This Week at Physics

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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of March 2nd through March 9th, 2014

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:00 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 (
Host: Peter Timbie
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Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Recent Highlights in Low Temperature Plasmas
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin
Speaker: Mark Kushner, University of Michigan
Host: Cary Forest
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Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
The relationship between obesity, genetics, nutrition, environment and metabolic diseases
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: James M. Ntambi, UW Departments of Biochemistry and of Nutritional Sciences
Abstract: Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally as a major public health problem, and in developing countries often coexists with conditions of widespread under-nutrition. In addition to being a contributor to the global burden of non-communicable diseases that include type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease, inflammation, sleep apnea and certain cancers, obese individuals of all ages suffer serious social and psychological consequences. Obesity is a multifactorial condition stemming from a combination of genetic, dietary, and environmental factors and the interaction between these components. This article discusses the relationship between genetics, nutrition, environment and non-communicable diseases as risk factors of obesity and highlights available evidence and arguments for increased research on the genetics of metabolism.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

No events scheduled

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Astronomy Colloquium
"How Stars Move in Galactic Disks"
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Carlos Vera-Ciro, UW Madison Astronomy Dept
Abstract: I will discuss the radial motion of stars in galactic disks, triggered by resonant-scattering with spiral structures. In particular, I will assess the importance of this process on the overall structure of the galaxy and revisit some controversial conclusions on the subject, such as the emergence of a thick disk and how this correlates with the conservation of some integrals of motion.
Host: Prof Richard Townsend/Audra Hernandez
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Friday, March 7th, 2014

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Experimental review on the disordered-driven superconductor to insulator transition
Time: 10:00 am
Place: Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Daniel Sherman, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
Abstract: The disorder-driven superconductor to insulator transition (SIT) is considered to be a prototype of a quantum phase transition at zero temperature. Lately, there has been a renewed interest in this field due to the experimental observations of a number of dramatic features near the SIT of amorphous superconducting materials such as indium oxide and niobium nitride. These novel features included the simple activated temperature dependence of the resistance in the insulating side, a large peak in the magneto resistance, peculiar I-V characteristics and traces of superconductivity at temperatures above Tc. We present experimental results from tunneling spectroscopy, Terahertz spectroscopy and transport measurements that shed light on the physical mechanism governing this phase transition. Our key observations are: 1 - Superconducting gap in the insulating side of the transition. 2 - A possible experimental evidence for collective modes (namely the "Higgs" amplitude mode) in such disordered films close to the SIT. 3 - The possibility to tune the quantum phase transition simply by screening the e-e interactions. These results and their possible consequences will be discussed.
Host: Mark Eriksson
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Physics Department Colloquium
Verner Suomi’s Vision with a Spotlight on Benchmarking the Earth’s Climate from Space
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Hank Revercomb, UW-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center
Abstract: The talk combines a summary of satellite observations for weather and climate that have followed from the vision and pioneering developments of UW Madison’s own “father of satellite meteorology,” Verner Suomi, with a description of a new approach for benchmarking the Earth’s climate from space. The second half features the Absolute Radiance Interferometer (ARI) instrument, developed to provide benchmark measurements of Earth emitted radiance (3-50 microns) with a brightness temperature accuracy of 0.1 K (3-sigma). The key feature of ARI is the new approach it employs for on-orbit accuracy verification. Along the way, you will be introduced to the UW Space Science and Engineering Center, a Graduate School center co-founded by Verner Suomi that is part of his vision.
Host: Lawler, Timbie, Nossal
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