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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of October 19th through October 26th, 2014

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Title to be announced
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2535 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Oliver Schmitz, UW- Madison
Host: Center for Plasma Physics and Computation
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Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Please visit the following link for more details:
Please feel free to bring your lunch!
If you have questions or comments about this journal club, would like to propose a topic or volunteer to introduce a paper, please email Le Zhang (lzhang263@wisc.edu)
Host: Peter Timbie
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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Complex multi-systems redesign: regional food for regional markets
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Michelle Miller, UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
Abstract: As much as we enjoy our farmers markets and CSAs, most of our food makes its way to us via freight truck. As fuel prices continue a decades-long rise, shippers and carriers shoulder the cost. They are controlling costs in ways that increase transportation efficiencies for them as individual actors, not for the entire supply chain. These shifts, such as placement of distribution centers and big box stores, have unintended consequences for other parts of the food supply chain. Highway congestion and related fuel waste, poor labor conditions for truck drivers, creation of ”food deserts” in urban and rural areas, and limited market access for midsize farmers are some of the negative feedback that result. Hidden costs, such as the vehicle costs necessary to drive to supermarkets or warehouse stores, are borne by consumers rather than shippers. At the same time, consumers are separated from the source of their food, fueling concentration in agriculture, another positive feedback loop. Separating food production from the population creates a brittle food system with environmental, economic and social consequences. This project takes a systems look at the current wholesale food supply chain, from farmer to consumer, and begins to model logistical innovations that reconfigure agricultural and transportation systems to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. We expect to see reduced GHG emissions, reduced highway congestion, increased redundancy in food production, and a move from food supply chains to a more web-like structure, better use of public investment in transportation and food provisioning, and improved labor conditions throughout. Using a complex adapative systems approach, early work brought representatives from regional food supply chains together to discuss various perspectives. Current work, advised by food freight stakeholders, is modeling logistical interventions based on actual movement data that we think may improve the movement of food and catalyze this cascade of other benefits across the supply chain.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Title to be announced
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Zhenyu Han
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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Physics Education Innovation Seminar
Garage Physics going-forward
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: B613 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Carlsmith, UW-Madison
Abstract: Garage Physics is an open lab for innovation and entrepreneurship. Progress in Garage Physics during 2013-14 will be presented. A new Venturewell undergraduate grant competition, honors and URS student projects, and future plans and needs will be discussed.
Host: Duncan Carlsmith and Peter Timbie
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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
New Topological Excitations and Melting Transitions in Quantum Hall Effect
Time: 10:00 am
Place: Chamberlin 5310
Speaker: Yuli Lyanda-Geller, Purdue University
Abstract: Topology and symmetry define states of matter and their responses to external forces. How solids melt and become fluids, or how insulators become conductors is often controlled by excitations rather than by the ground state of systems. Non-trivial topology of excitations can alter the responses. Topological excitations are notoriously difficult to predict since they cannot be obtained as a perturbation of the ground state. In this talk I will report the discovery of a new type of topological excitations that arise in two-dimensional electron systems in a magnetic field. We investigate Landau level filling factors between integer and half-integer, which exhibit the re-entrant integer quantum Hall effect (RIQHE) with vanishing longitudinal resistance and the Hall resistance quantized to a nearest integer at lowest temperatures. I will show that charge excitations in the RIQHE regime are topologically non-trivial finite size textures of electron density with charge-dependent symmetry. These topological textures explain unusual strain dependence of resistivity. At low temperatures, the textures form a crystal, whose melting leads to metal-insulator transition.
Host: Vavilov
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Future Computing
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Carl Anderson, IBM Fellow
Abstract: Computing has been driven by cost reduction for the last 70 years. In the next 10 years the contribution to cost reduction by hardware technology will lessen because of economic constraints and physical limits. The reduction in costs offered by automation and cloud computing will be discussed. The “Born in the Cloud” and open source programming development models are significantly reducing the cost of application development. Mobile computing and API’s are radically changing how information technology is consumed and developed. The direction of information technology is now being driven more by new business ideas than new technology ideas. The traditional Specmark metrics are being replaced by cost of use metric such as $/VM Hour.
Host: Jim Lawler
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Graduate Introductory Seminar
Time: 4:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: McCammon, Timbie
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Friday, October 24th, 2014

Physics Department Colloquium
Physics of the Crab Nebula
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Serguei Komissarov , Leeds University
Abstract: The Crab nebula has been one of the most important "test beds" of relativistic plasma astrophysics since the middle of the last century. It keeps providing us with valuable hints every time we open a "new window into Universe". Yet after decades of research and countless publications, many important issues are still not fully resolved. In my talk, I will focus on the long-standing sigma-problem of the Crab Nebula and how magnetic reconnection may help us to find its solution. In particular, I will describe what we have learned from our recent relativistic MHD simulations.
Host: Boldyrev
Poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2014/3338.pdf
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