Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of August 7th through August 14th, 2022

Monday, August 8th, 2022

Thesis Defense
Random Entanglement and History-Dependent Random Sequences
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: 4272 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Gage Bonner, Physics PhD Graduate Student
Abstract: This thesis is comprised of two main parts, each concerned with a different stochastic process. In the first section, we consider a two-dimensional reflecting Brownian motion in a bounded region divided into two halves by a wall with three or more small windows. In the limit of small windows, we appeal to the narrow escape problem to construct a Markov chain on the fundamental groupoid of the region. Taking the transition probabilities between windows as inputs, our Markov chain can be cast as a random walk on a regular language. We obtain a law of large numbers as well as a central limit theorem for this process in which the constants appearing in the limit theorems are expressed in terms of a coupled system of quadratic equations. Our result requires the solution of a simpler problem than those seen previously in the literature, and requires less assumptions.

In the second section, we consider several history-dependent sequences which have attracted recent interest. We primarily study the Ulam-Kac adder, a sequence for which very little is known explicitly except for its first two moments, which have been computed in some generality. Our main contribution is to compute the asymptotic behavior of all moments and obtain bounds on their size. We also provide a semi-analytic formulation of the moment problem which allows them to be computed directly. We discuss many combinatorial interpretations of this sequence and others which, in particular, lead to a novel formula for the first passage times of a related sequence. Connections of these sequences to other areas of mathematics and physics are explored.
Host: Jean-Luc Thiffeault and Lisa Everett
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Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

Academic Calendar
Election Day
Time: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Abstract: Primary election includes Governor, Congress, State Legislature. Primary election includes Governor, Congress, State Legislature, Attorney General, Lt. Gov, Sec of State, Treasurer, Clerk of Circuit Court, and Sheriff. Go to to find your polling place, see what is on your ballot, and check your registration. If you are not registered at your current address, you can register at your polling place on Election Day. See for information on registration and voter ID. (The final election for these contests will be November 8.) CONTACT: URL:
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Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

Physics Summer Fun
Weekly Recess
Time: 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Place: Bascom Hill or 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Sharon Kahn
Abstract: We hope you’ll take a 20-30 minute break on (some/all) Wednesdays this summer (12:30-1pm) to come play together! For nice days, we’ve arranged to borrow some lawn games from the L&S dean’s office and will likely bring along a frisbee and/or a hackeysack, too. Meet us on Bascom Hill (between Birge/South Hall).
In case of rain, we’ll meet indoors (5310 CH) for board games. Feel free to come play or just hang out!
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Thursday, August 11th, 2022

Thesis Defense
On the Measurement of Graphene Systems using Scanned Probe Techniques
Time: 9:00 am
Place: Chamberlin 5280
Speaker: Wyatt Behn , Physics PhD Graduate Student
Host: Victor Brar
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Friday, August 12th, 2022

Physics Town Hall
Physics Town Hall - Reporting
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall or
Speaker: various speakers
Abstract: As a result of the 2021-22 climate study, a number of people in our department have been exploring campus reporting systems with a variety of colleagues across campus. In an effort to share and discuss what was learned, we’d like to invite our Physics Department community to a Town Hall event on this subject on Friday, August 12, 2022, at 10am in 2241 Chamberlin. We will share information and discuss the reporting process at UW-Madison and within the Department of Physics.
Joining us for this discussion will be:

• Laura Fisk, HR Associate Director, College of Letters and Science
• Jennifer Horace, Assistant Director – Bias Reponse, Office of the Dean of Students
• Lauren Hasselbacher, Assistant Director of Civil Rights Compliance and Title IX Coordinator
• Lea Aune-Johnson, HR Director, College of Letters and Science

We invite you to join us for this Town Hall, ask questions, and give us any input that you may have. Hope to see you on Friday, August 12, 2022, 10-11am, in 2241 Chamberlin.

Tulika Bose, Professor and Chair, Climate and Diversity Committee
Sharon Kahn, Graduate Program Coordinator
Kevin Black, Professor and Associate Chair for the Graduate Program
Mark Eriksson, Professor and Chair
NOTE: We invite you to join us for this Physics Town Hall in person – 2241 Chamberlin, 10-11am on Friday, 8/12. If you can’t join us in person, feel free to join via zoom here: We will not be recording this session, but we will take and share notes broadly.
Host: Sharon Kahn
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