Events at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

Non-Partisan Voter Information Session
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Speaker: Susan Nossal
Abstract: You are invited to an informal discussion about non-partisan voting information on Tuesday, November 1st at noon via Zoom in advance of the Tuesday, November 8th election.

Early in-person absentee voting has begun in Madison, including on the UW-Madison campus.

We will discuss where to find information about topics such as:
• Eligibility for voting
• How to register to vote
• Voter ID requirements
• Obtaining a voter-compliant ID card (for UW students)
• Early in-person absentee voting opportunities on the UW Campus and elsewhere
• Finding poll locations for those voting on election day, Tuesday, November 8th
• How to find out what is on your ballot
• How to find information if voting in another state

A few resources for non-partisan voting information are the UW voter information site(, BadgersVote (,and the State of Wisconsin MyVote site ( The Morgridge Center for Public Service is hosting a VoteFest this week (

This will be an opportunity for us all to share information with each other. Please feel welcome to bring questions. If we don’t know the answers, we will try to point people to places where they may be able to get their questions addressed. If possible, it may be helpful to log on with a device that you can use to access various websites.
Everyone is welcome! Even if you are not eligible to vote, but you would like to learn more about the voting process in Wisconsin, please come. You are welcome to come late and leave early.
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Thesis Defense
Astophysical Neutrino Source Searches Using IceCube Starting Tracks
Time: 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin or
Speaker: Sarah Mancina, Physics Graduate Student
Abstract: The IceCube detector is an array of optical light detectors embedded deep in the South Pole ice that aims to discover the origins of astrophysical neutrinos. Due to the detector's location, the southern equatorial sky astrophysical neutrino signal lies under a large background of muons generated in cosmic ray interactions in the atmosphere. Therefore, IceCube’s sensitivity to astrophysical neutrino sources has always been stronger in the northern sky, where the main background is atmospheric neutrinos created by cosmic ray air showers.The research presented here focuses on improving IceCube’s sensitivity to southern sky sources by selecting for starting tracks, which are created by muon neutrinos that interact inside of the IceCube detector volume. By selecting for starting tracks, we not only reduce the atmospheric muon background but also the atmospheric neutrino background, allowing for a high purity sample of astrophysical neutrinos in the southern sky. The starting tracks were used to perform four types of searches for astrophysical neutrino sources: a whole sky neutrino source search, an individual source search with locations from bright gamma ray objects, a stacked source search which looks for a signal from multiple sources of the same type, and a galactic plane template search which looks for neutrinos created in the galactic plane medium. All searches were unable to significantly detect an astrophysical neutrino source, but the starting track selection technique could be used in tandem with other selections to discover galactic sources of neutrinos in the future.
Host: Albrecht Karle
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Gravitational production of scalar dark matter
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: Chamberlin 5280
Speaker: Sarunas Verner, University of Florida
Abstract: First, I discuss the out-of-equilibrium production of scalar dark matter (DM) from the inflaton condensate during inflation and reheating. Here I assume that this scalar dark matter is only minimally coupled to gravity and consider the regime of purely gravitational dark matter. For the purely gravitational regime, scalar dark matter quanta are copiously excited during inflation resulting in an infrared (IR) dominated distribution function and a relic abundance that overcloses the universe for a reheating temperature T_{reh} > 34 GeV. I discuss the reheating mechanism and compare perturbative and non-perturbative calculations of the energy density in radiation, and compare the resulting energy density based on these different approaches. I also briefly discuss the isocurvature constraints. This talk is based on arXiv:2206.08940 and arXiv:2109.13280.
Host: George Wojcik
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