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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of February 14th through February 21st, 2016

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Wonders of Physics
The Physics of Superheros
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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Wonders of Physics
The Physics of Superheros
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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Monday, February 15th, 2016

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
The Emergent Collective Behavior of Bacteria Under Stress
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 1003 Engineering Centers Building (Tong Auditorium)
Speaker: Robert Austin, Princeton
Abstract: Outside the ivied halls of the academy, Darwinian evolution and competition puts an enormous selection pressure on organisms. Although physicists tend to think of bacteria as being rather simple entities living rather solitary and brief lives, our experience has been that under high stress complex environments and at high concentrations they initiate complex, cryptic signaling and information exchange whose purposes we at this point can only guess at. I’ll present experiments showing the complexity of the signals that bacteria exchange under stress, and try to provide some sort of a model to understand the purposes of this emergent collective behavior.
Host: Susan Coppersmith
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Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Sustainment of a field reversed configuration with high power neutral beam injection
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 1153 Mechanical Engineering
Speaker: Dr. Richard Magee, Tri-Alpha
Abstract: In the C-2 field reversed configuration (FRC) experiment, tangential neutral beam injection coupled with electrically-biased plasma guns, magnetic end plugs, and advanced surface conditioning led to dramatic reductions in turbulence driven losses and greatly improved plasma stability. Under such conditions, highly reproducible, macroscopically stable FRCs with a significant fast ion population and total plasma temperature of 1keV were achieved. In order to sustain the FRC, the C-2 device was recently upgraded with a new neutral beam injection (NBI) system, which increased the injected neutral power from 4 MW to 10+ MW, by far the largest ever used in a compact toroidal plasma experiment. The upgraded neutral beams produce a fast ion population that has a dramatic beneficial impact and allows the configuration to persist for time significantly longer (5+ ms) than all characteristic plasma decay times. The presentation with provide an overview of the C-2U device and recent experimental results, with a focus on the diagnosis of the fast ion population
and observations of benign fast ion driven collective effects.
Host: UW Madison
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Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Astronomy Colloquium
Compact Neutron Star Binary Assembly n the Universe
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, SPECIAL LUNCH TALK
Speaker: Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, UC Santa Cruz
Abstract: The existence of a population of compact neutron star binaries serves as a unique probe of general relativity and of binary stellar evolution. Mergers of neutron star binaries are promising sources for the detection of gravitational radiation. Yet, to inspiral and merge in less than a Hubble time, a compact binary must be separated by less than the radii of its main sequence progenitors. To reach their current small separations, these binaries must have passed through a common envelope phase. Reconciling the observed distribution of neutron star masses in binaries with theories of accretion during common envelope has posed a long-standing problem. This talk explores the hydrodynamics of common envelope with the goal of reconciling theories for the formation of neutron stars in close binaries with the narrow observed distribution of neutron star masses.<br>
Host: Professor D'Onghia
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Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
The dynamics of message-carrying between combatants
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Joe Elder, UW Department of Sociology
Abstract: Combatants have sometimes tried to communicate with each other through neutral channels such as Quakers. This presentation will analyze Quaker message-carrying efforts between combatants in India, Pakistan, Korea, and Sri Lanka, highlighting the limitations, possibilities, and risks of such message carrying.<br>
Host: Sprott
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"Physics Today" Undergrad Colloquium (Physics 301)
Coulomb drag and anomalous Hall transport phenomena
Time: 1:20 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Alex Levchenko, UW Madison Department of Physics
Host: Wesley Smith
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
tbd
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Tony Gherghetta, University of Minnesota
Abstract: tbd
Host: Yang Bai
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Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Initial Results from HAWC on Gamma-Ray Bursts
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Joshua Wood, University of Maryland
Abstract: The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Observatory is a new ground-based TeV gamma-ray observatory operating in the high mountains of Mexico that is giving us a unique view of the high-energy sky. Its high sensitivity, wide field of view (~2 sr), and >95% uptime make it an ideal instrument for discovering gamma-ray burst (GRB) emission at ~100 GeV. Such a discovery would provide key information about the origins of prompt GRB emission as well as constraints on extragalactic background light models and the violation of Lorentz invariance. In this talk we will review HAWC performance and present results concentrating on our initial search for very high energy gamma-ray emission from GRBs with significant sensitivity to short transients with energies as small as 50 GeV.
Host: Stefan Westerhoff
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Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Astronomy Colloquium
New Tools for Galactic Archaeology from the Milky Way
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and Cookies at 3:15 PM
Speaker: Gail Zasowski, Johns Hopkins University
Abstract: One of the critical components for understanding galaxy evolution is understanding the Milky Way Galaxy itself -- its detailed structure and chemodynamical properties, as well as fundamental stellar physics, which we can only study in great detail locally. This field is currently undergoing a dramatic expansion towards the kinds of large-scale statistical analyses long used by the extragalactic and other communities, thanks in part to an enormous influx of data from space- and ground-based surveys. I will describe the Milky Way and Local Group in the context of general galaxy evolution and highlight some recent developments in Galactic astrophysics that take advantage of these big data sets and analysis techniques. In particular, I will focus on two diverse approaches: one to characterize the distribution and dynamics of the carbon-rich, dusty diffuse ISM, and one to map the resolved bulk stellar properties of the inner disk and bulge. The rapid progress in these areas promises to continue, with the advent of coming data sets from missions like SDSS-IV, Gaia, and LSST.<br><br><br>
Host: Prof Matt Bershday
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Friday, February 19th, 2016

Physics Department Colloquium
tbd
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Kent Irwin, Stanford/SLC
Abstract: tbd
Host: Kam Arnold
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Saturday, February 20th, 2016

9th Annual Physics Fair
9th Annual Physics Fair
Time: 11:00 am
Place: University Avenue Lobby
Abstract: - Physics Fair Exhibits open (11:00 am – 4:00 pm)
- Research laboratory tours will be given throughout the day
- Ingersoll Physics Museum open (11:00 am – 4:00 pm)
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Wonders of Physics
The Physics of Superheros
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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Wonders of Physics
The Physics of Superheros
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Add this event to your calendar

Wonders of Physics
The Physics of Superheros
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Wonders of Physics
The Physics of Superheros
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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Wonders of Physics
The Physics of Superheros
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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