Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of February 21st through February 28th, 2016

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Wonders of Physics
The Physics of Superheros
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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Wonders of Physics
The Physics of Superheros
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Hall thrusters for space applications: Advanced concepts and research challenges
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 1153 Mechanical Engineering
Speaker: Yevgeny Raitses, Princeton University
Host: Cary Forest
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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Walking and stroke: A delicate balance
Time: 12:05 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Kreg Gruben, UW Department of Kenesiology
Abstract: Human walking requires precise control of numerous muscles acting on a complex skeletal structure. Stroke disrupts that control, leading to walking difficulty. Through research discoveries explaining how that control maintains upright posture and is altered by neurological injury, we are developing means to restore walking. <br>
Host: Sprott
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
The Surprising Emergent Phenomena of Perturbative QCD
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Andrew Larkoski, Harvard University
Abstract: The standard lore says that the only observables that are calculable within perturbation theory in QCD or any gauge theory are those that are infrared and collinear safe. Recently, we have discovered observables that are not infrared and collinear safe, yet are calculable in perturbation theory when all orders effects are included. We refer to these observables as Sudakov safe and unlike infrared and collinear safe observables, their distributions have non-analytic dependence on the coupling. In this talk, I will discuss one Sudakov safe observable which exhibits independence on the coupling and manifests the universal collinear splitting functions.
Host: Yang Bai
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Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Department Meeting
with Chancellor Blank
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Scintillating v's
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Adam Schreckenberger, Univ. of Texas-Austin
Abstract: <br>
MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search) is a long-baseline neutrino experiment that utilizes the Fermilab-based NuMI beam and two steel-scintillator tracking calorimeters to detect neutrino oscillation. Multivariate techniques allow the MINOS and MINOS+ col- laborations to exploit the νμ → νe dataset to produce limits on θ13, the CP-violating phase (δCP ), Non-Standard Interactions (NSI), and sterile neutrino oscillation parameters. Results encompassing standard three-flavor νe appearance and NSI are presented along with recent analysis developments regarding a sterile neutrino search in MINOS+.
Host: Albrecht Karle
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Engineering Physics Colloquium
Nuclear Arms Control: An Overview of Nuclear WMD and Paths to Verification
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 1025 Engineering Centers Building
Speaker: Dr. Thomas Atwood, Sandia National Laboratories
Abstract: Arms Control is a process between and among states. The goal of arms control is to contain threats. Secondarily to promote transparency (may increase the US knowledge about and understanding of the size, make-up, and operations of an opposing military), ease military planning (if everyone knows about the other’s forces- may be less likely to attack or build up new forces), limit forces (if one nation reduces their forces, gives room for another nation to reduce their force (may help the country economically too), protect against uncertainty and surprise. To reach the above goals nations negotiate. Each nation may have divergent interests and therefore agreements may have purposeful or non-purposeful gaps, may not be completely logical or consistent. Some of these issues can be resolved after agreements are met through commissions (such as the bilateral consultative commission). Where do we, the scientists and engineers, fit in? We provide the capability to detect and deter a militarily significant violation to respond effectively.
Host: Meghan McGarry
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Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:15 pm - 1:30 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 Amol Upadhye (
Host: Amol Upadhye
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
MicroBooNE: Unlocking the Secrets of the Neutrino with Liquid Argon Detector Technology
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Matt Toups, MIT
Abstract: In the last several decades neutrino oscillation experiments have given us a consistent picture of neutrino mass and mixing among three neutrino flavors. However, a series of longstanding and more recent anomalies hint at the existence of additional “sterile” neutrino flavors and complicates this simple picture. In order to improve on previous short baseline sterile neutrino searches, new detector technologies are required. Liquid Argon time projection chambers (LArTPCs) promise to have the sensitivity needed by current and next generation neutrino oscillation experiments looking for the appearance of electron-flavor neutrinos in a predominantly muon-flavored accelerator-based neutrino beam. MicroBooNE is the first of three LArTPC detectors planned for the newly re-established Short Baseline Neutrino program at Fermilab built to address the sterile neutrino hypothesis and to develop the technologies and expertise necessary to deploy a kiloton-scale LArTPC for future long baseline neutrino oscillation experiments. First data from the MicroBooNE experiment will be presented along with future prospects for LArTPC technology in the US.
Host: Baha Balantekin
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Astronomy Colloquium
Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory: The next Generation ground based Optical/infra-Red Observatory"
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 am
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and cookies served 3:30 PM
Speaker: Warren Skidmore, Thirty Meter Telecope Observatory
Abstract: After a construction status update, I will describe how the telescope design was developed to support a broad range of observing capabilitities and how the observatory is being engineered. I'll discuss some of the observational capabilities that the Thirty Meter Telescope will provide and some of the areas of study that will benefit from the TMT's capabilities, specifically synergistic areas with new and future proposed astronomical facilities. Finally I will describe the avenues through which astronomers can have some input in the planning of the project and potential NSF partnership, prioritizing the development of 2nd generation instruments and directing the scientific aims for the observatory.
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Friday, February 26th, 2016

Physics Department Colloquium
Gamma-Ray Observations of Pulsars with Cherenkov Telescopes
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Nepomuk Otte, Georgia Tech
Abstract: Pulsars have first been detected in 1967 and since developed into a tool to study a diverse set of fundamental physics questions. Over the past few decades pulsars had been detected over the entire electromagnetic spectrum. A recent highlight is the first detection of gamma-ray emission above 100 GeV from the Crab pulsar with VERITAS, which had not been predicted. I will tell the story that led to this remarkable discovery, how that discovery has changed our view of particle acceleration in the magnetosphere of pulsars, and give prospects of future observations of pulsars with the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA).
Host: Stefan Westerhoff
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