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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of December 4th through December 11th, 2011

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
A Fashionably Late Higgs
Time: 11:00 am
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Jamison Galloway, University of Rome La Sapienza
Abstract: As the LHC continues to strengthen exclusions on a low-mass Higgs, it could soon become more important to consider cases where a heavy Higgs can be nicely accommodated by theory. In this talk, the current exclusions for a low mass Higgs will be applied to generic (meta) models, casting some doubt on their most natural incarnations. Subsequently, the case will be made for an alternative class of models with a SUSY Higgs whose mass can be well beyond the MSSM upper bound without the need for unnaturally heavy superpartners. Finally, the distinctive phenomenology of this framework and its prospects at the LHC will be discussed.
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Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
TBD
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2317 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Phil Chang, UW-Milwaukee
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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
A history of El Niño / the Southern Oscillation
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Dan Vimont, UW Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Scicnces
Abstract: This talk will provide a brief history of our understanding of the El Nino / Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena from the late 1800's through the present. The talk will highlight how advances in our observational networks and theoretical understanding of the tropical atmosphere and ocean - advances that were not necessarily motivated by a desire to understand ENSO - have shaped the development of ENSO theory. Finally, I will discuss an emerging shift in our current understanding of ENSO variability from the perception of ENSO as a linearly unstable mode of variability to thinking of ENSO as a linearly stable phenomenon that experiences transient growth through non-normal processes.
Host: Sprott
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Stealth Supersymmetry
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Matt Reece, Harvard University
Abstract: The first year of LHC data has dramatically reduced the allowed parameter space for low-energy supersymmetry, given certain assumptions. In this talk I will summarize the current state of these experimental limits, emphasizing which assumptions might be evaded to allow standard SUSY spectra to survive. I will then present an example of a class of models that are not yet constrained, called "Stealth Supersymmetry." These are models in which certain nearly-supersymmetric states present in decay chains lead to collider signatures without missing energy. I will discuss some specific examples of models in this class, and explain how the LHC might search for them.
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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

No events scheduled

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Astronomy Colloquium
Imaging the Surfaces of Stars
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: John Monnier, University of Michigan
Abstract: Under even the best atmospheric conditions, telescope diffraction fundamentally limits the angular resolution for astronomical imaging. Using interferometry, we can coherently combine light from widely-separated telescopes to overcome the single-telescope diffraction limit to boost our imaging resolution by orders of magnitude. I will review recent technical and scientific breakthroughs made possible by the Michigan Infrared Combiner of the CHARA Array on Mt. Wilson, CA, with baselines of 330 meters allowing near-infrared imaging with sub-milli-arcsecond resolution. I will present the first resolved images of main sequence stars besides the Sun, focusing on the oblate and gravity-darkened photospheres of rapidly rotating stars. We can now also resolve the interacting components of close binary stars for the first time and I will give an update on the remarkable on-going eclipse of epsilon Aurigae.

Host: Prof Richard Townsend
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Friday, December 9th, 2011

Physics Department Colloquium
Holiday Colloquium
Time: 4:30 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall (Beer and Pizza at 4:00 pm)
Speaker: 3rd Year Physics Graduate Students, UW Madison Department of Physics
Abstract: We will describe recent experiments in which it has been conclusively shown that the incidence of sleep deprivation amongst the graduate student cohort is sharply peaked around the fall semester of the third year. High resolution spectroscopic studies have shown that this peak corresponds to a non-analytic singularity in the colloquium schedule. We're no strangers to this kind of behavior, and we demonstrate that the humor integral of this peak is enhanced under the presence of free beer and pizza. You know the rules, and so do we, so we won't be showing slides with nothing but text. A full 90 minutes of live action and video comedy is what I'm thinking of. You wouldn't get this from any other class. We just want to tell you about our research. Gotta make you understand: the third years are never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down. Never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry. Never gonna say goodbye. Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you...

Pizza and Beer at 4:00 pm. You will need a wristband to drink beer. To get a wrist band you will need an ID. Please see Renee in 2320 Chamberlin on Friday or outside 2103 Chamberlin at 4pm.
Host: Department of Physics
Poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2011/2188.pdf
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"This Week at Physics" poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2011/2011-12-05.pdf

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