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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of September 21st through September 28th, 2014

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
"Kinetic-fluid hybrid simulation of energetic particle interaction with MHD instabilities in toroidal plasmas"
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2255 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Guo-Yong Fu, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
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Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Please visit the following link for more details:
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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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Wisconsin State Energy Office – Forecasting, monitoring, and responding to energy crises
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Jim Mapp, Dark Energy Associates
Abstract: Since the 1970s Wisconsin has experienced several petroleum crises, natural gas supply limitations, coal shortages, and electric power brownouts, blackouts and supply uncertainty. There have been crises related to propane shortages, extremes in cold weather, hot weather, rain events, and floods. We will discuss the role of the Wisconsin State Energy Office in forecasting, preparing for, monitoring and responding to these various energy related crises and the often chaotic conditions surrounding these events. This past winter’s propane shortage provided an example of a recent energy crisis. Propane as a liquid fuel is used for crop drying, home heating in rural areas, and as a supplemental fuel in areas where natural gas is not available. The coming fall and winter heating season may provide an example of the various factors that combine to generate chaos in the supply and demand of propane and steps that can be taken to respond to a possible crisis. Possible supply constraints may include; propane pipeline supply limitations, expanded propane export market, limitations on rail car availability, wet harvest conditions and record corn harvest leading to increased demand for propane for crop drying. Early onset of cold weather could increase the demand for heating fuels such as propane. Possible responses may include coordinating efforts with other Wisconsin agencies, other states, various federal authorities, or various national organizations.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

No events scheduled

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Time: 10:00 am
Place: Chamberlin 5310
Speaker: Israel Klich, University of Virginia
Abstract: TBD
Host: Maxim Vavilov
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Astronomy Colloquium
Angular Momentum Transport via Internal Gravity Waves in Evolving Stars
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Jim Fuller, Caltech
Abstract: Recent asteroseismic advances have allowed for direct measurements of the internal rotation rates of many sub-giant and red giant stars. Unlike the nearly rigidly rotating Sun, these evolved stars contain radiative cores that spin much faster than their overlying convective envelopes, but much slower than they would in the absence of internal angular momentum transport. We investigate the role of internal gravity waves in angular momentum transport in evolving low mass stars. In agreement with previous results, we find that convectively excited gravity waves can prevent the development of strong differential rotation in the radiative cores of Sun-like stars. As stars evolve into sub-giants, however, low frequency gravity waves become strongly attenuated and cannot propagate below the hydrogen burning shell, allowing the spin of the core to decouple from the convective envelope. This decoupling occurs at the base of the sub-giant
branch when stars have surface temperatures of roughly 5500K. However, gravity waves can still spin down the upper radiative region, implying that the observed differential rotation is likely confined to the deep core near the hydrogen burning shell. The torque on the upper radiative region may also prevent the core from accreting high-angular momentum material and slow the rate of core spin-up. The observed spin-down of cores on the red giant branch cannot be totally attributed to gravity waves, but the waves may enhance shear within the radiative region and thus increase the efficacy of viscous/magnetic torques.
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Friday, September 26th, 2014

Physics Department Colloquium
Hunting for topological dark matter with atomic clocks
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: Chamberin
Speaker: Andrei Derevianko, University of Nevada, Reno
Abstract: Atomic clocks are arguably the most accurate scientific instruments ever build. Modern clocks are astonishing timepieces guaranteed to keep time within a second over the age of the Universe. Attaining this accuracy requires that the quantum oscillator be well protected from environmental noise and perturbations well controlled and characterized. This opens intriguing prospects of using clocks to study subtle effects, and it is natural to ask if such accuracy can be harnessed for dark matter searches.

The cosmological applications of atomic clocks so far have been limited to searches of the uniform-in-time drift of fundamental constants. We point out that a transient in time change of fundamental constants can be induced by dark matter objects that have large spatial extent, and are built from light non-Standard Model fields. The stability of this type of dark matter can be dictated by the topological reasons. We point out that correlated networks of atomic clocks, such as atomic clocks onboard satellites of the GPS constellation, can be used as a powerful tool to search for the topological defect dark matter. In other words, one could envision using GPS as a 50,000 km-aperture topological dark-matter detector.
Host: Saffman
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