Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of December 9th through December 16th, 2012

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
The Application and Use of 3D Stellarator Fields on the Compact Toroidal Hybrid to Avoid Tokamak Disruptions
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 1310 Sterling Hall
Speaker: David Maurer, Auburn University
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Special Lunch Astronomy Talk
Title to be announced
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Chris Fassnacht, UC Davis
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Searching for physics beyond the standard model: the neutron electric dipole moment experiment at the TUM
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Michael Marino, Technical University of Munich
Abstract: The discovery of a neutron electric dipole moment (nEDM) would provide an unambiguous indication of time violation in a fundamental system, and address one of the Sakharov conditions (CP-symmetry violation) necessary to explain the observed matter/antimatter asymmetry in the universe. Current experimental limitations on the nEDM are roughly 6 orders of magnitude above the Standard Model (SM) prediction and so searches for the nEDM provide powerful tests of physics beyond the SM. The nEDM experiment currently under construction at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) is seeking to improve this limit up to 2 orders of magnitude. A contextual overview of the relevant physics will be given, and developments in the TUM nEDM experiment, including the recent installation of a world-record magnetically shielded room, will be presented.
Host: Naoko Kurahashi Neilson, WIPAC
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Condensed Matter Theory Group Seminar
A hybrid quantum dot spin qubit
Time: 4:30 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Susan Coppersmith
Abstract: I will present a quantum dot qubit architecture that has an attractive combination of speed and fabrication simplicity consisting of a double quantum dot with one electron in one dot and two electrons in the other. The architecture is relatively simple to fabricate, a universal set of fast operations can be implemented electrically, and the system has potentially long coherence times. Progress towards experimental implementation will also be discussed.
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Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Is there a path to renewable fuels, and why would we want to go there?
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Tom Jeffries, UW Department of Bacteriology
Abstract: Woody biomass has been used as a source of fuel since before the emergence of civilization. Starting in the 17th century, the coal-fired industrial revolution greatly increased the capacity for power generation. By the 20th century, the convenience of petroleum-derived liquid fuels ushered in easy, rapid personal transportation. The resulting increases in agricultural productivity spurred rapid population growth and unprecedented prosperity to a significant fraction of the worldaEuroTMs inhabitants. The question before us today is whether such lifestyles can be maintained in the face of rapid climate change and dwindling resources.<br>
Contemporary biofuels made from sugars, starches and plant oils are incorporated into gasoline and diesel supply systems. Is this the best use of potential food resources, or should we look to other feedstocks? Is it desirable to use wood? What biomass is available? Is its use sustainable? What are current domestic policies and are they working? Why are we concerned about biofuels anyway? What about electrical vehicles? How much can be gained from efficiency? Which conversion technologies work? How much do they cost? These questions have been researched through large government-sponsored programs and actively debated for at least the past 35 years. Conceptually, the approach is even older.<br>
If we are serious about environmental sustainability, feeding our population and renewing a hope for future society, we must think realistically about feasible alternatives to present practices.
Host: Sprott
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High Energy Seminar
Project X Seminar
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Robert S Tschirhart, Fermilab
Abstract: "Project-X" is a US led initiative with strong international participation that aims to realize a next generation proton source that will dramatically extend the reach of Intensity Frontier research. The state of the art in Super-Conducting RF has advanced to a point where it can be considered and implemented as the core enabling technology for a next generation multi-megawatt proton source--reliably delivering unprecedented beam power at duty factors ranging from 0.001% to 100%. The base Super-Conducting RF technology also supports flexible beam-timing configurations among simultaneous experiments, allowing a broad range of experiments to develop and operate in parallel. The US Department Of Energy Office of High Energy Physics and its advisory bodies have recognized this potential and are supporting R&D for Project-X that could lead to a construction start as early as 2017.

Project-X will provide multi-megawatt proton beams from the Fermilab Main Injector over the energy range 60-120 GeV simultaneous with multi-megawatt protons beams 1-3 GeV (kinetic) with very flexible beam-timing characteristics as well as substantial beam power at 8 GeV. The Project-X particle physics research program includes world leading sensitivity in long-baseline and short-baseline neutrino experiments, a rich program of ultra-rare muon and kaon decays and opportunities for next-generation electric dipole moment experiments and other nuclear/particle physics probes that reach far beyond the Standard Model. Project X also provides an opportunity to advance energy research and material science studies. These research opportunities and the potential for collaboration will be presented and discussed.
Host: Michael Ramsey-Musolf
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Yukawa Hierarchies from Spontaneous Flavor Symmetry Breaking
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Chee Sheng Fong, Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Italy
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Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Thursday, December 13th, 2012

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Field-induced thermal transport in BEC antiferromagnets
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Sasha Chernyshev, University of California, Irvine
Abstract: Recent experiments in BEC quantum magnets exhibit a dramatic evolution of the thermal conductivity of these materials in magnetic field. By considering various relaxation mechanisms of bosonic excitations in the vicinity of the BEC quantum-critical point at finite temperature we provide a detailed explanation of several unusual features of the data. We identify the leading impurity-scattering interaction and demonstrate that its renormalization due to quantum fluctuations of the paramagnetic state compensates the related mass renormalization effect. This explains the enigmatic absence of the asymmetry between the two critical points in the low-T thermal conductivity data, while such an asymmetry is prominent in many other physical quantities. The observed characteristic "migration'' of the peak in thermal conductivity away from the transition points as a function of temperature is explained as due to a competition between an increase in the number of heat carriers and an enhancement of their mutual scattering. An important role of the three-boson scattering processes within the ordered phase of these systems is also discussed. Other qualitative and quantitative features of the experiment are clarified and the future directions are sketched.
Host: Perkins
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Careers in Physics Monthly Meeting
Grad School
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: Chamberlin 5310
Speaker: Physics grad students, UW-Madison
Abstract: At this next informal meeting of "Careers in Physics", we will address the various questions lingering in undergraduate physics students' minds as the time comes to think about graduate school or to apply. Most undergraduate students wonder about the peculiarities of the work associated with each physics field in addition to what graduate school is like in general. To help answer these questions and others, we have assembled a panel of graduate students from our own department who have kindly volunteered their time.
Host: Reina Maruyama
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Astronomy Colloquium
The WISP survey: overview of recent results for galaxies in the 1<z<2 redshift range
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Claudia Scarlata, CALTECH
Abstract: The WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel Survey (WISP) is a large ( 750 orbits) HST program using WFC3 slitless IR spectroscopy to detect thousands of galaxies across a wide redshift range 0.3 &lt; z &lt; 2.3. I will present an overview of recent results on emission line galaxies, including a statistical determination of their dust extinction properties and the discovery of a new population of extremely strong emission-line dwarf galaxies. I will also discuss the stellar population properties of passive galaxies at za^1/41.5 derived from the combination of the WISP IR spectra and broad-band HST optical and Spitzer photometry.
Host: Prof Amy Barger
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Friday, December 14th, 2012

Last Day of Class
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: Please visit the following link for more details:
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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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Systematics of Supersymmetric Boundary Conditions in N=4 Yang-Mills Theory
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Akikazu Hashimoto, UW Madison
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Physics Department Colloquium
Holiday Colloquium
Title to be announced
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin (2103 tentative)
Speaker: 3rd Year Graduate Students, UW Madison Department of Physics
Host: Coppersmith
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