This Week at Physics

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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of October 30th through November 6th, 2016

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
no seminar
Time: 12:00 pm
Speaker: no seminar
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
The mathematics of taffy pulling
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Jean-Luc Thiffeault, UW Department of Mathematics
Abstract: Taffy is a type of candy made by repeated 'pulling' (stretching and folding) a mass of heated sugar. The purpose of pulling is to get air bubbles into the taffy, which gives it a nicer texture. Until the late 19th century, taffy was pulled by hand, an arduous task. The early 20th century saw an avalanche of new devices to mechanize the process. These devices have fascinating connections to the topological dynamics of surfaces, in particular with pseudo-Anosov maps, which are a prototypical chaotic system. Special algebraic integers such as the Golden ratio and the lesser-known Silver ratio make an appearance, as well as more exotic numbers. We examine different designs from a mathematical perspective, and discuss their efficiency.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Council Meeting
Council meeting
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin hall
Speaker: Albrecht Karle
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Open string moduli and multi-branched potentials
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Gianluca Zoccarato, Hong Kong IAS
Abstract: In this talk we consider type II string compactifications on Calabi-Yau orientifolds with fluxes and D-branes and analyse the F-term scalar potential that simultaneously involves closed and open string modes. We focus on the cases of type IIA orientifolds with D6-branes and type IIB orientifolds with D7-branes. In type IIA models with D6-branes this potential can be directly computed by integrating out Minkowski three-forms showing therefore a multi-branched structure along the space of lifted open string moduli in which discrete shifts of brane moduli are compensated by changes in the RR flux quanta. To obtain the correct form of the scalar potential we find strong constraints on the Kähler potential implying some interesting no-scale relations obeyed by the Kähler metric. Importantly the addition of open string moduli breaks the factorisation between complex structure and Kähler moduli spaces. We conclude by discussing the mirror dual picture of type IIB flux compactifications with D7-brane Wilson lines.
Host: Gary Shiu
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Department Meeting
Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin hall
Speaker: Albrecht Karle
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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

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 Amol Upadhye (
Host: Amol Upadhye
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High Energy Seminar
Realizing large-field inflation with stabilizer fields in string theory
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4272 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Aitor Landete
Abstract: In this talk we will show the challenge of building a stringy embedding, which in the low-energy regime, reproduces the well-known models in supergravity of chaotic inflation with stabilizer fields. We will analyze type IIA setups where the inflationary potential arises from a D6-brane wrapping an internal three-cycle, where the stabilizer field is either an open-string or bulk Kahler modulus. In the end we will analyze type IIB setups where the inflationary potential arises from a D7-brane and the stabilizer field is a complex structure modulus.
Host: Joshua Berger
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Whitford Lecturer Ken Sembach Colloquium
Astrophysics Flagships, Present & Future
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and Cookies 3:30 pm. Talk begins at 3:45 PM
Speaker: Dr. Ken Sembach, Director, STSci
Abstract: NASA’s Great Observatories have revolutionized our understanding of the Universe. The James Webb Space Telescope will continue this legacy, and together with the Hubble Space Telescope and Wide-Field Infrared Telescope will usher in an era of unprecedented information about astronomical objects ranging from Solar System objects to the first stars and galaxies formed near the beginning of time. As we continue to explore, new questions arise. Are there Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, and if so are they capable of supporting life? What secrets does the ultra-faint universe hide from our view? What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy? Future flagship missions offer great promise for answering such questions. In this talk, I’ll offer some perspectives, both scientific and programmatic, on possible paths forward and the importance of truly ambitious space observatories to the future of astrophysics research.
Host: Elena D'Onghia
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Friday, November 4th, 2016

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Interfacing cold atoms and superconductors
Time: 11:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Dr. József Fortágh, Universität Tübingen
Abstract: Interfacing ultra-cold atoms and solids promises novel quantum interfaces<br>
where electronic, magnetic or<br>
mechanical degrees of freedoms are transferred from one system to the<br>
other while preserving the quantum nature. I present experimental results<br>
on the coherent manipulation of atomic clouds on a superconducting chip<br>
and discuss perspectives for coupling Rydberg atoms to superconducting<br>
Host: Saffman
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