Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of October 13th through October 20th, 2019

Monday, October 14th, 2019

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
APS Invited Talk Rehearsals
Time: 12:05 pm - 12:55 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: TBD, UW Madison
Host: John Sarff
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Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Lake Michigan water-level changes and their impacts on shorelines and shoreline property owners
Time: 12:05 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Dave Mickelson, UW Department of Geology
Abstract: The Great Lakes are close to or exceeding record high lake levels. A major concern along many Great Lakes shorelines is what is happening now and what might happen in the future to beaches, and bluffs above the beach. In response to nearshore and beach erosion at the base of the bluff under high lake-level conditions, the lower part of the bluff steepens and becomes more unstable. This instability typically migrates up the bluff face through time and the position of the bluff top eventually recedes, threatening any structures that have been built on the bluff top. I will discuss a qualitative comparison of 2007 and 2018 low-level oblique airphotos of the shoreline from Door County to the Illinois State Line. A primary aim of this study was to evaluate changes on the beach and lower bluff that might predict the likelihood of future bluff-top recession.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Council Meeting
Physics Council Meeting
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Sridhara Dasu, UW-Madison
Host: Sridhara Dasu, Department Chair
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Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm
Place: B343 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Sridhara Dasu, UW-Madison
Host: Department Chair
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Neutrino masses and Gravitational waves
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Oleg Popov, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, KAIST
Abstract: We present a set of minimal Dirac neutrino mass models and discuss their cosmological consequences. Specifically, such models generate a neutrino mass at tree level and can have a multiple gravitational wave signature through primordial phase transition(s), can explain the asymmetry between matter and antimatter via neutrinogenesis and accommodate a dark matter candidate in dark glueballs or dark baryons. We discuss situations where the effects on the parameter space from different cosmological considerations overlap and are complimentary to collider probes.
Host: Nicholas Orlofsky
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Thursday, October 17th, 2019

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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PGSC Professional Development Seminar
Your Resume: From Good to Great!
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Michelle Holland, Physics Graduate Programs Coordinator
Abstract: In this workshop we will begin with the basics and talk through strategies and steps to create a winning resume. Good resume’s don’t get you jobs but great ones do! From the various parts of a resume to the fine details that really matter, this workshop will include a 10 point checklist to ensure you focus on what really matters. After this workshop you will have the skills, tools, and know how to update your existing resume or start from scratch if you don’t have one yet. Feel free to bring any resume related questions to the workshop.
Host: Rob Morgan, graduate student
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Astronomy Colloquium
Probing White Dwarf Binaries with Post-outburst Novae
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and cookies 3:30 PM, Talk begins 3:45 PM
Speaker: Bill Wolf, UW Eau Claire
Abstract: Novae are the result of thermonuclear flashes on the surfaces of hydrogen-accreting white dwarfs. With peak luminosities in the hundreds of thousands of solar luminosities and roughly fifty detected in M31 each year, novae comprise a well-observed class of stellar transients from radio to X-ray. I will review the current understanding of nova evolution and highlight successes we have had in modeling the post-outburst phase of evolution to connect observable quantities to white dwarf parameters. I will close by introducing the lingering puzzle of observed oscillations in the post-outburst phase and our attempts to explain it.
Host: Professor Richard Townsend
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Physics Major Fair
Time: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Place: Physics Museum, Chamberlin Hall lobby
Abstract: The Department of Physics invites all prospective Physics undergraduate majors to a Physics Open House!

Talk to current Physics majors, and find out about classes and research opportunities. Connect with Physics student organizations. Talk with Physics faculty and advisors. Enjoy tasty refreshments.

Questions? email
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Friday, October 18th, 2019

Physics Department Colloquium
Quantum Electrodynamics of Superconducting Circuits
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Hakan Tureci, Princeton/Rigetti Computing
Abstract: The demand for rapid and high-fidelity execution of initialization, gate and read-out operations casts tight constraints on the accuracy of quantum electrodynamic modeling of superconducting integrated circuits. In particular, radiative corrections to the properties of superconducting qubits, such as their transition frequency (Lamb shift) and the radiative decay rate (Purcell rate) have to be calculated to a high accuracy. In the pursuit of attaining the required accuracies we have found ourselves facing problems with divergent series akin to those that have plagued the original quantum electrodynamics of a single electron in free space. Interestingly, a semiclassical formulation of the Purcell rate is found to provide finite and accurate results. The reconciliation of the quantum and semiclassical results requires the reconsideration of our basic approach to the quantization of the electromagnetic field in a light-confining medium and the notion of normal modes. I will discuss a theoretical framework based on the Heisenberg-Langevin approach to address these fundamental questions. This framework allows the accurate computation of the quantum dynamics of a superconducting qubit in an arbitrarily complex electromagnetic environment and free of divergences that have plagued earlier approaches. I will also discuss the effectiveness of this computational approach in meeting the demands of present-day quantum computing research.
Host: Maxim Vavilov
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