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Events During the Week of January 17th through January 24th, 2010

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

First Day of Class
Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
An Aamazing Freak Wave
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Chin H. Wu
Abstract: Freak waves, alternatively called rogue waves or giant waves, are exceptionally large, steep, and asymmetric waves whose heights usually exceed by 2.2 times the significant wave height. They have also been described as "holes in the sea", "walls of waters", or three sisters! These waves have been long known to be notorious hazards to navigation vessels and marine structures. Many sinister marine episodes and their devastating impacts have prompted a great interest in freak waves. With little warning, freak waves often mysteriously occur as transient giant waves from wave groups in random coastal and open seas. While statistical methods are widely employed in examining the occurrence of such extreme sea conditions, it is still unclear whether freak waves are rare realization of a typical population or typical realization of a rare population. Likewise, it is unclear the physical mechanisms of freak wave formation and its characteristics. In this talk, we will report the recent laboratory measurements on limiting freak waves on currents. It is found that wave group structure is critical to determine the formation and the geometric properties of freak waves. Strong opposing currents inducing partial wave-blocking can significantly promote the freak waves, which occur often in the Great Lakes and Oceans.
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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Undergrad Lunch with John Orrell
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: John Orrell, Pacific Northwest Lab
Abstract: John Orrell from the Pacific Northwest Lab will discuss reactor monitoring and applied science research positions at National Labs with undergraduate physics majors.
Host: Karsten Heeger
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Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall

Topics:

  • Molly Carnes Presentation: Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) has received a grant from NIH to conduct a Bias Literacy Workshop in 90 departments at UW-Madison.
  • Matters Arising

Announcements:

  • Congratulations to Pupa Gilbert on being elected vice-chair of the APS division of biological physics.
  • Congratulations to Chun Lin on receiving a Division of University Housing's Honored Instructors Award.

Agenda: https://www.physics.wisc.edu/events/agendas/1855.pdf
Minutes: https://www.physics.wisc.edu/events/minutes/1855.pdf
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Coffee & Cookies
Coffee & Cookies with John Orrell
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: John Orrell, Pacific Northwest Lab
Abstract: John Orrell from the Pacific Northwest Lab will discuss reactor monitoring and applied science research positions at National Labs with undergraduate physics majors, graduate students and postdocs.
Host: Karsten Heeger
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Thursday, January 21st, 2010

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Double Beta Decay: A challenge for particle, nuclear and atomic physics
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Fedor Simkovic, Comenius University
Host: Baha Balantekin
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Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Theory/Phenomenology Seminar
Violating Rotational or Translational Invariance During Inflation
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Yang Bai, Fermilab
Abstract: Topological interactions may point to fundamental aspects of the underlying theory in analogy to the neutral pion decays into two photons in QCD. I first build a simple model with a new QCD-like dynamics to illustrate how to use topological interactions to explore new collider signatures. Then I will concentrate on analyzing the topological interactions in some well-studied warped extra dimension models.
Host: Neil Christensen
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Physics Department Colloquium
Quark-Gluon Plasma in QCD, at RHIC and LHC, and in String Theory
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 3:30 pm)
Speaker: Krishna Rajagopal, MIT
Abstract: The realization that the high temperature phase of QCD is quark-gluon plasma, with properties qualitatively distinct from those of the hadronic phase whose quasi-particles make up the matter in the everyday world around us, goes back more than 30 years. Over that time, we have gained reliable insight into the thermodynamics of quark-gluon plasma, and we have understood much about its dynamics in the high temperature limit where it becomes weakly coupled. However, in the last five years experimental discoveries at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider have taught us that, at least at temperatures within a factor of two of that at which hadrons ionize, the dynamics of quark-gluon plasma is closer to the ideal liquid limit than to the ideal gas limit. These experimental data demand a theoretical understanding of the dynamics of strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma. Such calculations in QCD itself are in their infancy, but string theory provides us with robust tools for exactly this purpose, applicable to the quark-gluon plasmas of many QCD-like theories. I will describe some of the many new insights into the properties of strongly coupled plasma obtained recently from these calculations in which difficult quark-gluon plasma questions are mapped onto easy gravity questions, and look ahead toward the expected interplay between these calculations and heavy ion collision experiments at the LHC.
Host: Ramsey-Musolf
Poster: https://www.physics.wisc.edu/events/posters/2010/1557.pdf
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