Physics 6991: Introduction to Research in Physics and Astronomy

Fall 2018

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 Monday 17 December.

Day By Day in Class

Week Topic Presenter Paper Link
10 Sep Physics and Astronomy Research at Wayne State Professor Cinabro -
17 Sep The Phase Diagram of Nuclear Matter Professor Llope Ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions: exploring the phase diagram of QCD
24 Sep Measurement of Traction Force During Cell Migration and Single Molecular Motors Professor Sakamoto Coupling of two non-processive myosin 5c dimers enables processive stepping along actin filaments
1 Oct From Spintronics to Topotronics: A Look into the Future of Information Technologies Professor Matos Abiague SEMICONDUCTOR SPINTRONICS
Two-dimensional van der Waals Materials
The Quantum Spin Hall Effect and Topological Insulators
Topological Quantum Computation
Strange Phenomena in Matter’s Flatlands
Topological Phase Transitions and Topological Phases of Matter
8 Oct Going with the flow — the nuclear phase diagram at the highest temperatures and densities Professor Chun Shen The road to precision: Extraction of the specific shear viscosity of the quark-gluon plasma
Electromagnetic Radiation from QCD Matter: Theory Overview
The iEBE-VISHNU code package for relativistic heavy-ion collisions
15 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
22 Oct 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
29 Oct Probing the hottest matter ever made Professor Majumder Hard Probes: After the dust has settled!
The Hot QCD White Paper: Exploring the Phases of QCD at RHIC and the LHC
Jet modification in the next decade: a pedestrian outlook
5 Nov Probing the Perfect Liquid with Correlation Functions 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
12 Nov Soft Matter: Research Challenges and Opportunities Professor Mukhopadhyay Diffusion of Nanoparticles in Semidilute Polymer Solutions: Effect of Different Length Scales
Mobility of Nonsticky Nanoparticles in Polymer Liquids
0 Tools and Functions of Reconfigurable Colloidal Assembly
19 Nov 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
26 Nov Measuring the Higgs Coupling to Charm Professor Harr Measurement of the sum of WW and WZ production with W+dijet events in pp collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV
Measurement of the WZ production cross section in pp collisions at sqrt{s} = 7 and 8 TeV and search for anomalous triple gauge couplings at sqrt{s} = 8 TeV
3 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
10 Dec 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