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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of February 27th through March 6th, 2011

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
"Numerical Simulation and Analysis of Plasma Turbulence in LAPD"
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Max Umansky, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
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Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
"Wind Turbine Generators: The Basics"
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Mitch Bradt, Program Manager, Department of Engineering Professional Development
Abstract: During the years 2005 - 2009, US wind energy installations experienced growth annual growth rates of 20-45% capacity increase. In the talk, the speaker will give a presentation on some of the fundamental technical background on this maturing energy source. This will include the mechanical and electrical sides of the energy conversion process, a sample of Annual Energy Production estimates as well as the concept of Capacity Factor. We'll take you to the top of a turbine to see the equipment inside--hold onto your hat, it's 100 meters to the top! Then we'll climb back down and follow the electrons to the bulk transmission grid, onto the the distribution grid, and finally to your house to power your lights, ovens, and flatscreens.
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High Energy Seminar
Probing the Universe with Neutrinos
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Erik Blaufuss, University of Maryland
Abstract: The construction of large neutrino detectors sensitive to high-energy
neutrinos has opened a new window on the Universe. These unique
messengers are not affected by magnetic fields or interactions in dense
astrophysical environments and offer the potential to observe deep inside
the most energetic phenomena in the Universe. The IceCube Neutrino
Observatory, recently completed deep in the Antarctic ice under the
geographic South Pole, is sensitive to neutrinos of TeV energies and
higher. One of the leading candidates for the source of the highest
energy cosmic rays are gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Models producing the
highest energy cosmic rays in GRBs predict neutrino fluxes detectable in
IceCube. In this talk I will summarize the status of the IceCube searches
for neutrinos from gamma-ray bursts, and preview future neutrino studies
that are possible in the completed IceCube detector and in a future
massive detector at a deep underground laboratory.
Host: Karsten Heeger
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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Theory/Phenomenology Seminar
An Alternative Subtraction Scheme for Next-to-leading Order QCD Calculations
Time: 1:20 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Tania Robens, University of Glasgow
Abstract: We propose a new subtraction scheme for next-to-leading order QCD calculations. Our scheme is based on the momentum mapping and on the splitting functions derived in the context of an improved parton shower formulation. Compared to standard schemes, the new scheme features a significantly smaller number of subtraction terms and facilitates the matching of NLO calculations with parton showers including quantum interference. We provide formulae for the momentum mapping and the subtraction terms, and present a detailed comparison with the Catani-Seymour dipole subtraction for a variety of 2 → 2 scattering processes.
Host: Tao Han
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Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Universal energy fluctuations in driven thermally isolated systems
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Anatoli Polkovnikov, Boston University
Abstract: In this talk I will present two stories of emergent uiversality in thermally isolated driven systems. In the first I will show how unitary dynamics constraints energy distribution in a repeatedly driven thermally isolated system (microwave setup). I will present generalized fluctuation relations and will show that they imply a dynamical phase transition between canonical like and wide regimes. In the second part of the talk, if time permits, I will discuss universal scaling of energy, entropy and defect generation for quench dynamics through quantum critical points. In particular, I will show how quantum Kibble-Zurek and other related scalings follow from the adiabatic perturbation theory.
Host: Maxim Vavilov
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Astronomy Colloquium
"The missing baryons around galaxies and galaxy clusters"
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Joel Bregman, University of Michigan
Abstract: The baryon content is composed of the sum of stars and the gaseous <br>
components, which can be measured in potential wells from the richest clusters to the poorest galaxies. For the richest clusters of galaxies, most of the baryons are accounted for in that the baryon fraction approaches the cosmological value, within theoretical expectations. Progressing toward shallower potential wells, the baryon fraction decreases slowly until temperatures of about 1E6 K, below which the baryon fraction decreases quickly. This trend of decreasing baryon content continues through galaxies, where the Milky Way is missing about 75% of its baryons and the typical (lower mass) galaxy is missing 90% of <br>
its baryons. The missing baryons do not surround the galaxies as hot halos and we argue that the material never fell into these galaxies, having been pre-heated by an early population of supernovae. Furthermore, we show that the heating and metallicity contributions from this early population of stars may be largely independent of galaxies as well.
Host: Bart Wakker
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Neutrinos and the Future of the Standard Model
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Dan Dwyer, Caltech
Abstract: For over 30 years the Standard Model has served as our template for interpreting the world of particle physics. Recent results from neutrino experiments have shown that we must modify this long-standing theory. Current and future experiments will be discussed, with special attention on the KamLAND and Daya Bay neutrino oscillation experiments. The necessary changes for the Standard Model have consequences for the current set of fundamental particles, the nature of dark matter, and the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the universe.
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Friday, March 4th, 2011

Physics Department Colloquium
The Fermilab Holometer: an Experimental Probe of Planck Scale Physics
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 3:30 pm)
Speaker: Craig Hogan, Fermilab and University of Chicago
Abstract: Nobody knows how to make space, time, matter and energy out of a single quantum theory, but everyone agrees that that new physics must come in by the time you reach the Planck scale, around 10 attoattometers. This talk will describe an experiment under development that might measure the effects of new Planck scale physics at this incredibly small scale.
Host: Heeger
Poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2011/2030.pdf
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"This Week at Physics" poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2011/2011-02-28.pdf

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