Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of January 31st through February 7th, 2010

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Simulations of the global-dynamo in stars like the Sun
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlain
Speaker: Ben Brown, University of Wisconsin Department of Astronomy
Host: Ray Fonck
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Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Coherent transport in driven optical lattices
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Andrea Alberti, European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy
Abstract: We present a dynamical control of transport of ultra-cold 88Sr atoms loaded in a driven optical lattice. By introducing a modulation of an accelerated lattice potential we induce a controlled coupling between Wannier-Stark states located on different lattice sites. This coupling gives rise to coherent resonant delocalization when the modulation frequency matches the energy separation between adjacent sites, namely the Bloch frequency. We apply this mechanism to engineer a coherent transport over macroscopic distances, and we demonstrate one realization of Loschmidt echos. On the other hand, the same transport mechanism can be applied to micron scale to measure forces with high spatial resolution and ppm sensitivity.
Host: Saffman
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Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
"Complex Families: Some Implications of Multiple Partner Fertility for Research and Policy"
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Marie Cancian, UW-Madison La Folette School of Public Affairs
Abstract: We most often think of families with children as including a mother, father, and their children in common. However, 40 percent of children are now born to unmarried parents, and recent research suggests that more often than not, one or both of these parents will go on to have children with other partners. The complex families that result-- with siblings, half siblings and step siblings sharing parents and sometimes living quarters-- raise a host of challenges for research and policy. In this seminar I will draw on a series of papers, coauthored with Dan Meyer and other collaborators, to discuss the evolution of complex families and key related policy issues.

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Astronomy Colloquium
"Infrared Astronomy at 45,000 Feet"
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 3425 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Pam Marcum, NASA
Abstract: The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) will be a premier observatory facility during future decades for studying the physics and chemistry of stellar evolution processes. Utilizing the large suite of science instruments and the broad wavelength coverage of SOFIA, astronomers will be armed with unique capabilities to undertake a large breadth of investigations ranging from studies of the Solar System to the star forming history of galaxies over cosmic time. SOFIA is a German-built 2.5-meter telescope mounted in a modified Boeing 747-SP aircraft supplied by NASA. Flying at altitudes as high as 45,000-feet, SOFIA will be above most of atmospheric water vapor that severely limits the ability to do infrared and sub-mm observations using ground-based telescopes. SOFIA's first-generation instruments include broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at suitable resolution. SOFIA science applications will be discussed, with special emphasis on investigations related to infrared spectroscopy of astrophysical gas, grains and ices. Although the primary impact of SOFIA will be its scientific return, SOFIA's other major advantages include the provision of a platform on which to demonstrate new future technologies and to provide in-flight experience to young scientists, educators and journalists.
Host: Astronomy Department
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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Thursday, February 4th, 2010

No events scheduled

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Theory/Phenomenology Seminar
Holography and the Speed of Sound at High Temperature
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Paul Hohler, University of Illinois at Chicago
Abstract: An expression for the speed of sound will be formulated in a general class of strongly interacting theories using holographic techniques. Using this expression, it can be shown that for this class of theories at high temperatures the speed of sound approaches the conformal value cs2=1/3 universally from below. This class includes theories holographically dual to a theory of gravity coupled to a single scalar field, representing the operator of the scale anomaly.
Host: Sogee Spinner
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Breaching the Eddington Limit in the Most Massive, Most Luminous Stars"
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:15 pm
Place: 3425 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Professor Stan Owocki, University of Delaware
Abstract: Basic stellar structure dictates that stars of ca. 100 Msun or more will be close to the Eddington limit, with luminosities in excess of 106 Lsun, and radiation pressure contributing prominently to interior support against gravity. Although it is formally possible to generate static structure models of even more massive stars, extensive observational surveys of massive stellar clusters suggest an upper stellar mass limit of ca. 140 Msun. This talk will focus on the role of extreme mass loss in limiting the masses of stars, emphasizing in particular that continuum driving, possibly associated with structural instabilities of radiation dominated envelope, can lead to much stronger mass loss than is possible by the usual line-scattering mechanism of steady stellar winds. I will also discuss the implications for the evolution of the most massive stars, including Luminous Blue Variables (LBVs), the first stars and GRB progenitors.
Host: Prof Richard Townsend
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