Physics & Astronomy Colloquium Series: Curl & Topology in Electromagnetism

Wednesday, April 03, 2013
11:45 AM - 12:50 PM
Harney Science Center 143 - Classroom
Event Type
Events and Lectures

USF Department of Physics and Astronomy Spring Colloquium Series

"Curl and Topology in Electromagnetism"

Dr. Alan Craig, Professor, Department of Physics, Montana State University

The curl (or exterior) derivative carries special import for electromagnetism. It links the magnetic field to its vector potential, and to the time derivative of the electric field. In perfectly conducting plasmas, conforming to the Lorentz force, it produces an eigenstructure: a magnetic vector surface which is toroidal.  Additionally, linkage of closed magnetic flux loops indicates differential addition to the gauge component of the vector potential. Meanwhile, vector field paths on surface manifolds introduce geometric phase via parallel transport. These manifolds, and geometric phase in general, are characteristic of magnetic contributions, especially along closed or periodic paths. An approach to adapt these attributes to pico-scale fields will be outlined. Selected math aspects will be presented.

About Dr. Craig:

Dr. Alan Craig was research professor of physics at Montana State University from 1999-2012.  His investigations encompassed applications of cryogenic rare-earth spectroscopy and quantized silicon nanospheres, mode-locked fiber laser concepts for spectroscopy, and initiation of experimental work on optical lattice plasmas susceptible to surface plasmon polariton excitations.  Recently, as an extrapolation of conceptualizing nano-structural resonances, he has studied the theory of stable (eigen-) structures in flows of the magnetic vector potential and of plasmas, and their implications for quantum electromagnetism.

Prior to joining the university, Dr. Craig served as program manager for Optical Information Processing (i.e. optical computing and memory) at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, preceded by a stint as a laboratory scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory. His doctorate was awarded in 1984 from the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona, following completion of a B.S.E.E. degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics at Princeton.

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