Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of May 2nd through May 9th, 2010

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
H-Mode Relevance and Physics
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Fritz Wagner, IPP Greifswald
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Special Astronomy Seminar
Why So Few? Unconscious Bias and Women in STEM
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin
Speaker: Meg Urry, Israel Munson Prof. of Physics & Astronomy, Director of the Yale Center for Astrophysics
Abstract: The low numbers of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, particularly physics and engineering, which come from differential attrition over many years, are bad for science. Once we understand why women and men fare differently along the STEM career path, we can change our processes to be unbiased (as measured by outcome) with respect to gender, minority status, or any other non-performance-related characteristic. This talk describes what we know about "unconscious bias" from social science literature, and suggests steps to broaden participation in STEM fields.
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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Effect of order parameter fluctuations on the spectral density in d-wave superconductors
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Maxim Khodas, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Abstract: My talk contains two related parts. In the first part I will discuss the spectral density in 2D d-wave superconductors in the regime of strong quantum fluctuations. I will start with the motivation based on Angular Resolved Photo-Emission Experiments. The theoretical model is then presented to capture the effects of phase fluctuations without specifying the (unknown) paring mechanism. I discuss the solution of the model and give results for the spectral function. In the second part I will discuss the Fermi Surface Reconstruction and underlying mechanism related to the anti-ferromagnetic fluctuations. I will show how the pockets obtained on the mean field level are modified by the fluctuations of the staggered magnetization. Finally, I would conclude with a short summary.
Host: Maxim Vavilov
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Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Who Wants to Know? - The Nature of our Subjective "I"
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Deric Bownds, UW-Madison, Dept. of Zoology
Abstract: Most cognitive neuroscientists are practicing Cartesian dualists in their daily lives, even while knowing that there is no distinction between our minds and bodies. They accept compelling modern experiments (as well as ancient religious insights) demonstrating that the 'self' or 'I' is a fiction, albeit a useful one we could not live without. It is a ancient fiction that co-evolved with a supportive neuroendocrine emotional repertoire to eventually generate social brains capable of scientific and artistic culture. The purpose of this talk is to outline a few central observations on the nature of this phenomenal self, how it is constructed with respect to the physical world and the social world of other humans.

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Astronomy Colloquium
WISELI Talk - Sponsored by WOWSAP
Molecular Gas in High-Redshift Galaxies
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 3425 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Meg Urry, YALE
Abstract: Fully understanding the evolutionary state of a galaxy requires that we characterize its gas reservoir, of which the molecular component represents the mass directly available for star formation. I will discuss observations of molecular gas in two populations of star-forming galaxies at high redshift-- Lyman break galaxies and submillimeter galaxies-- and what we can conclude from them. Looking ahead to the future, I will outline what we can expect to learn from observations with two new instruments: the "Zpectrometer" (an ultrawide-bandwidth 26-40 GHz spectrometer for the 100m Green Bank Telescope) and ALMA (the Atacama Large Millimeter Array).

Host: Astro Dept
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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Thursday, May 6th, 2010

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Kondo Physics at the Nanoscale: From Kondo Droplets to Kondo Holes
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Dirk Morr, University of Illinois-Chicago
Abstract: Recent experimental advances have made it possible to study the Kondo effect in nanoscale structures. These achievements have opened unprecedented opportunities not only for manipulating the Kondo effect at the atomic level, but also for studying how Kondo screening and coherence evolve on different length scales from a single Kondo impurity to the Kondo lattice. In this talk, I show how this evolution can be studied in Kondo droplets, consisting of tens to hundreds of magnetic atoms arranged in a well defined geometry. In such Kondo nanostructures, it is possible to manipulate the competition between Kondo screening and magnetic coupling via changes in the droplet's geometry and size. Moreover, I will show how defects in Kondo lattice systems (i.e., heavy fermion materials) can unveil their complex electronic and magnetic correlations in real space. The strongly correlated nature of these materials lead to highly non-linear feedback effects between defects that can drive the system to a novel, inhomogeneous ground state via a first order phase transition.
Host: Andrey Chubukov
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Friday, May 7th, 2010

Last Day of Class
Theory/Phenomenology Seminar
Title to be announced
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Benjamin Fuks, IPHC Strasbourg/University of Strasbourg
Host: Neil Christensen
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Physics Department Colloquium
Distinguished Award Winner
Does the Nation have a Nuclear Future? The Role of Science in the Regulation of the Nation's Most Controversial Energy Source
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 3:30 pm)
Speaker: Dr. Gregory B. Jaczko, Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Abstract: Throughout its history, nuclear power has been one of the most controversial energy sources in the United States. Despite this history, the challenges of global warming and energy security have led to a renewed interest in nuclear power in the United States. At the center of the renewed focus is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the agency responsible for deciding whether any new plants on the drawing board will be approved for construction. Many factors play an important role in the agency's decisions about the safety of nuclear power plants. Chairman Jaczko will discuss specifically the role science plays in helping the agency make sound decisions about the safety of nuclear power, with an insider's perspective on the use of science in debates in the nation's capital.

Dr. Gregory B. Jaczko was designated Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by President Barack Obama on May 13, 2009. He was first sworn in as a Commissioner on Jan. 21, 2005, and his term runs through June 2013. Throughout his tenure on the Commission, Dr. Jaczko has focused on the NRC being a decisive safety regulator with the confidence of the public, and has worked to have the agency clearly communicate with the public and its licensees. He is committed to the safety of existing nuclear reactors and radioactive materials, implementing a predictable safety review process for license applications, ensuring the agency conducts thorough environmental reviews, and promoting strong enforcement and accountability. Prior to assuming the post of Commissioner, Dr. Jaczko served as appropriations director for U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and also as the Senator's science policy advisor. Earlier he was a congressional science fellow in the office of U.S. Rep. Edward Markey. He has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching science and policy. Dr. Jaczko holds a bachelor's degree in physics and philosophy from Cornell University, and a doctorate in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Host: Department of Physics
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