This Week at Physics

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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of February 11th through February 18th, 2018

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Particle transport from the bottom up
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Dr. Saskia Mordijck, College of William and Mary
Abstract: One of the largest challenges we are facing in the 21st century, is that of providing clean, cheap energy to accommodate our growing world population and to improve the living conditions in 3rd world countries, while maintaining the high standards of living we have come to enjoy in the developed world. One promising technique to produce electricity on a large scale is nuclear fusion. In order to contain the plasma that reaches temperatures that are higher than those in the core of the sun, we use magnetic fields in a magnetic confinement device called a tokamak. The fusion gain is directly linked to the density of the plasma. However, due to the high temperatures, it impossible to fuel the core of the plasma directly. In this talk I will elucidate how particle transport changes from the core to the plasma edge as a result of changes in turbulence characteristics.
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Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Complexity in gene editing outcomes with defined CRISPR nanoparticles
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Kris Saha, UW Department of Biomedical Engineering
Abstract: Writing specific DNA sequences into the human genome is challenging with gene-editing reagents, since most of the edited sequences contain various imprecise insertions or deletions of DNA sequence. Only a minor of sequences produced contain the desired sequence. We developed a modular RNA aptamer-streptavidin strategy, termed S1mplex, to complex CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoproteins with a nucleic acid donor template. In human cells, tailored S1mplexes increase the ratio of precisely edited to imprecisely edited alleles up to 18-fold higher than standard gene-editing methods, and enrich cell populations containing multiplexed precise edits up to 42-fold. Topics related to the complexity seen in the sequence outcomes will be discussed. Advances in reducing the complexity of sequence outcomes could greatly reduce the time and cost of in vitro or ex vivo gene-editing applications in precision medicine and drug discovery and aid in the development of increased and serial dosing regimens for somatic gene editing in vivo.
Host: Clint Sprott
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"Physics Today" Undergrad Colloquium (Physics 301)
Astrophysics with the highest energy photons in the Universe
Time: 1:20 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Justin Vandenbroucke, UW Madison Department of Physics
Host: Wesley Smith
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Council Meeting
Council Meeting
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin Hall
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Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Department Meeting
Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Thursday, February 15th, 2018

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Search for Dark Matter: CMS Strikes Back!
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Zeynep Demeragli, MIT
Abstract: The experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN are at the energy frontier of particle physics, searching for answers to fundamental questions of nature. In particular, dark matter (DM) presents strong evidence for physics beyond the standard model (SM). However, there is no experimental evidence of its non-gravitational interaction with SM particles. If DM has non-gravitational interactions with the SM particles, we could be producing the DM particles in the proton-proton collisions at the LHC. While the DM particles would not produce an observable signal in the detector, they may recoil with large transverse momentum against visible particles resulting in an overall transverse momentum imbalance in the collision event. In this talk, I will review the searches for DM particles in these missing momentum final states at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment. I will also discuss the prospects for discovering dark matter at the High Luminosity-LHC and other future experiments.
Host: Sridhara Dasu
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Astronomy Colloquium
The Microphysics of AGN Feedback
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee at 3:30 pm, Talk begins 3:45 pm
Speaker: Karen Yang, University of Maryland
Abstract: Feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) is one of the most important processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and galaxy clusters. It is believed to be responsible for inhibiting the formation of massive galaxies and for solving the long-standing "cooling-flow problem" in galaxy clusters. A lot of understanding of AGN feedback has been gained using hydrodynamic simulations; however, some of the relevant physical processes are unresolvable or not captured by pure hydrodynamics, such as plasma effects and cosmic-ray (CR) physics. In this talk, I will present how we use simulations that incorporate this "microphysics" to understand how AGN jets feedback on galactic and cluster scales. Specifically, I will discuss the roles of thermal conduction and CRs in addition to purely hydrodynamic models. I will also talk about how we could use multi-messenger observations of the Fermi bubbles as a nearby aboratory for studying AGN feedback. Finally, I will conclude with open questions and future prospects of applying simulations beyond hydrodynamics to various interesting astrophysical systems.
Host: tba
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Careers for Physicists
Women and Gender Minorities in Physics
Communication and Negotiation Skills Seminar for Women
Time: 5:00 pm
Place: B343 Sterling Hall Conference room
Speaker: Prof. Laura McCollough
Abstract: With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), APS has trained women in physics to host professional skills seminars for students and postdocs at APS-sponsored meetings and at universities and institutions. Professional Skills Development Seminars are highly interactive workshops where participants will learn and practice communication and negotiation skills.
This 1.5-hour seminar will focus on professional skills that women need to effectively perform research and thrive in physics, including how to:

Negotiate a graduate, postdoc, or professional position in academia, industry, or at a national lab
Interact positively on teams and with a mentor or advisor
Think tactically
Enhance personal presence
Develop alliances
Achieve professional goals
Host: Society of Women and Gender Minorities in Physics'
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Friday, February 16th, 2018

Physics Department Colloquium
Magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration in space and astrophysical systems
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: James Drake, University of Maryland
Abstract: Magnetic reconnection converts energy into high-speed flows, thermal and energetic particles in a broad range of systems both in the heliosphere and the broader universe. The most detailed measurements are within the heliosphere, which therefore acts as an effective laboratory for many issues related to reconnection. While the mechanisms for fast reconnection are now fairly well understood, the physics basis for the explosive onset of reconnection and the mechanisms for energy conversion are active topics. Satellite-based observations are producing important constraints on theoretical models. In solar flares the energy released is roughly equally partitioned between the thermal particles and the energetic components. In the magnetosphere and the laboratory thermal ions carry the bulk of the released energy. The MMS mission is producing unprecedented measurements in Earth's space environment that are being used to benchmark computational models. The observations of impulsive energy release in flares in the Crab Nebula precipitated a rapid increase in the interest in reconnection-driven particle acceleration in astrophysical systems. The basic physics of reconnection will be presented along with current ideas on the mechanisms for plasma heating and energetic particle production.
Host: Jan Egedal
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Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Wonders of Physics
The Physics Fair
Time: 11:00 am
Place: Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: The Physics Fair is an annual Department of Physics open house that typically includes laboratory tours, hands-on demonstrations, activities for kids and families, and informal conversations with scientists. It is presented alongside the Wonders of Physics annual show, and is held in Chamberlin Hall.
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