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Events During the Week of March 19th through March 26th, 2023

Sunday, March 19th, 2023

Academic Calendar
Spring recess
Abstract: *Note: actual end time may vary.* URL:
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Monday, March 20th, 2023

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Deciphering the Non-Thermal Universe with First Principles Modeling of Plasma Turbulence
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Luca Comisso, Columbia University
Abstract: Understanding the origin of non-thermal particles and radiation that are commonly observed from a variety of astrophysical sources represents the most promising opportunity to uncover the physics of these astrophysical systems. In systems such as the Sun, neutron stars, black holes, and astrophysical jets, the dissipation of large reservoirs of magnetic energy provides the most likely path toward particle acceleration and copious radiative emission. In view of the enormous scale separation between the energy-carrying scale and the plasma kinetic scales, turbulence is a natural candidate for converting the available magnetic energy into particle kinetic energy and radiation. In this talk, I will outline recent developments in our understanding of the physics underlying particle acceleration in turbulent plasmas, including the role of magnetic reconnection and radiative losses. I will also highlight the most important implications for understanding the non-thermal emission from several high-energy astrophysical systems, especially for Pulsar Wind Nebulae and Gamma-Ray Bursts. Lastly, I will briefly highlight the future prospects of this research program.
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Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Council Meeting
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Mark Eriksson, UW-Madison
Host: Mark Eriksson
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Astronomy Colloquium
Planet formation insights from debris disk dust and gas
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Meredith Hughes, Wesleyan University
Abstract: Debris disks are more massive analogs of our solar system's Kuiper Belt, and they trace the final assembly stages of planetary systems. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has provided sensitive, high-resolution views of millimeter-size dust and molecular gas that allow us to trace the dynamics and chemistry of this pivotal planet formation phase. I will describe several recent observations of gas and dust in debris disks with ALMA, including a new large program that will reveal how disk structures like rings and gaps evolve as the star settles onto the main sequence.
Host: Ke Zhang
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Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Place: B343 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Mark Eriksson, UW-Madison
Host: Mark Eriksson
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Molecules For Dark Matter Detection
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Place: Chamberlin 5280
Speaker: Benjamin Lillard, U. of Oregon
Abstract: Organic scintillators are a promising avenue for the direct detection of sub-GeV dark matter (DM). With eV-scale excitation energies that rival the sensitivity of semiconductor targets, they can be produced in bulk and purified relatively inexpensively. A low-background kilogram-size scintillator target could achieve world-leading sensitivity to sub-GeV dark matter. Crystal scintillators also provide a new capability: the dark matter scattering rate depends on the orientation of the crystal, which varies with the Earth's rotation over the course of a sidereal day. The discovery of such a signal would be a clear sign of new physics. While most studies of daily modulation focus on DM-electron scattering, recent results for diatomic molecules suggest that DM-nuclear scattering can also provide a detectable, directional-dependent signal. In this talk I discuss both kinds of DM models, the realistic prospects for crystalline detectors in the near future, and the remaining theoretical work that needs to be done for nuclear scattering in more complicated molecules.
Host: George Wojcik
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Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

No events scheduled

Friday, March 24th, 2023

Graduate Program Event
Prospective Visit Days (#2)
Time: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Place: various locations
Speaker: Sharon Kahn, Graduate Program
Abstract: We're hosting 21 prospective PhD student visitors in the department. Please welcome them as you see them around Chamberlin!
Host: Sharon Kahn
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Physics Department Colloquium
The Theory of Three-Dimensional Core-Collapse Supernova Explosions
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Adam Burrows, Princeton University
Abstract: Using our code Fornax we have simulated the collapse and explosion of the
cores of many massive-star models in three spatial dimensions. This is the
most comprehensive set of realistic 3D core-collapse supernova (CCSN)
simulations yet performed and has provided very important insights into
the mechanism and character of this 60-year-old astrophysical puzzle. Most
3D models explode naturally and without artifice by the neutrino
mechanism, aided by turbulent convection. I will present detailed results
from this suite of runs and the novel conclusions derived from our new
capacity to simulate many 3D, as opposed to 2D and 1D, full physics models
every year. Emerging are insights into the criteria for explosion, the
systematics of explosion energy and residual neutron-star mass with
progenitor, the characteristics of proto-neutron star convection, neutrino
and gravitational-wave emissions and signatures, the morphology of CCSN
explosions, and supernova nucleosynthesis. This new capability, enabled
by this new algorithm and modern HPC assets, is poised to transform our
understanding of this central astrophysical phenomenon.
Host: Baha Balantekin
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