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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of September 23rd through September 30th, 2018

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Reconnection in Realistic Astrophysical Settings: Turbulent Fluids and Partially Ionized Gas
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin hall
Speaker: Alex Lazarian
Abstract: I shall explain why turbulent reconnection is the most natural setting for the astrophysical reconnection. The turbulence can be pre-existing
or induced by the reconnection itself. I shall provide a comparison of the domains of the applicability of the turbulent and tearing reconnection.
Finally, I shall discuss how partial ionization modifies the turbulent reconnection and consider the consequences of the reconnection in partially
ionized astrophysical environments.
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Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Changes in excellence among United States research universities
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Rogers Hollingsworth, UW Departments of Sociology and History
Abstract: What are the explanations for changes in excellence in American research universities? The classic answers to this problem were variations on Robert Merton’s elaboration of the “Matthew” effect in science – those who have abundance will accumulate advantage and those who have not will continue to be disadvantaged. Numerous analysts have addressed the Matthew effect when explaining inequality in research excellence among individual scientists as well as universities. This presentation demonstrates that the Mertonian explanation is not correct when analyzing long-term changes in recognition of excellence among American research universities. It focuses on the considerable instability in the ranking of excellence in the basic biological sciences over many decades. It demonstrates that recognition for excellence of research universities is distributed into six patterns, the analysis and explanation of which is the major focus of the presentation. It is a small part of the study of changes over many decades in research excellence among universities in France, Great Britain, the United States, and Germany with soft comparisons to universities in Sweden and Japan. The data for the presentation is based on re-analysis of data collected at various time points by the American Council of Education, the National Research Council, and citation indices by ISI-Thompson Reuters. The data are also based on 596 in-depth interviews of scientists by Hollingsworth in the six named countries over thirty years (some scientists were interviewed on multiple occasions for a total of 913 interviews). See for the names, exact dates, and places of the interviews. Data sources and methodology for rankings are available at
Host: Clint Sprott
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Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

No events scheduled

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

No events scheduled

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Physics Department Colloquium
Are Neutrinos Their Own Antiparticles?
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Boris Kayser, Fermilab
Abstract: After briefly reviewing what we have learned about the neutrinos in the past 20 years, and explaining how we have learned it, we will focus on one of the leading open questions about the neutrinos: Are they identical to their antiparticles? We will explain why this question is so very interesting, why it is so devilishly difficult to answer, and how it might nevertheless be answered through future experiments. We will also discuss several potential consequences of the answer.
Host: Baha Balantekin
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