Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of November 10th through November 16th, 2019

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
First-time realization of a stably detached, efficient-particle-exhaust divertor regime in the island divertor at Wendelstein 7-X.
Time: 12:05 pm - 12:55 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Oliver Schmitz, UW Madison
Host: John Sarff
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Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Transits and life
Time: 12:05 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Jaime Cordova, UW Department of Genetics
Abstract: On November 11, 2019 a transit of Mercury will occur. The transit will be visible from Madison at sunrise (6:44AM) shortly after the start of the transit. This is the last transit of an inner planet until 2032. However, transits are used frequently outside of our solar system in the search for exoplanets. These exoplanets are places where life may exist. This presentation will focus on the science behind transits, the search for exoplanets, and the search for life beyond Earth.
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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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Cosmology in the machine learning era
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Dr. Francisco Villaescusa-Navarro, Princeton University
Abstract: tbd
Host: Professor Daniel Chung
Presentation: Madison.pdf
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Wednesday, November 13th, 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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PGSC Professional Development Seminar
Faculty & Postdoc Career Panel
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Place: B343 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Panel: Lisa Everett, Kim Palladino, Shimon Kolkowitz, Lars Aalsma, Ross Cawthon, UW-Madison, Department of Physics
Abstract: Faculty and postdocs in the department will share their experiences and answer your questions. Ask the experts how they navigated the academic job landscape! More info:
Host: Rob Morgan, graduate student
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Deciphering the Archaeological Record: Cosmological Imprints of Non-Minimal Dark Sectors
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Jeff Kost, IBS-CTPU; Daejeon, Korea
Abstract: Many proposals for physics beyond the Standard Model give rise to a non-minimal dark sector containing many degrees of freedom. In this work, we explore the cosmological implications of the non-trivial dynamics which may arise within such dark sectors, focusing on decay processes which take place entirely among the dark constituents. First, we demonstrate that such decays can leave dramatic imprints on the resulting dark-matter phase-space distribution. In particular, this phase-space distribution need not be thermal — it can even be multi-modal, exhibiting a non-trivial pattern of peaks and troughs as a function of momentum. We then proceed to show how these features can induce small-scale modifications to the matter power spectrum. Finally, we assess the extent to which one can approach the archaeological “inverse” problem of deciphering the properties of an underlying dark sector from the matter power spectrum. Indeed, one of the main results in this talk is a remarkably simple conjectured analytic expression which allows us to reconstruct many of the important features of the dark-matter phase-space distribution directly from the matter power spectrum. Our results therefore provide an interesting way to learn about, and potentially constrain, the features of non-minimal dark sectors and their dynamics in the early universe.
Host: Nicholas Orlofsky
Presentation: KOST_talk.pdf
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Thursday, November 14th, 2019

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Benchmarking near-term quantum information processors
Time: 11:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Kenny Rudinger, Sandia National Laboratory
Host: Joynt
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Truth or Dare?
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Ken Bloom, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Abstract: Topics in top-higgs physics and computing for high energy physics
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Astronomy Colloquium
"Why Galaxies are Pickle-Shaped - An historical introduction to Dark Matter and Galaxy formation
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and cookies 3:30 PM, Talk begins 3:45 PM
Speaker: Joel Primack, UC Santa Cruz
Abstract: According to modern cosmology, invisible dark matter and dark energy drive the evolution of the universe – and astrophysicists are still working out the implications. Newton’s laws explained why planetary orbits are elliptical, but not why the planetary orbits in the solar system are nearly circular, in the same plane, and in the same direction as the sun rotates. Laplace explained this as a consequence of angular momentum conservation as the sun and planets formed in a cooling and contracting protoplanetary gas cloud. For similar reasons, many astronomers once thought that galaxies would start as disks. But Hubble Space Telescope images of forming galaxies instead show that most of them are prolate – that is, pickle-shaped. This turns out to be a consequence of most galaxies forming in prolate dark matter halos oriented along massive dark matter filaments. This colloquium will include background on the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics to Jim Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology” [1] and the 2020 Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society to Joel Primack “for seminal contributions to our understanding of the formation of structure in the universe, and for communicating to the public the extraordinary progress in our understanding of cosmology” [2].
[2] (See also Primack’s popular article
Host: Professor Tremonti and Professor Bershady
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Employer Visit
Honeywell Info Session & Career Opportunities
Time: 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Honeywell
Abstract: Multiple UW Physics alumni currently work at Honeywell and representatives from Honeywell will be here on campus to meet with current graduate students. They will be speaking about Cryogenic Sciences and the many internship and full time employment opportunities. If you currently on the job market, feel free to bring your resume with you to the session. Dinner will be provided. Come and learn about working at Honeywell!
Host: Michelle Holland
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Friday, November 15th, 2019

Astronomy Special Talk
The SPLASH Survey of the Andromeda Galaxy
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Raja GuhaThakurta, UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California Santa Cruz
Abstract: Our nearest large spiral galaxy neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy (M31), and its dwarf satellites, offer a panoramic yet detailed view of galaxy formation and evolution in our astronomical backyard. This system also serves as an excellent laboratory for the study of stellar populations because the stars are all practically at the same distance from us. I will present results from the SPLASH (Spectroscopic and Photometric Landscape of Andromeda's Stellar Halo) survey, the backbone of which was a large Keck DEIMOS spectroscopic survey of evolved stars in M31. Most of the SPLASH spectroscopic targets in M31's disk were selected from the PHAT (Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury) survey, a wide-field 6-filter Hubble Space Telescope mosaic image of a portion of the disk of M31. The talk will cover a range of science topics including: Local Group dynamics, structure/substructure and metallicity of M31's stellar halo, satellite tidal interactions, disk/halo interface, dynamical heating of the disk, and rare stellar populations.
Host: Professor Tremonti and Professor Bershady
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Physics Department Colloquium
Black Hole Ergomagnetospheres, Electromagnetic Jets and Ejection Disks
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Roger Blandford, KIPAC, Stanford
Abstract: Recent, remarkable images made by the EHT collaboration exhibit a ring of emission, presumably orbiting a six billion solar mass black hole. It is proposed that what is observed is not a gas torus but an extensive “ ergomagnetosphere" that connects mechanically to a much larger ``ejection disk’’ and that, in sources like M87, the electromagnetic jets and the disk are mostly powered by black hole spin, not accretion. Implications for general active galactic nuclei and other sources of relativistic jets will be briefly discussed.
Host: Cary Forest
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