Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of December 11th through December 18th, 2016

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Earl Scime, West Virginia University
Host: Cary Forest
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Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Plasma Theory Seminar
Time: 11:50 am - 1:20 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin hall
Speaker: Xinxing Ma
Abstract: tbd
Host: Daniel J. Den Hartog
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Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Climate change and chaos: The impact on people through a human rights lens
Time: 12:05 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Sumudu Atapattu, Director, Research Centers, UW Law School
Abstract: Climate change is referred to as the most complex global issue facing humanity today. It has repercussions for not just the current generations but for generations to come. The current projections are that we are heading towards a temperature increase of 4 degrees Celsius although the international community has pledged to limit the temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius which is considered as a “safe” limit even though it could mean the total inundation for small island states. Even a global temperature increase of 2 degrees can have far reaching implications for human beings. A recent World Bank report suggests that a 4-degree increase could be catastrophic for people and the environment. <br>
This presentation looks at the implications of climate change on human beings through a human rights lens. Climate change also raises profound justice issues as the impact on poor and vulnerable states and communities will be disproportionate to their greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change will undermine many of the rights protected under international human rights law and disproportionately affect poor, marginalized communities. The presentation also discusses the impact on small island states and their inhabitants who stand to lose everything including statehood. It will also discuss “climate refugees” and the potential impact of the movement of a large number of people on the world order
Host: Clint Sprott
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Council Meeting
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin hall
Speaker: Albrecht Karle
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Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin hall
Speaker: Albrecht Karle
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
New opportunities with solar neutrinos
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Shirley Li, Ohio State University
Abstract: Crucial questions about solar neutrinos remain unanswered. Our knowledge of stellar fusion processes and neutrinos themselves is incomplete. Neutrino detectors such as Super-Kamiokande have the exposure needed, but backgrounds are limiting. A leading background is the beta decays of isotopes produced by cosmic-ray muons and their secondary particles, which initiate nuclear spallation reactions. I will discuss my comprehensive studies of the spallation backgrounds, from calculating their production rates, to understanding their production mechanisms, to how to implement better background rejection methods. I will also discuss the applications of our MeV work in detecting PeV astrophysical neutrinos in IceCube.
Host: Stefan Westerhoff
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Thursday, December 15th, 2016

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
The Superconductivity of Topologically Protected Surface States
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Nicholas Sedlmayr, Michigan State University
Abstract: When a superconductor and a normal material are brought together there is a proximity effect where the normal material takes on some superconducting properties near the interface. Similarly the topologically protected surface states recently found on the surfaces of special crystals can leak into appropriate adjoining materials. We bring these two effects into proximity and study how superconductivity and topologically protected surface states interact with each other, a situation of interest in the search for Majorana bound states. We look at the scanning tunneling microscopy of a large topological insulator with superconducting islands deposited on the surface, and analyze relevant theoretical models. The density of states of both the topological insulator and the superconductor turn out to exhibit interesting proximity effects.
Host: Alex Levchenko
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Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Hartmut Zohm, IPP
Host: Cary Forest
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Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:15 pm - 1:15 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 Amol Upadhye (
Host: Amol Upadhye
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
A feasibility study of detecting 1e18 eV neutrinos with a dedicated Cherenkov Telescope Array
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Nepomuk Otte , Georgia Tech
Abstract: The detection of astrophysical neutrinos with IceCube and solid predictions of the flux of cosmogenic neutrinos have renewed the interest in detecting neutrinos at 10^9 GeV. To date no experiment exists with sufficient sensitivity at these energies and thus the motivation for this study. I take a fresh look at the Earth-skimming technique in which a tau neutrino converts in the Earth's mantle and the decay products of the tau are detected with Cherenkov telescopes that monitor a large volume of atmosphere. In this talk I present a conceptual design study of an array of Cherenkov telescopes that is optimized for 10^9 GeV and has a sensitivity that is competitive with other proposed experiments.
Host: Justin Vandenbroucke
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Friday, December 16th, 2016

No events scheduled