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This Week at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
"Chaos in Easter Island Ecology"
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin/Dept. of Physics/Plasma
Abstract: Easter Island in the South Pacific, with an area the same as the city of Madison, is one of the most remote inhabited spots in the world, located over 2000 km from its nearest inhabited neighbor. As such, it offers an opportunity to study a relatively simple ecology with possible global implications. Its human population is thought to have grown to a peak of about 10,000 during the millenia leading up to the year 1700, and then to decline to a mere 110 by the year 1877. The usual explanation is that the inhabitants overconsumed the abundant palm trees that were used for cooking, housing, fishing boats, and for transporting the large stone statues for which the island is famous, leading to starvation, war, disease, and possibly cannibalism. In this talk, I will describe some recent simple mathematical models for the rise and fall of their civilization and will show that one of these models has chaotic solutions, not previously known.

This talk is available as a PowerPoint Presentation.
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High Energy Seminar
New Experiments with Antiprotons
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Daniel Kaplan, Illinois Institute of Technology
Abstract: Fermilab operates the world's most intense antiproton source. Newly
proposed experiments can use those antiprotons either parasitically during
Tevatron Collider running or after the end of the Tevatron Collider program
(currently planned for late 2011). For example, the annihilation of 5 to 8
GeV antiprotons is expected to yield world-leading sensitivities to hyperon
rare decays and CP violation. It could also provide the world's most intense
source of tagged D^0 mesons, and thus the best near-term opportunity to
study charm mixing and, via CP violation, to search for new physics. Other
precision measurements that could be made include properties of the X(3872)
and the charmonium system. An experiment using a Penning trap and an atom
interferometer could make the world's first measurement of the gravitational
force on antimatter. These and other potential measurements using
antiprotons could lead to a broad physics program at Fermilab in the
post-Tevatron era.
Host: Smith
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