our current sensitivity.


Lamar News & Events: Colloquia - Science of LIGO: Wrinkles in Time

Inaugural Speaker

The inauguration of our Colloquium begins this semester Spring 2018 with a talk by former Lamar Physics Student, Anthony George who graduated with a BS Physics degree here at Lamar in 1988. 
Date: January 26, 2018, 4th Friday
Location: 108 Archer - Physics Building
Time: (3:00 - 4:00) PM


For More Information on Mr. Anthony George:

An Entrepreneur's Journey

The Flyer for Mr. George's Talk

Inaugural Speaker