Physics 6991: Introduction to Research in Physics and Astronomy

Fall 2016

M 16:00-17:00, Room 245, Physics Building

This is a 1 credit course. Incoming graduate students are introduced to the research opportunites in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Presentations will be given by members of the faculty and each will indicate some recent research papers from their groups that students should read before attending the presentation. Some presentations will include visits to labs in the physics building.

Professor: Professor and Chair David Cinabro (139 Physics, 313-577-2918,,
Office Hours: M 15:00-16:00 or by appointment
Weekly Write-Ups (100%)
Students are required to submit a weekly one page summary of the research topic presented the previous week. The last summary is due on 17:00 on 19 December.

Day By Day in Class

Week Topic Presenter Paper Link
12 Sep Physics and Astronomy Research at Wayne State Professor Cinabro -
19 Sep Theoretical Particle Physics Professor Petrov Lepton flavor violating quarkonium decays
Direct probes of flavor-changing neutral currents in e+e-collisions
The role of low-energy observables in precision Higgs boson analyses
D± production asymmetry at the LHC from heavy quark recombination
Searching for dark matter at LHC with Mono-Higgs production
New Physics from rare decays of charm
26 Sep The Phase Diagram of Nuclear Matter Professor Llope Ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions: exploring the phase diagram of QCD
3 Oct New Opportunities in Biophysics: Application of Neutron Scattering Professor Chu Effects of pressure on the dynamics of an oligomeric protein from deep-sea hyperthermophile
Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering Reveals Ligand-Induced Protein Dynamics of G-Protein–coupled Receptor
Enhanced Dynamics of Hydrated tRNA on Nanodiamond Surfaces: A Combined Neutron Scattering and MD Simulation Study
Effect of Nanodiamond surfaces on Drug Delivery Systems
10 Oct Perspectives on Electron Correlation, Topological Insulators, and Emerging 2D Materials Professor J. Huang Topological Insulators
Ordering, metastability and phase transitions in two-dimensional systems
Electronic properties of two-dimensional systems
Spin-Orbit Coupling Effects in Two-Dimensional Electron and Hole Systems
17 Oct Adventures in Nanoscale Nechanics Professor Hoffmann Squeezing out the last 1 nanometer of water: A detailed nanomechanical study
Dynamic Solidification in Nanoconfined Water Films
Dissociation Kinetics of an Enzyme-Inhibitor System Using Single-Molecule Force Measurements
How Molecular Motors Extract Order From Chaos
24 Oct The Future of Particle Physics: The Higgs, Dark Matter & the LHC Professor Shah Impersonating the Standard Model Higgs Boson: Alignment without Decoupling
Complementarity Between Non-Standard Higgs Searches and Precision Higgs Measurements in the MSSM
On the Alignment Limit of the NMSSM Higgs Sector
NMSSM Interpretation of the Galactic Center Excess
MSSM A-funnel and the Galactic Center Excess: Prospects for the LHC and Direct Detection Experiments
31 Oct From the Big Bang to the Mini Bang and Back!! Professor Pruneau Charge correlations using the balance function in Pb-Pb collisions at sqrt(s_NN) = 2.76 TeV
Event-by-event analysis of heavy ion collisions and thermodynamical fluctuations
General Charge Balance Functions, A Tool for Studying the Chemical Evolution of the Quark-Gluon Plasma
7 Nov Contact Engineering of Two-Dimensional Layered Semiconductors beyond Graphene Professor Zhou Low-Resistance 2D/2D Ohmic Contacts: A Universal Approach to High-Performance WSe2, MoS2, and MoSe2 Transistors
High Mobility WSe2 p- and n-Type Field Effect Transistors Contacted by Highly Doped Graphene for Low-Resistance Contacts
Improved Carrier Mobility in Few-Layer MoS2 Field-Effect Transistors with Ionic-Liquid Gating
14 Nov Nuclear Microscopy- A unique qualitative and quantitative tool to study surfaces and interfaces Professor Padmanabhan In situ interface analysis by ion backscattering/channeling technique using a thin window cell
Ion implantation and ion beam analysis of MOD deposited oxide films
Electrochemical properties of V2O5 thin films deposited by spin coating
Ferromagnetism in CuO–ZnO multilayers
The effect of titanium on the lithium intercalation capacity of V2O5 thin films
Strong plasmon absorption in InN thin films
17 Nov: 2:00 PM Measuring Susceptibility from MRI Professor Norman Cheng Limitations of calculating field distributions and magnetic susceptibilities in MRI using a Fourier based method
Magnetic moment quantifications of small spherical objects in MRI
Susceptibility and size quantification of small human veins from an MRI method
A quantitative study of susceptibility and additional frequency shift of three common materials in MRI
Quantifications of in vivo labeled stem cells based on measurements of magnetic moments
21 Nov Accretion Power In Astrophysics Professor Cackett A Universe of Disks
28 Nov Single molecule to Multi-molecule ensemble Professor Sakamoto R1 motif is the major actin-binding domain of TRIOBP-4
Actin structure-dependent stepping of myosin 5a and 10 during processive movement
Coupling of two non-processive myosin 5c dimers enables processive stepping along actin filaments
The actin-bundling protein TRIOBP-4 and -5 promotes the motility of pancreatic cancer cells
Effect of N-Terminal Extension of Cardiac Troponin I on the Ca(2+) Regulation of ATP Binding and ADP Dissociation of Myosin II in Native Cardiac Myofibrils
5 Dec How Big is the Proton? Professor Paz -
12 Dec Nanoscale Membrane Curvature Revealed by Polarized Localization Microscopy Professor Kelly Membrane curvature at a glance
Membrane curvature bends the laws of physics and chemistry
A physicist’s view of the role of lipids in membrane curvature and fission