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Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of February 16th through February 23rd, 2020

Sunday, February 16th, 2020

Wonders of Physics
Wonders of Physics Show
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin
Abstract: Scheduled presentations of The Wonders of Physics and a Physics Fair are given on the UW-Madison campus for the general public in mid-February each year. Free tickets are recommended and are available after January 1st using the On-Line Ticket Form (http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/tickleft.exe). Alternately, you may call (608) 262-2927 or e-mail wonders@physics.wisc.edu.
Host: Clint Sprott / Wonders of Physics
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Wonders of Physics
Wonders of Physics Show
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin
Abstract: Scheduled presentations of The Wonders of Physics and a Physics Fair are given on the UW-Madison campus for the general public in mid-February each year. Free tickets are recommended and are available after January 1st using the On-Line Ticket Form (http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/tickleft.exe). Alternately, you may call (608) 262-2927 or e-mail wonders@physics.wisc.edu.
Host: Clint Sprott / Wonders of Physics
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Monday, February 17th, 2020

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Understanding, Predicting, and Manipulating Reduced Transport Regimes in Fusion Plasmas
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: David Hatch, Institute for Fusion Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Abstract: Following a half century of extraordinary progress in plasma magnetic confinement via tokamaks, with, for example, the fusion triple product increasing at a rate surpassing Moore’s law, magnetic confinement finds itself poised on the brink of high fusion gain. The narrow transport barrier that forms at the edge of an H-mode fusion plasma will, perhaps, be the largest determining factor in making the final step to a burning plasma. This transport barrier arises when the conventional plasma turbulence mechanisms are suppressed. This allows a ‘pedestal’—a region of steep pressure gradients—to form, drastically boosting the plasma confinement. ITER, and nearly all other prospective burning plasma devices, are designed to exploit edge transport barriers to achieve their goals.
This talk presents recent breakthroughs in understanding and predicting the ‘residual’ turbulence in transport barriers, which has been difficult to model due to the extreme conditions characteristic of a transport barrier. I will survey the classes of fluctuations that remain in transport barriers; describe how high performance computing is enabling unprecedented physics understanding; discuss how pedestal transport may extrapolate to unfamiliar parameter regimes (e.g., ITER); and describe connections between transport barriers in tokamaks and stellarators. The developing capacity to understand, predict, and manipulate turbulent transport has the potential to enable the realization of optimized configurations that will enable fusion gain on faster time scales and at greatly reduced cost.
Host: Jan Egedal
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Atomic Physics Seminar
QC Cluster Seminar
tbd
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Professor Gleb Finkelstein, Duke University
Abstract: tbd
Host: Mark Saffman
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Drivers of megadiversity in the orchids, the largest family of flowering plants
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Tom Givnish, UW Department of Botany
Abstract: Orchids are the most diverse family of angiosperms, with more species than mammals, birds, and reptiles combined. Many ideas have been advanced to account for their extraordinary diversity, but they have – until quite recently – been impossible to test because we lacked a good phylogeny (family tree) for the orchids. My colleagues and I have now developed a well-resolved phylogeny for the orchids, based on large numbers of chloroplast genes, and I will show how we can use this phylogeny to identify the age and place of origin of the orchids, assess the role of different orchid traits in driving high rates of speciation, and reconstruct the geographic spread of orchids across the planet. I will also describe some of the remarkable aspects of the ecology of this endlessly fascinating group that have recently come to light, mention some of the notable aspects of orchid diversity in Wisconsin, and sketch some interesting scientific and conservation issues that should be explored in the future.
Host: Clint Sprott
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"Physics Today" Undergrad Colloquium (Physics 301)
Dark Matter Detection in the Era of LZ
Time: 1:20 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Kimberly J. Palladino, UW Madison Department of Physics
Host: Sridhara Dasu
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Connecting the dots: from astronomical surveys and experiments to fundamental physics of dark universe
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Yao-Yuan Mao, Rutgers
Abstract: The standard model of cosmology, despite its success in explaining most current observations, consists of several mysterious components, such as dark matter, dark energy, and inflation. Current and upcoming multiwavelength sky mappers, gravitational wave observations, and particle experiments will provide an unprecedented collection of complementary datasets, which have brought, and will continue to bring us novel and exciting discoveries. One of the main challenges in the next decade is to translate these discoveries into solid understandings of the fundamental physics of the universe, especially its dark components. We hence need to carefully connect the “dots” between theories and observations. In this talk, I will demonstrate the pivotal roles of numerical simulations, empirical models, and statistical analyses in the said connection. I will illustrate how theoretical uncertainties impact the interpretation of observations and how we mitigate those impacts, with specific case studies including direct detection experiments, gravitational lensing, and dwarf galaxy surveys (as dark matter probes). Finally, taking the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration as an example, I will discuss how we work together as a community to be prepared to answer fundamental questions about the dark universe with upcoming datasets.
Host: Dan Chung
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Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

No events scheduled

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

Atomic Physics Seminar
QC Cluster Seminar
tbd
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Jake Covey, California Institute of Technology
Abstract: tbd
Host: Mark Saffman
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
The TeV-PeV Diffuse Neutrino Background
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Nathan Whitehorn, UCLA
Abstract: In 2014, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory announced the discovery of an isotropic, isoflavor diffuse background of neutrinos with energies extending from 10 TeV to well above 1 PeV, presumably associated with the unknown emitters of high-energy cosmic rays. Six years later, the origin of these neutrinos remains a mystery. The background is, within measurement uncertainties, uncorrelated with any of the standard catalog of high-energy sources (our galaxy, blazars, gamma-ray bursts, etc.), challenging explanations involving simple models. The 2017 detection of neutrino emission from the distant blazar TXS 0506+056 has only deepened this mystery. In this talk, I will discuss the current state of our knowledge of the high-energy neutrino sky and outline the next steps in the experimental program to resolve these questions.
Host: Albrecht Karle
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PGSC Professional Development Seminar
How to Get the Most out of Academic Articles
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Alex Pizzuto, Physics Graduate Student
Abstract: Getting all the information out of a dense academic article is a challenge no matter what point you’re at in your physics career. Even if you’re reading a paper very close to your field, language, figures, and presentation style can act as barriers to understanding the take-home message of the work. I’ll cover strategies for approaching articles geared towards overcoming these barriers. You’ll improve your research efficiency by being able to interpret the motivations, methods, results, and implications of an article after a 5-minute read.
Host: Rob Morgan, graduate student
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Future cosmology with CMB lensing and galaxy clustering
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Marcel Schmittfull, Institute for Advanced Study
Abstract: Next-generation Cosmic Microwave Background experiments such as the Simons Observatory, CMB-S4 and PICO aim to measure gravitational lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background an order of magnitude better than current experiments. The lensing signal will be highly correlated with measurements of galaxy clustering from next-generation galaxy surveys such as LSST. This will help us understand whether cosmic inflation was driven by a single field or by multiple fields. It will also allow us to accurately measure the growth of structure as a function of time, which is a powerful probe of dark energy and the sum of neutrino masses. I will discuss the prospects for this, as well as recent progress on the theoretical modeling of galaxy clustering, which is key to realize the full potential of these anticipated datasets.
Host: Dan Chung
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Friday, February 21st, 2020

Physics Department Colloquium
TBD
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Young-Kee Kim , U Chicago
Host: Tulika Bose
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