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This Week at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Is there a path to renewable fuels, and why would we want to go there?
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Tom Jeffries, UW Department of Bacteriology
Abstract: Woody biomass has been used as a source of fuel since before the emergence of civilization. Starting in the 17th century, the coal-fired industrial revolution greatly increased the capacity for power generation. By the 20th century, the convenience of petroleum-derived liquid fuels ushered in easy, rapid personal transportation. The resulting increases in agricultural productivity spurred rapid population growth and unprecedented prosperity to a significant fraction of the worldaEuroTMs inhabitants. The question before us today is whether such lifestyles can be maintained in the face of rapid climate change and dwindling resources.<br>
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Contemporary biofuels made from sugars, starches and plant oils are incorporated into gasoline and diesel supply systems. Is this the best use of potential food resources, or should we look to other feedstocks? Is it desirable to use wood? What biomass is available? Is its use sustainable? What are current domestic policies and are they working? Why are we concerned about biofuels anyway? What about electrical vehicles? How much can be gained from efficiency? Which conversion technologies work? How much do they cost? These questions have been researched through large government-sponsored programs and actively debated for at least the past 35 years. Conceptually, the approach is even older.<br>
If we are serious about environmental sustainability, feeding our population and renewing a hope for future society, we must think realistically about feasible alternatives to present practices.
Host: Sprott
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High Energy Seminar
Project X Seminar
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Robert S Tschirhart, Fermilab
Abstract: "Project-X" is a US led initiative with strong international participation that aims to realize a next generation proton source that will dramatically extend the reach of Intensity Frontier research. The state of the art in Super-Conducting RF has advanced to a point where it can be considered and implemented as the core enabling technology for a next generation multi-megawatt proton source--reliably delivering unprecedented beam power at duty factors ranging from 0.001% to 100%. The base Super-Conducting RF technology also supports flexible beam-timing configurations among simultaneous experiments, allowing a broad range of experiments to develop and operate in parallel. The US Department Of Energy Office of High Energy Physics and its advisory bodies have recognized this potential and are supporting R&D for Project-X that could lead to a construction start as early as 2017.

Project-X will provide multi-megawatt proton beams from the Fermilab Main Injector over the energy range 60-120 GeV simultaneous with multi-megawatt protons beams 1-3 GeV (kinetic) with very flexible beam-timing characteristics as well as substantial beam power at 8 GeV. The Project-X particle physics research program includes world leading sensitivity in long-baseline and short-baseline neutrino experiments, a rich program of ultra-rare muon and kaon decays and opportunities for next-generation electric dipole moment experiments and other nuclear/particle physics probes that reach far beyond the Standard Model. Project X also provides an opportunity to advance energy research and material science studies. These research opportunities and the potential for collaboration will be presented and discussed.
Host: Michael Ramsey-Musolf
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Yukawa Hierarchies from Spontaneous Flavor Symmetry Breaking
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Chee Sheng Fong, Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Italy
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