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Events on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Energy harvesting for mobile electronics
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Ashley Taylor, UW Department of Mechanical Engineering
Abstract: Energy harvesting is a very old idea arguably going back to the invention of the windmill, sail, and waterwheel. More recently efforts have been focused on ways to convert environmental energy into electrical power. Many types of energy harvesters exist covering a very broad range of applications from large scale power generators to portable power sources for mobile devices and sensors. The harvesting of environmental mechanical energy is particularly promising for portable applications by using such high-power sources as human locomotion, but currently its use is substantially limited by low power output of energy converters. Existing methods of mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion such as electromagnetic, piezoelectric, or electrostatic are not well suited for effective direct coupling to the majority of high-power environmental mechanical energy sources suitable for portable applications, thus their energy output remains in the microwatt to hundreds of milliwatt range. However with the rapid growth of mobile devices the demand for power sources producing watts or tens of watts has acutely increased. To bridge this gap we have developed a radically new mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion method which is based on reverse electrowetting aEuro&quot; a novel microfluidic phenomenon. Energy generation is achieved through the interaction of arrays of moving microscopic liquid droplets with a novel multilayer thin film. We believe that this approach has a number of significant advantages over existing mechanical energy harvesting technologies.
Host: Sprott
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"Physics Today" Undergrad Colloquium (Physics 301)
X-ray Astronomy
Time: 1:20 pm
Place: 2223 Chamberlin
Speaker: Dan McCammon, University of Wisconsin Department of Physics
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Ghosts in the ice - Searching for the Universe's most elusive particles at the South Pole
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Darren Grant, University of Alberta
Abstract: In one of the planet's most extreme environments, South Pole Station Antarctica, scientists have instrumented more than a cubic kilometer of ice to construct the world's largest neutrino detector to date: the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Given its enormous size, IceCube is designed to detect the highest energy neutrinos predicted to be produced in the most violent astrophysical processes. The milestone deployment of the last of the observatory's 86 strings of optical detectors, in December 2010, included the completion of two noteworthy additions to the original design: a low-energy neutrino extension (DeepCore) and a prototype direct-detection dark matter detector (DM-Ice). These new detectors establish the first steps towards a precision particle astrophysics program in the Antarctic. The early results from this emerging and potentially game-changing program will be discussed. Also included will be the initial expectations of future detector upgrades in the ice towards large-scale direct detection dark matter searches and multi-megaton neutrino detectors with very low, O(10 MeV), energy thresholds.
Host: Halzen
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