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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of February 1st through February 8th, 2015

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Safety and sustainability of ITER from the point of view of the tungsten armor
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 1610 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Dr. Beata Tyburska-Püschel, Dept of EP, UW-Madison
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Council Meeting
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin (Chair's Conference Room)
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Faculty Candidate Seminar
Expeditions to the Next Energy Scale
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Victor Gehman, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Abstract: At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we have found the last critical piece of the Standard Model, the long sought for Higgs Boson. As we complete our understanding of the details of this model, there is a growing anxiety that there may be no new physics beyond the Standard Model, or that the new physics may only manifest at energies so high as to be practically unreachable. We do, however have several hints of new physics, and I will make the case that our next steps in understanding it are eminently doable. Much of these hints of new physics can be further explored with the construction of large (for varying definitions of "large") detectors deep underground. I will focus on the search for dark matter with two-phase xenon-filled time projection chambers under the guise of LUX and LZ, and briefly touch on opportunities stemming from future detectors built for long-baseline neutrino experiments. The physics program discussed here has a broad and interesting reach and will be instrumental in furthering our understanding of the Universe and guiding our expansion of the Standard Model in the years to come.
Host: Dasu
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Plasma Theory Seminar
Extended MHD analysis of the g-mode
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 514 ERB
Speaker: Eric Howell, Engineering Physics, UW-Madison
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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Re-conceptualizing visuospatial memory development as an increase in dynamic stability
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Vanessa Simmering, UW Department of Psychology
Abstract: For over a century, developmental psychologists have documented how visuospatial memory improves from infancy through early childhood. A variety of theories have been proposed to account for these improvements, with most addressing only a small developmental period and/or single behavioral task, making these theories difficult to generalize. For example, Piaget attributed changes between 8 and 12 months in infants' errors in a search task to the acquisition of object permanence, but infants between 4 and 16 months show other improvements in the durability and capacity of memory, in both search and looking tasks, that cannot be explained by this theory. The goal of my research program is to advance a comprehensive theory of visuospatial memory development to explain multiple improvements across tasks and age groups. My colleagues and I have proposed a dynamic systems account of memory development which emphasizes the processes that underlie the formation, maintenance, and use of memory representations across behavioral contexts. By formalizing this theory in a dynamic neural field model, my research shows that a host of developmental improvements in memory can emerge through a common change in the dynamic stability of the memory system. I will present empirical evidence that memory capacity is not fixed but varies with task contexts. Furthermore, my model simulations predicted that different task structures will yield inconsistent capacity estimates within the same group of participants while still showing correlations in performance across these tasks. These results suggest that a full explanation of visuospatial memory development will require understanding how memory functions in the moment of the task at hand.
Host: Clint Sprott
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"Physics Today" Undergrad Colloquium (Physics 301)
Building new physics with atomic-level design
Time: 1:20 pm
Place: 2120 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Mark Rzchowski, UW Madison Department of Physis
Host: Smith
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Faculty Candidate Seminar
It's a Marvel: LZ and the Next Era of Dark Matter Searches
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Kim Palladino, SLAC
Abstract: Evidence for the existence of Dark Matter from astronomical observations abounds, while experimentalists are still in pursuit of a confirmed particle identity. We are on the brink of a new era of dark matter candidate detection for both canonical weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) and a greater variety of other candidates. The LZ detector will be a liquid xenon time projection chamber designed to have world leading sensitivity to a wide range of WIMP masses. It will follow on the success of the LUX and ZEPLIN projects, but pursue a number of refinements, including a large drift field over more than a meter, requiring extensive testing in the System Test platform under construction at SLAC. The field will not stay still as a LZ result is expected, and I will also preview the exciting dark matter studies to keep one's eyes out for at this start of a new, marvelous era.
Host: Dasu
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Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Science Policy Movie Screening
The Man Who Saved the World
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Marquee Theater, Union South
Speaker: American Nuclear Society, UW Madison Chapter
Abstract: Most people have no idea that, for a few terrifying minutes in 1983, humanity’s fate hung on one man’s decision to follow his conscience. Petrov, a Russian lieutenant colonel, sacrificed his own career—and prevented all-out nuclear war—by disobeying the chain of command and following his conscience. The world should know how close we all came to disaster and that the same threat remains today. Free tickets available at: <a href="http://bit.ly/1JIq3BO">http://bit.ly/1JIq3BO</a>
Host: McGarry
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Thursday, February 5th, 2015

No events scheduled

Friday, February 6th, 2015

No events scheduled

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