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Events During the Week of April 21st through April 28th, 2013

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:30 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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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Flavor and CP violation in Higgs Decays
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Roni Harnik, Fermilab
Abstract: I will discuss new ways to probe the couplings of the recently discovered Higgs boson. In addition to measuring the couplings of the Higgs in its standard model channels we can search for decay channels that are forbidden in the SM. I will focus on flavor and CP violating decays.
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Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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The Galactic Magnetic Field
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Glennys Farrar, New York University
Host: Prof Ellen Zweibel
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Careers for Physicists
Becoming a Professor
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Place: 2124 Chamberlin
Speaker: Segev BenZvi and Naoko Kurahashi Neilson, UW-Madison
Abstract: How do you apply for faculty positions? How do you get interviews? What are faculty interviews like? If you ever wondered about how one gets interviews and faculty positions, come join us for this panel discussion on academic job application and interviewing. Postdocs currently undergoing the application and interview processes will discuss what their experiences have been like.
Host: Reina Maruyama
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Distinguished Lecture Series
Cosmology on a Moving Mesh
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 1310 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Lars Hernquist, Harvard University
Abstract: Understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies in a cosmological context using numerical simulations remains an elusive goal. In this talk, I describe a new approach to modeling the hydrodynamics of galaxy formation in which the equations of motion are solved on a moving mesh. The use of a moving mesh makes the scheme fully Lagrangian, unlike popular particle-based codes which are quasi-Lagrangian in nature, and mitigates against advection errors when a spatially fixed grid is used. I present results from an initial study comparing results for a moving mesh with those obtained using a smoothed particle hydrodynamics solver. This preliminary work suggests that the new approach offers promise for resolving the long-standing problems which have plagued this field for nearly two decades.<br>
Host: Prof Elena D'Onghia
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Thursday, April 25th, 2013

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Search for Neutrino-less Double Beta Decay with EXO-200
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin
Speaker: Delia Tosi, Stanford University
Abstract: Neutrino-less double beta decay may answer essential open questions in neutrino physics. While double beta decay accompanied by the emission of two neutrinos is allowed by the standard model, the neutrino-less process requires neutrinos to be Majorana particles. Detecting this decay could determine the nature of neutrinos, the neutrino effective mass, and the mass hierarchy. The Enriched Xenon Observatory (EXO) is an experimental program searching for neutrino-less double beta decay in xenon-136. The first stage of this program, EXO-200, features 200 kg of liquid xenon. The detector, located at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, has been taking data for two years. EXO-200 detected for the first time two-neutrino double beta decay of xenon, the slowest process ever measured directly. Furthermore it set a strong limit on the rate of zero-neutrino double beta decay. I will describe EXO-200 as well as prospects for the future large-scale detector nEXO.
Host: Halzen
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Astronomy Colloquium
What did we learn about the Milky Way during the last decade, and what shall we learn using Gaia and LSST?
Time: 3:45 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Zeljko Ivezic, University of Washington
Abstract: Studies of stellar populations, understood to mean collections of stars with common spatial, kinematic, chemical, and/or age distributions, have been reinvigorated during the last decade by the advent of large-area sky surveys such as SDSS, 2MASS, RAVE, and others. These data, together with theoretical and modeling advances, are revolutionizing our understanding of the nature of the Milky Way, and galaxy formation and evolution in general. These recent<br>
developments have made it clear that the Milky Way is a complex and dynamic structure, one that is still being shaped by the merging of neighboring smaller galaxies. I will review the progress over the last decade, and will briefly discuss new breakthroughs expected from Gaia and LSST surveys, which will improve measurement precision manyfold, and comprise billions of individual stars.<br>
Host: Bob Benjamin
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Friday, April 26th, 2013

WID Distinguished Lecture Series
Wisconsin Festival of Ideas Lecture
Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Place: H.F. Deluca Forum & Atrium, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
Speaker: Sridhara Dasu, UW Physics
Abstract: Sridhara Dasu (Physics) and David Rakel (Family Medicine) will engage the audience with a discussion about some of best ideas and collaborations happening on campus.
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
On The Way To A Systematic Study of (Radiative) Neutrino Mass Generation
Time: 2:15 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Michael Schmidt, University of Melbourne
Abstract: To unravel the mystery of neutrino masses and mixing angles, we adopt a bottom-up approach based on effective operators which violate lepton number by 2 units. By opening the effective operators, we can find the corresponding minimal UV completions. We present an example based on a dimension-9 operator and study its neutrino mass generation and related flavour physics.
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Physics Department Colloquium
Physics and Astrophysics from Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Ray observations
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Glennys Farrar, New York University
Abstract: Predictions for UHECR air showers using hadronic event generators tuned with LHC and lower energy accelerator data, are in serious tension with Pierre Auger Observatory measurements, for any assumed primary composition. It appears very difficult to get agreement with observations, without invoking new physics above LHC energies. Some options for types of new physics which can explain the data (and others which cannot) will be discussed. Fortunately, as will be shown, there is intrinsically enough information in hybrid events -- those observed with both air fluorescence and ground detectors -- to constrain the new physics and composition simultaneously. With improvements in separating the electromagnetic and muonic components of the ground signal, it should be possible to obtain remarkably detailed diagnostics about what is wrong in present hadronic event generators, and estimate composition on an event-to-event basis. Some new astrophysics results pertaining to UHECR sources and deflections in the Galactic magnetic field will be presented as well.
Host: Coppersmith
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