Physics 6991: Introduction to Research in Physics and Astronomy

Fall 2019

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 16 December.

Day By Day in Class

Week Topic Presenter Paper Link
9 Sep Physics and Astronomy Research at Wayne State Professor Cinabro -
16 Sep The Phase Diagram of Nuclear Matter Professor Llope Ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions: exploring the phase diagram of QCD
23 Sep The Proton Radius Puzzle Professor Paz The Proton Radius Puzzle
30 Sep The Causes and Effects of Nanoscale Membrane Curvature as Revealed with Super‐Resolution Optical Approaches 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
7 Oct Force measurement: Molecular motor & Cancer cell migration Professor Sakamoto Coupling of two non-processive myosin 5c dimers enables processive stepping along actin filaments
High-Resolution Traction Force Microscopy
14 Oct Soft Matter: Research Challenges and Opportunities Professor Mukhopadhyay Diffusion of Nanoparticles in Entangled Poly(vinyl alcohol) Solutions and Gels
Freezing on a Sphere
21 Oct Under Construction: Ideas and Experiments in a new Research Laboratory Professor Sklenar Frustration by Design
Field-induced phase coexistence in an artificial spin ice
28 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
4 Nov The Computational Microscope of Biomolecules Professor Y. M. Huang Molecular Dynamics Simulation for All
11 Nov Spins and Topology for Quantum Information Applications 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
18 Nov 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
25 Nov Exploring Structures and Dynamics of Complex Systems Professor Z. Huang Exploring the Complex World of Two-Dimensional Ordering with Three Modes
Grain Boundary Structures and Collective Dynamics of Inversion Domains in Binary Two-Dimensional Materials
Phase ordering, transformation, and grain growth of two-dimensional binary colloidal crystals: A phase field crystal modeling
Nonautonomous dynamics of acute cell injury
2 Dec Going with the flow — the nuclear phase diagram at the highest temperatures and densities Professor Chun Shen The iEBE-VISHNU code package for relativistic heavy-ion collisions
Equation of state at finite densities for QCD matter in nuclear collisions
Dynamical initial state model for relativistic heavy-ion collisions
9 Dec 1, 2, 3, 4,... We Found the Higgs - But Are There MORE?
Discovery Physics with the CMS Experiment at the LHC
Professor Shah
Professor Karchin
The Higgs and WIMP DM Lamp Posts for New Weak Scale Physics: EFT Perspectives and the NMSSM
Two Higgs Doublets and a Complex Singlet: Disentangling the Decay Topologies and Associated Phenomenology
Supersymmetry and LHC Missing Energy Signals
The Return of the WIMP: Missing Energy Signals and the Galactic Center Excess
Search for contact interactions and large extra dimensions in the dilepton mass spectra from proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 13 TeV
The Phase-2 Upgrade of the CMS Muon Detectors