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Events During the Week of November 26th through December 3rd, 2023

Sunday, November 26th, 2023

Academic Calendar
Thanksgiving recess
Abstract: *Note: actual end time may vary.* URL:
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Monday, November 27th, 2023

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
“The Challenge of Fusion - Being Caught between Plasma and Wall"
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Place: 1610 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Dr. Jan W. Coenen, Institute for Energy and Climate Research (IEK-4), Juelich, Germany; and UW-Madison
Abstract: Making nuclear fusion a reality faces a pivotal challenge at its core – striking the delicate balance between containing and stabilising the intensely hot plasma within a fusion reactor while safeguarding the surrounding wall materials from extreme heat and radiation. This balance is critical for realising fusion as a clean and sustainable energy source. Here, we elaborate on the scientific, engineering, and materials aspects of this challenge, highlighting innovative solutions and ongoing research efforts with a focus on the plasma wall interface.

Dr. Coenen completed his Ph.D. at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf in 2006, and since then, he has been deeply involved in the field of plasma physics and materials, particularly in the context of extreme environments like those encountered in nuclear fusion. He holds the role as a project leader at the Institute for Energy and Climate Research (IEK-4), research center Juelich in Germany. In this capacity, he leads the development of materials and components capable of withstanding the extreme conditions associated with nuclear fusion.
With over a decade of experience in this domain, Dr. Coenen has been instrumental in devising innovative solutions utilising high-Z metal composite materials, notably tungsten, known for their exceptional resilience against high temperatures, radiation, and erosion.
Moreover, Dr. Coenen plays a vital role in coordinating European initiatives related to plasma-wall interaction and the qualification of high-Z materials for future fusion devices, including ITER, JET, AUG, and W7-X. These projects are pivotal in the field of nuclear fusion research and development.
His contributions extend internationally as he is part of a group of experts within the International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA-Div/Sol), working to enhance the knowledge base required for the operation of ITER, a significant international fusion research project.
Dr. Coenen's academic influence is also noteworthy, as he holds adjunct professorships at UW Madison, an honorary professorship at the Chinese South West Institute (SWIP), and serves as a lecturer at the University of Bochum in Germany. These academic appointments underscore his dedication to both teaching and advancing research in the field.
Host: Prof. Steffi Diem
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Tuesday, November 28th, 2023

Preliminary Exam
Finding Radio-Loud Strong Gravitational Lenses Using Large Surveys
Time: 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Place: B343 Sterling
Speaker: Michael Martinez, Physics PhD Graduate Student
Abstract: Strong Gravitational Lensing, the phenomenon by which a background source is magnified and split into multiple images by a massive foreground object, is one of the most versatile tools to modern astrophysicists, with applications to everything from studying high-redshift galaxy evolution to measuring the Hubble Constant. As lensing is sensitive to all mass along the line of sight from the lensed source to the Earth, it offers sensitivity to dark matter halos even if no luminous stellar population is present. Radio wavelength Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations, which provide milliarcsecond resolution and complement existing optical and infrared studies, are ideal for measuring the perturbations caused by these low-mass halos. In this talk, I present the results of a pilot project to discover new radio-loud gravitationally lensed sources. Using Very Large Array (VLA) follow-up to VLA Sky Survey (VLASS) selected lens candidates, we report 5 new radio-loud gravitational lenses, a 10% increase in the present sample size. I will also discuss plans for future observations in which we expect to further extend this sample by 50%, laying the groundwork for a statistically robust VLBI program to provide new constraints on dark matter.
Host: Keith Bechtol
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Council Meeting
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin
Speaker: Mark Eriksson, UW-Madison
Host: Mark Eriksson
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Wednesday, November 29th, 2023

Preliminary Exam
PeV Neutrino Astronomy with IceCube
Time: 1:45 pm - 3:45 pm
Place: B343 Sterling
Speaker: Emre B. Yildizci, Physics PhD Graduate Student
Abstract: In the past, Icecube diffuse neutrino analyses at high energies have utilized event selections with contained and non-contained vertices separately. I have started to investigate the possibility of a unified, combined analysis approach. This approach promises a significant enhancement in selection efficiency for the highest-energy neutrinos. Additionally, I have studied novel techniques to reject background from cosmic ray muons. I will present our initial findings and the plan for completing the analysis.
Host: Lu Lu
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Thursday, November 30th, 2023

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Coupling an Andreev spin qubit to a transmon
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Angela Kou, UIUC
Abstract: While there are multiple platforms for implementing qubits, no single type of qubit currently excels at every task necessary to build a quantum computer. Some platforms are better-suited as quantum memories while others may be better for quantum operations. Recently, it has been suggested that building hybrid quantum systems that can harness the benefits of different platforms may be a useful model for a quantum computer. In this talk, I will discuss the advantages and challenges associated with coupling superconducting qubits to semiconducting spin qubits. These two leading platforms have complementary benefits; semiconducting spin qubits have long lifetimes but are difficult to couple over long distances while superconducting qubits can be coupled over long ranges but have shorter lifetimes. I will show our experimental work implementing an Andreev spin qubit (ASQ) and then coupling it to a superconducting transmon [1]. I will also discuss our work using a superconducting transmon to investigate mesoscopic superconducting phenomena such as the anomalous Josephson effect and the phase diagram of a superconducting quantum dot system [2,3]. [1] M. Pita-Vidal et al., Nature Physics, 19, 1110 (2023) [2] A. Bargerbos et al., PRX Quantum 3, 030311 (2022) [3] A. Bargerbos et al., PRL 131, 097001 (2023)
Host: Maxim Vavilov
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Astronomy Colloquium
Studying the Evolution of Radio Galaxies With the VLA Sky Survey
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Yjan Gordon, UW-Madison
Abstract: Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are a key phase of galaxy of evolution, and understanding the AGN duty cycle is essential for comprehending the mechanisms that drive and regulate galaxy growth. Radio galaxies in particular are well suited to studying the evolution of AGN as the properties of the radio jets can allow for estimates of the age of the AGN. An effective way of studying large numbers of these objects is to use blind surveys of wide areas of the sky. One of the latest such projects, the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS), is currently mapping >80% of the sky with the highest frequency (3GHz) and angular resolution (3'') of any near-all-sky radio survey to date. In this talk I will discuss the latest efforts with VLASS to identify radio-loud AGN at various stages of their evolution. In particular, the high resolution of VLASS is especially well suited to identifying compact radio galaxies, including young AGN that have recently been triggered. By investigating the host galaxies of young radio-loud AGN, we find that high levels of star formation are associated with the most compact radio jets, and I discuss the likely mechanisms driving this result. Finally, I consider some of the lessons learned from the early VLASS data, and directions moving forward into the era of the ngVLA and SKA.
Host: Ke Zhang
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Friday, December 1st, 2023

Physics Department Colloquium
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: Chamberlin 2241
Speaker: Kendall Mahn , Michigan State University
Abstract: Cancelled
Host: Baha Balantekin
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Academic Calendar
Graduate School Fall 2023: Request for all Master&#39;s and Doctoral Degree Warrants
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Abstract: CONTACT: 262-2433,
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SoundWaves: Celebrations of Time, part 2
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Place: Discovery Building
Speaker: Lu Lu and others, UW–Madison Physics / WIPAC and others
Abstract: SoundWaves is looking at (and listening to) Time all year. In this second installment, learn what time does to a Supreme Court precedent and to the environment, how time affects chemical reactions and how it behaves weirdly in our universe, and how time feels in jazz.

Lu Lu, physics
Asifa Quraishi-Landes, law
Elizabeth Maroon, atmospheric and oceanic sciences
John Yin, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Dan Cavanagh, piano
Daniel Grabois, SoundWaves Curator

Event is free of charge but registration is requested as space is limited. To reserve free tickets:
Host: WID
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