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This Week at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Atomic Physics Seminar
A Brief History of Time(keeping): Metrology and quantum simulation with optical lattice clocks
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Shimon Kolkowitz, JILA - University of Colorado Boulder
Abstract: Optical lattice clocks (OLCs) are now the most stable and accurate timekeepers in the world, with fractional accuracies equivalent to neither losing nor gaining a second over the entire age of the universe. This unprecedented level of metrological precision offers sensitivity to new quantum, many-body, and fundamental physics effects, opening the door to exciting and unusual applications. However, the current generation of OLCs are now approaching their classical limits, requiring quantum science techniques to reach the next frontier in clock performance.

This talk will provide an introduction to how and why time is measured, with an emphasis on OLCs and their applications. I will discuss recent progress on pushing OLCs to even greater levels of precision, as well as prospects for future improvement. I also will present results from a recent experiment in which we harnessed the precision of an OLC to simulate complex condensed matter phenomena. Finally, I will give a brief overview of potential future applications of OLCs, including gravitational wave detection, tests of general relativity, and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model.
Host: Thad Walker
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Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
The Lyapunov exponent
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: George Hrabovsky, Madison Area Science and Technology
Abstract: The Lyapunov exponent is one of the fundamental measures of chaos. What is it? Where does it come from? What does it actually do for us? Can we predict its value? I will explore these ideas in a non-rigorous way.
Host: Clint Sprott
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"Physics Today" Undergrad Colloquium (Physics 301)
Discovery of Higgs Boson
Time: 1:20 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Matthew F Herndon, UW Madison Department of Physics
Host: Wesley Smith
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Hunting for Sterile Neutrinos at Long and Short Baselines
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Adam Aurisano, UC Cincinnati
Abstract: The discovery that neutrinos can change flavor as they travel over long distances is one of the first indications of physics beyond the Standard Model. Long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiments, where detectors are placed far from the production point of the neutrinos, agree well with the three-flavor neutrino oscillation paradigm. However, some short-baseline experiments, where detectors are placed close to the production point of the neutrinos, show anomalous results. In particular, LSND and MiniBooNE observed excesses of electron neutrinos in muon neutrino beams which cannot be explained by three-flavor oscillations. These anomalies can be explained by the addition of new sterile neutrino flavors, but for this to be the correct explanation, long and short-baseline experiments must be consistent. If confirmed, the discovery of sterile neutrinos would be a paradigm shift in our understanding of neutrino properties and potentially of the evolution of the Universe. I will give an introduction to sterile neutrinos, present recent results from the MINOS and NOvA experiments, discuss new Deep Learning methods to improve sterile analyses, and describe prospects for the future.
Host: Sridhara Dasu
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