Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of September 11th through September 18th, 2011

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
On the inner machinery of collisionless magnetic reconnection
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2317 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Michael Hesse, NASA
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Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Systems Virology: Models and measures of virus growth and infection spread
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: John Yin, WI Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering Systems Biology Theme, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Abstract: Viruses infect humans and cause diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis, cancer, and influenza, annually impacting the health of a major fraction of the world's population. Basic science has revealed the molecular functions encoded by many viruses of biomedical importance, but relatively little progress has been made toward understanding how the individual functions of a virus contribute to the integrated processes of virus growth and infection spread. We have begun to address this deficiency by developing quantitative experiments and mathematical models to describe the growth and spread of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a rabies-like virus that can be readily cultured in the laboratory. This talk will highlight our recent progress toward coupling the roles of both biological amplification and physical movement in the growth and spread of virus infections. Advances from the work have applications toward the development of more potent vaccines, anti-viral therapies, as well as virus-based therapies to treat cancer.&lt;br&gt;<br>
Host: Clint Sprott
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

No events scheduled

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
How d-wave pair fluctuations arise from strong electronic correlations
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: William Putikka, Ohio State University
Abstract: Superfluid behavior is relatively common in strongly correlated fermion systems, suggesting there is a common reason for this behavior rooted in the strong correlations. In previous calculations I found d-wave pair fluctuations in the 2D t-J model on a square lattice. Having pair fluctuations in a well-defined strongly correlated model allows for a detailed examination of the model's properties for the model parameters where the pair fluctuations are strongest. From this analysis I propose a robust process for producing pair fluctuations by strong correlations. As part of the analysis I find that d-wave pair fluctuations are not due to antiferromagnetic spin fluctuations, instead the AF fluctuations compete with the pair fluctuations. I will also discuss how these ideas may generalize across a broader range of strongly correlated systems.
Host: Robert Joynt
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Atomic Physics Seminar
Reusable Neutral Atom Qubits for Quantum Information Applications
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Michael Gibbons, Georgia Institute of Technology
Abstract: Most neutral atom quantum computing experiments rely on destructive state detection techniques that eject the detected qubits from the trap. These techniques limit the repetition rate of these experiments due to the necessity of reloading a new quantum register for each operation.

We address this problem by developing reusable neutral atom qubits. Individual 87Rb atoms are trapped in an optical lattice and are held for upwards of 300 s. Each atom is prepared in an initial quantum state and the state is subsequently detected with 95% accuracy and with less than a 1% probability of losing it from the trap. The combination of long storage times and lossless state detection could help facilitate the development of faster and more complex quantum operations that will enable future advancements in the field of neutral atom quantum information.
Host: Saffman
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Astronomy Colloquium
Reconnection Diffusion: Changing the Star Formation Paradigm
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 am
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Professor Alexander Lazarian
Abstract: For decades the idea that star formation is regulated by ambipolar diffusion dominated theories of star formation. Recent observational data shows that the traditional textbook paradigm has serious problems. At the same time recent progress in understanding th magnetic reconnection in realistically turbulent environments provides a different scenario of star formation, which is based on a new concept termed reconnection diffusion. I shall discuss the idea of fast reconnection in turbulent media, which is the basis of reconnection diffusion, problems with explaining the existing observational data and the theoretical predictions that the reconnection diffusion entails.
Host: Astronomy Department
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Graduate Introductory Seminar
Theoretical Nuclear, Particle, Astrophysics, and Cosmology Seminar
Time: 5:30 pm
Place: 2223 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Ramsey-Musolf
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Friday, September 16th, 2011

Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: This week we'll discuss...
     Results from 730 kg days of the CRESST-II Dark Matter Search
     Intensity Mapping with Carbon Monoxide Emission Lines and the Redshifted 21 cm Line
Please feel free to bring your lunch!
If you have questions or comments about this journal club, would like to propose a topic
or volunteer to introduce a paper, please email Le Zhang (
Host: Peter Timbie
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Physics Department Colloquium
The Quantum and Fluid Mechanics of Global Warming
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Brad Marston, Brown University
Abstract: Quantum mechanics plays a crucial, albeit often overlooked, role in our understanding of the Earth's climate. In this talk three well known aspects of quantum mechanics are invoked to present a simple physical picture of what will happen as the concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide continue to increase. Historical and paleoclimatic records are interpreted with some basic astronomy, fluid mechanics, and the use of fundamental laws of physics such as the conservation of angular momentum. Live simulations will illustrate the basic physical principles governing large scale atmospheric circulation. I conclude by discussing some possible ways that physics might be able to contribute to a deeper understanding of climate change.

See Physics Trends, "Looking for new problems to solve? Consider the climate" at
Host: Chubukov
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