Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of December 9th through December 16th, 2018

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Towards steady-state fusion reactor with Wendelstein 7-X
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2241 chamberlin hall
Speaker: Marcin Jakubowski, IPP Greifswald
Abstract: Wendelstein 7-X, large superconducting stellarator, went into operation in 2015. With a 30 cubic meter volume, a superconducting coil system and steady state heating capabilities of up to 10 MW, it is built to demonstrate the benefits of optimized stellarators approaching those of a fusion power plant. One of the main aims of W7-X is to show that stellarators can operate with reactor relevant, steady state power and particles exhaust concept. Most recently, it operated with inertially cooled divertor and achieved very encouraging results. The heat deposition follows the strike line patterns expected from edge modelling with broad deposition profiles. Moreover, thanks to boronization, high plasma densities were achieved. This lead to remarkable results of complete divertor detachment across all 10 divertors. We see a reduction of peak power being reduced by a factor of 5 or larger and significantly enhanced neutral compression in the divertor volume. At the same time no degradation of core confinement was seen.
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
The Final Word from MINOS+ on Neutrino Oscillations
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Tom Carroll, University of Texas at Austin
Abstract: MINOS+ is a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment with two functionally identical magnetized detectors located in Fermilab's NuMI beamline. Together, MINOS+ and its predecessor, MINOS, have collected 13 years of neutrino data from the NuMI beam as well as the atmosphere. The combined MINOS and MINOS+ dataset measures muon neutrino oscillations in the 3-flavor paradigm unlike any other experiment.
Host: Brian Rebel
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Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Social and economic mobility in an era of extreme inequality; Who owns the robots?
Time: 12:05 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Tim Smeeding, UW LaFollette School of Public Affairs and Economics
Abstract: Americans used to believe that we lived in a land of opportunity with a good chance for everyone and their children to do well. But America is near the bottom of nations where everyone has fair chance of reaching the American Dream. This lecture considers mobility at the bottom, top and middle of the distribution, both over time and across generations in a nation where capital income (who owns the robots) dominates labor income, where public policy increases extreme inequality and where the future of work is increasingly dim for those without a college education and without good opportunities to make use of that investment.
Host: Clint Sprott
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
MicroBooNE and the Path to Resolving the MiniBooNE Low Energy Excess
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Adam Lister, Lancaster University
Abstract: MicroBooNE is a liquid argon time projection chamber which has been running in
the Booster Neutrino Beam at Fermilab since 2015. The primary goal of MicroBooNE is investigation of the excess of electromagnetic events observed by the MiniBooNE collaboration. Due to limitations of the Cherenkov-based particle identification of MiniBooNE,
this excess could be interpreted as either photon-like or electron-like. A photon-like excess would indicate that there are processes which are not well understood which could act as a background in neutrino oscillation measurements, while an electron-like
excess could indicate the presence of sterile neutrinos, the existence of which is one of the most hotly debated questions in the field. This talk will outline MicroBooNE’s strategy for investigation of the MiniBooNE low-energy excess, along with the reconstruction
and calibration work being undertaken to reduce systematic uncertainties in the the analysis of neutrino data in liquid argon.
Host: Brian Rebel
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Council Meeting
council meetings
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin Hall
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Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Atomic Physics Seminar
Creating and imaging atomic wave functions with diffraction-breaking resolution
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Dr. Yang Wang , Joint Quantum Institute, National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland
Abstract: Optical trapping and imaging of atoms plays an essential role in cold-atom physics, ranging from precision measurement to the study of correlated many body systems. Due to the diffraction limit, trapping and imaging are typically limited to length scales on the order of the wavelength of the light. The nonlinear response of three-level atoms, however, supports a dark state with spatial structures much smaller than the wavelength. In this talk, I will present the experimental use of such dark state spatial structure to both create optical potentials and probe the atomic wave function with a resolution of lambda/50, far below the diffraction limit. The optical potential physically realizes a Kronig-Penney lattice of near delta-function barriers with widths below 10nm. The coherent nature of our approach also provides a fast temporal resolution (500 ns), with which we could observe the quantum motion of atoms inside the unit cell of an optical lattice.
Host: Saffman
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Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Thursday, December 13th, 2018

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Quantum simulation: progress and prospects
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Dr. Peter Love , Tufts University
Abstract: Quantum simulation proposes to use future quantum computers to calculate properties of quantum systems. In the context of chemistry, the target is the electronic structure problem: determination of the electronic energy given the nuclear coordinates of a molecule. Since 2006 we have been studying quantum approaches to quantum chemical problems, and such approaches must face the challenges of high, but fixed, precision requirements, and fermion antisymmetry. I will describe several algorithmic developments in this area including improvements upon the Jordan Wigner transformation, alternatives to phase estimation, adiabatic quantum computing approaches to the electronic structure problem, methods based on sparse Hamiltonian simulation techniques and the potential for experiments realizing these algorithms in the near future.
Host: Saffman
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Cosmology Journal Club
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Please visit the following link for more details:
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 Ross Cawthon ( and Santanu Das (
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Physics Department Colloquium
Holiday Colloquium
Time: 4:15 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Pizza and beverages will be provided at 4:15 PM
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Friday, December 14th, 2018

No events scheduled