Events at Physics
Events During the Week of August 14th through August 21st, 2022
Monday, August 15th, 2022
- No events scheduled
Tuesday, August 16th, 2022
- GREAT IDEAS DEI Reading Group
- GREAT IDEAS DEI coffee hour
- Time: 12:00 pm
- Place: Chamberlin 4274 or online at
- Abstract: We will be discussing the article, “Prizes are not always a win for science”. We will also go over an article summary and we welcome attendees who haven't had an opportunity to read the article. Article summary and discussion questions here.
GREAT IDEAS stands for Group for Reading, Educating, And Talking about Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Advocacy in Science. It is a multimedia reading group dedicated to amplifying the experiences of underrepresented groups in science and academia in order to become better advocates for our peers. GREAT IDEAS is open to everyone (students/ faculty/ staff/ etc), and all are welcome and encouraged to engage with the material and contribute to the discussions. To keep a welcoming and safe environment for everyone, we ask that everyone understand and adhere to our community guidelines for the discussions. If you would like to submit an article for a future GREAT IDEAS discussion, you can do so on this form.
- Host: GMaWiP and Climate and Diversity Committee (contact Jessie Thwaites or R. Sassella with questions)
- Network in Neutrinos, Nuclear Astrophysics, and Symmetries (N3AS) Seminar
- Effects of Nuclear Uncertainties on r-Process Observables
- Time: 2:00 pm
- Place: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 912 3071 4547
- Speaker: Kelsey Lund , NC State University
- Abstract: The rapid neutron capture process (r-process) is one of the main mechanisms whereby elements heavier than iron are synthesized, and is entirely responsible for the natural production of the actinides. Kilonova emissions are modeled as being largely powered by the radioactive decay of species synthesized via the r -process. Given that the r -process occurs far from nuclear stability, unmeasured nuclear properties play an essential role in determining the success of the r -process. In an effort to better understand the sensitivity of kilonova modeling to different theoretical global beta-decay descriptions, we incorporate these into nucleosynthesis calculations. We compare the results of these calculations and highlight differences in kilonova nuclear energy generation and light curve predictions, as well as final abundances and their implications for nuclear cosmochronometry. We investigate scenarios where differences in beta decay rates are responsible for increased nuclear heating on time scales of days that propagates into a significantly increased average bolometric luminosity. We identify key nuclei, both measured and unmeasured, whose decay rates are directly impact nuclear heating generation on timescales responsible for light curve evolution. We also find that uncertainties in beta decay rates significantly impact ages estimates from cosmochronometry.
Host: Baha Balantekin
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 912 3071 4547
- Host: Baha Balantekin
Wednesday, August 17th, 2022
- Physics Summer Fun
- Weekly Recess
- Time: 12:30 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!
- Thesis Defense
- New Physics with PeV Astrophysical Neutrino Beams
- Time: 3:00 pm
- Place: Chamberlin Hall 4274
- Speaker: Ibrahim Safa , Physics PhD Graduate Student
- Abstract: Astrophysical neutrinos allow us to access energies and baselines that cannot be reached by human-made accelerators, offering unique probes of new physics phenomena. This thesis aims to address the challenges currently facing searches for Beyond Standard Model (BSM) physics in the high-energy universe using astrophysical neutrinos, particularly in the contexts of flavor measurements and connections with dark matter. The search for new physics with astrophysical neutrinos requires as a prerequisite understanding standard neutrino sources, which remain ambiguous. We begin by performing a multi-wavelength search for astrophysical neutrino sources using nine years of IceCube data. We find hints of neutrino emission from radio-bright Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), further supporting recent claims that neutrino emission occurs near the core of AGNs. Next we turn our attention to BSM searches. Accurate flavor measurements of the astrophysical flux provide a smoking gun signature to BSM physics. This requires a precise measurement of the tau neutrino fraction. However, tau identification proved a major hurdle in the current generation of observatories. We confront the problem of astrophysical neutrino flavor measurements by first introducing Taurunner, a simulation tool that accurately models the propagation of tau neutrinos including previously neglected effects such as tau lepton energy losses and depolarization in matter. We show that better modeling of tau neutrino propagation improves IceCube transient point-source sensitivities by more than an order of magnitude at EeV energies, and diffuse flux sensitivities by a factor of two. Second, we use this software to model IceCube counterparts to anomalous events reported by the ANITA experiment. After performing an analysis using IceCube data, we show that all Standard Model explanations are ruled out. Looking ahead to the future of flavor measurements, we also present a study that predicts the production of tau neutrinos via the propagation of electron and muon neutrinos in Earth, finding an irreducible but quantifiable background to next-generation tau neutrino observatories. Finally, we attempt to address the field's shared ignorance of the origin of neutrino and dark matter masses by exploring potential connections between the two. Specifically, we present an analysis of dark matter annihilation and decay to neutrinos. We obtain limits from MeV to ZeV masses using more than a dozen neutrino experiments. Notably, using recent data from the SuperKamiokande experiment, we place the first-ever limit on dark matter annihilation that reaches the thermal relic abundance in the neutrino sector, challenging notions that studies with neutrinos cannot be sensitive enough to make strong claims about the nature of dark matter.
- Host: Francis Halzen
Thursday, August 18th, 2022
- No events scheduled
Friday, August 19th, 2022
- No events scheduled