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This Week at Physics

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Events on Friday, November 18th, 2016

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
The Fermi view of Gamma-Ray Bursts & the curious case of GW 150914
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Elisabetta Bissaldi , Politecnico & INFN Bari
Abstract: I'll give a brief overview of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) observations performed over the past 8 years by the two instruments on-board the Fermi satellite, namely the Gamma-Ray Burst Monitor (GBM) and the Large Area Telescope (LAT).<br><br>
In this period of time, GBM has triggered and located on average approximately two GRBs every three days. The most recent results are summarized in the latest two catalogs provided by the Fermi GBM science team, namely the third GBM GRB catalog and the first GBM time-resolved spectral catalog.<br><br>
Moreover, the Fermi LAT science team has been recently performing an extensive search for GRBs at high energies (>100 MeV) featuring a detection efficiency more than 50% better than previous works, and returning more than 130 detections.<br><br>
Finally, I'll present the GBM and LAT follow-up of the LIGO Gravitational Wave event GW 150914, focusing on the GBM detection of a weak transient event, close in time to the LIGO one. Future joint observations of GW events by LIGO/Virgo and Fermi could reveal whether the weak transient reported by GBM is a plausible counterpart to GW150914 or a chance coincidence, and will further probe the connection between compact binary mergers and short GRBs.
Host: Justin Vandenbroucke
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Physics Department Colloquium
Countdown to Solar Probe
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin hall
Speaker: Justin Kasper, University of Michigan
Abstract: Less than two years from now we will make history by dropping the first instrumented probe into the extended atmosphere of the Sun to directly observe the extreme environment responsible for superheating the solar corona and accelerating the solar wind. For centuries solar eclipses have provided brief glimpses of the solar corona, the remarkably structured atmosphere that surrounds the Sun and spreads through interplanetary space as the solar wind. Today, the Sun and the corona are tracked continuously by observatories on Earth and in space. We know much more about solar activity and the impact space weather can have on society than ever before, but we have not been able to answer fundamental questions about the Sun. Why is the corona millions of degrees hotter than the visible surface of the Sun? How does the corona drive a supersonic solar wind? How are solar flares and eruptions able to produce storms of radiation? It has long been recognized that the only way to unambiguously answer these questions is to send an instrumented probe close to the Sun. In 2018 we will finally embark on this journey with the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft, a NASA mission that will repeatedly plunge through the corona to obtain the first direct samples of the Sun. The mission will be reviewed, with a focus on the physics of the solar corona and the design of plasma instruments capable of both making the necessary measurements and of surviving the solar encounters.
Host: Cary Forest
Presentation: Untitled.png
Video: https://vod.physics.wisc.edu/media/2016_11_18.m4v
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