Events at Physics

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

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
The Advanced Tokamak Path to Steady State Fusion Energy
Time: 12:05 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Richard Buttery, General Atomics
Abstract: Development of an efficient fusion reactor requires the simultaneous optimization of the plasma operating scenario and underlying hardware. These are inextricably linked; an effective operating scenario reduces demand on key components. The critical challenge is to reduce recirculating power; if significant auxiliary heating or current drive is needed, this drives up required fusion power to run these systems, and thus size, heat flux, neutron load, and cost. The Advanced Tokamak concept addresses this through a fortuitous alignment of high plasma pressure operation with strong self-driven ‘bootstrap’ current and low turbulent transport. Here, research into transport, stability and energetic particle interactions has identified the key principles behind a solution. Further, new integrated physics simulations, the first combining TGLF core, EPED pedestal and appropriate current drive models, show the various trade-offs and path to optimize the approach. Higher pressure of course increases fusion performance. But increasing the density has greater leverage, raising the self-driven bootstrap current and thus decreasing demand for auxiliary current drive systems. Potential net-electric solutions are indicated at ~4m radius and ~6T using conventional superconductors. However, higher field, high Tc superconductors provide greater margin in attainable beta, density, safety factor and neutron load, as well as easier maintenance and thus higher duty cycle. The plasma exhaust is managed by a combination of core radiation, flux expansion and radiative divertor, tuned to ensure H mode sustainment. Divertor solutions similar to ITER are possible, but continuous operation may require a more advanced configuration to reduce erosion. Overall, studies show that well targeted research in the coming years could validate these concepts to provide the basis to proceed with a compact Advanced Tokamak power plant – this talk will set out the key physics and hardware considerations behind its design.
Host: Ellen Zweibel
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Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
A brief history of time(keeping): Optical atomic clocks and their applications
Time: 12:05 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Shimon Kolkowitz, UW Department of Physics
Abstract: Optical atomic clocks are now the most stable and accurate timekeepers in the world, with fractional accuracies equivalent to neither losing nor gaining a second over the entire age of the universe. This unprecedented level of metrological precision offers sensitivity to new physics phenomena, opening the door to exciting and unusual applications. This talk will provide an introduction to how and why time is measured from a historical perspective, with an emphasis on the recent development of optical atomic clocks and their applications. I will discuss recent progress on pushing clocks to even greater levels of precision, as well as prospects for future improvement. Finally, I will give a brief overview of potential future applications of clocks, including gravitational wave detection, tests of general relativity, and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Garage Physics
Garage Physics Kickoff
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Speaker: Duncan Carlsmith, UW - Madison
Abstract: Garage Physics is a place for independent student research and innovation. Students (grad or undergrad) or staff interested in projects, experimentation, new skills, and support should plan to attend.
Host: Duncan Carlsmith/Brett Unks
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Thursday, September 13th, 2018

No events scheduled

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Physics Department Colloquium
Heusler interfaces - opportunities beyond spintronics
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Jason Kawasaki, UW-Madison (Department of Materials Science and Engineering)
Host: Alex Levchenko
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