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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of September 2nd through September 9th, 2012

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Labor Day

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

First Day of Class

Atomic Physics Seminar
The Beginning and End of Heavy Element Nucleosynthesis
Time: 11:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Ian Roederer, Carnegie Observatories
Abstract: Understanding the origin of the elements is one of the major challenges of modern astrophysics. The oxygen in water molecules; the calcium in our bones; the uranium in our weapons---it's all stardust. But what about the details? The answers lie mostly with the stars. I will share recent observations from the high-resolution spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope that teach us about how some of the heaviest elements have been produced. I will highlight connections between atomic physics, nuclear physics, and astronomy that have enabled these advances.
Host: Lawler & Zweibel
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Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Myths of Mathematics
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Moe Hirsch, UW Department of Mathematics
Abstract: I will give my informal and rather half-baked views on what math &quot;is&quot; and how it is used ---mostly provocative quotations from well known scientists and philosophers, some of which even make sense.<br>
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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Agenda: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/agendas/2717.pdf
Minutes: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/minutes/2717.pdf
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Thursday, September 6th, 2012

No events scheduled

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Please visit the following link for more details:
    http://cmb.physics.wisc.edu/journal/index.html
Please feel free to bring your lunch!
If you have questions or comments about this journal club, would like to propose a topic or volunteer to introduce a paper, please email Le Zhang (lzhang263@wisc.edu)
Host: Peter Timbie
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Physics Department Colloquium
Pushing Einstein’s Boundaries: Gravitational Approaches to the Challenges of Modern Cosmology
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Mark Trodden, Center for Particle Cosmology, University of Pennsylvania
Abstract: Einstein's general theory of relativity (GR) is one of the most successful and well-tested physical theories ever developed. Nevertheless, modern cosmology poses a range of questions, from the smallest scales to the largest, that remain currently unresolved by GR coupled to the known energy and matter contents of the universe. This raises the logical possibility that GR may require modification on the relevant scales.

I will discuss the status of some modern approaches to alter GR to address cosmological problems. We shall see that these efforts are extremely theoretically constrained, leaving very few currently viable approaches. Meanwhile, observationally, upcoming missions promise to constrain allowed departures from GR in exciting new ways, complementary to traditional tests within the solar system.
Host: Chung
Poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2012/2352.pdf
Video: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/vod/2012/09/07.html
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"This Week at Physics" poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2012/2012-09-03.pdf

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