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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of May 22nd through May 29th, 2011

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Transmutation of nuclear waste: Basics, Methods, Perspectives
Time: 1:30 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Arnd Junghans, Institut für Strahlenphysik, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Abstract: Nuclear power production having the merit of very little greenhouse gas emissions accumulates high-level radioactive waste. Currently final storage solutions in deep geological formations are in preparation in many countries having a nuclear fuel cycle to safely keep the spent nuclear fuel for up to a million years. Nuclear reactors using a fast neutron spectrum can fission essentially all long-lived actinides (e.g. Plutonium) and thus transmute the long-lived actinide nuclides into generally short lived fission products. Generation IV nuclear reactor concepts and accelerator driven systems (ADS)are currently in development that foresee a closed fuel cycle. The majority of the fissile nuclides (Uranium, Plutonium) shall be used for power generation and only fission products will be put into final storage that needs to last for only 1000 years because of the shorter nuclear half-lives. For the transmutation of high-level radioactive waste a lot of research and development is still required. One aspect is the precise knowledge of nuclear data for reactions with fast neutrons. Nuclear reactions relevant for transmutation are investigated at the photoneutron source nELBE at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf in Dresden, Germany.&lt;br&gt;<br>
&lt;br&gt;<br>
Supported by the german Federal Ministery for Education and Research under contract 02NUK13A and by the EURATOM FP7 project &amp;quot;ERINDA&amp;quot;.&lt;br&gt;<br>
Host: Karsten Heeger
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Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

No events scheduled

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

No events scheduled

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Frenkel-Kontorowa Models, Pinned Particle Configurations and Burgers Shocks
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Muhittin Mungan, Dept. of Physics, Boğaçizi University, Istanbul
Abstract: We consider the relationship between the lowest energy configurations of an infinite harmonic chain of particles in a periodic potential and the evolution of characteristics in a periodically-forced inviscid Burgers equation. The shock discontinuities in the Burgers evolution arise from thermodynamical considerations and play an important role as they separate out flows related to lowest energy configurations from those associated with higher energies containing defects. We will explicitly work out the flow patterns in the exactly solvable case of an external potential consisting of parabolic segments,and and show how the lowest energy configurations, as well as excited states exhibiting can be calculated analytically within this settings. The description of lowest energy configurations of a discrete mechanical model such as the Frenkel-Kontorowa model in terms of the characteristic flows of a periodically forced hyperbolic PDE also provides and interesting example for the interplay between thermodynamical arguments and the mathematical notion of weak solutions and convergence.
Host: Susan Coppersmith
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Friday, May 27th, 2011

No events scheduled

"This Week at Physics" poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2011/2011-05-23.pdf

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