523 Keen Building

cduston at fsu dot edu

I am a graduate student in the Florida State Physics department, and will graduate in May 2013. I got my undergraduate degree from UMASS, Amherst in Astrophysics, with minors in Physics, Math, and Music in 2006. I recieved a Masters degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Penn State, 2008. My primary research interests are mathematical physics, classical and quantum gravity, noncommutative geometry and high energy physics. My current work involves studying the geometry and topology of models for the gravitational field. Specifically, I am looking at the effects of exotic smooth structures on some basic results from quantum gravity, and I am also working on the topspin formulation of Loop Quantum Gravity. On this page you will find links to my research projects, some teaching resources, and other interesting links related to physics, astronomy, and non-science related topics. Also, here is my Curriculum Vitae.

Matilde Marcolli My adviser's home page at Caltech.

Florida State Physics Department Home Page.

Robin Ciardullo My adviser's home page from Penn State.

Penn State Astronomy and Astrophysics Department Home Page.

UMASS High Energy Astrophysics Group My undergraduate research group.

Semiclassical Partition Functions in Gravity with Cosmic Strings Archive paper, on contructing complete partition functions which naturally include cosmic strings.

Topspin Networks in Loop Quantum Gravity Archive paper, on a proposal to include topological data in spin networks.

Exotic Smoothness in 4 Dimensions and Semiclassical Euclidean Quantum Gravity Archive paper, published in the International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics.

Topological Issues in (Loop) Quantum Gravity An introductory-level talk covering topological issues in quantum gravity and the Topspin networks.

Exotic Smoothness, Gravity, and Geometry A presentation I gave to the FSU mathematics club in the Fall of 2009.

Informal Mathematical Physics Seminar: Weekly seminar, primarily populated by myself and Dan Li (webpage). I presented some lectures on Spin Geometry In Physics, Spectral Action Principle, Noncommutative Geometry and Statistical Mechanics, and Seiberg-Witten Theory.

Journal Club Presentation, 2006 I presented a pair of papers in the spring of 2006 - General Relativity Resolves Galactic Rotation Without Exotic Dark Matter, and Perspectives on Galactic Dynamics via General Relativity, both by F.I. Cooperstock and S. Tieu

Soft Gamma Repeaters and Anamolous X-ray Pulsars: Magneters Presentation I gave about Magnetars, Fall 2006.

Galaxy Clusters Presentation I gave about X-rays from Galaxy Clusters, Fall 2006

PNLF of NGC 5128: Observation and Modeling A talk I gave pertaining to my Master's research, which resulted in my Thesis.An astronomer's short-range forecast. Here is what is says for Tallahassee today:

Astronomy Videos There are some instructional videos produced by the Astronomy department at Penn State University.

Harvard Abstract Service Query form for Astrophysics Data Service.

Los Alamos "Preprint Server": Astronomy and Astrophysics, General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology. Mathematics. Searchable database of articles submitted to peer-reviewed journals.

Black Holes Videos Some great videos where real physicists (Kip Thorne, Clifford Will and others) talk about black holes.

Hyper Physics Good online physics reference.

Mathworld Excellent reference for all things math.

Parallel Transport of Vectors in a Surface Cool little flash applet that shows you how vectors parallel transport on a curved surface.

The Schwarzschild Solution from Kepler's 3rd Law A page describing how to find the Schwarzschild solution of general relativity from Kepler's 3rd law.

The Field of a Moving Point Change Cool little applet that shows you what the electric field of a moving point charge looks like. Whoa.

Online Gravitational Waves Course from Caltech Taught by Kip Thorne, videos and some lecture notes online.

A List of Famous Scientists' Birthdays Sick of everyone ELSE taking all those "holidays"? Useful Metrics and Geometry A list of some metrics and related quantities like Christoffel symbols, curvature forms, Reimann tensors, Ricci tensors, ... Math Love Song!XKCD A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

Peeps Research Ever wondered what kinds of Peep-related research there is out there?

Spaced Penguin! Help get Kevin back to his spaceship! AWESOME flash game based on orbital mechanics.

A List of Famous Scientists' Birthdays Sick of everyone ELSE taking all those "holidays"? FARAD The Futurama As a Replacement for Arrested Development project I have been involved in with H. Flohic (submitted to ApJ, 2006). An "Anonymous" Review of FARAD