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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of April 24th through May 1st, 2016

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Simulation of energetic particle driven instabilities in 3D configurations
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 1153 Mechanical Engineering
Speaker: Dr. Donald Spong, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Host: UW Madison
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Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

"Physics Today" Undergrad Colloquium (Physics 301)
Atoms and qubits - solving complex problems with simple quantum systems
Time: 1:20 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Mark Saffman, UW Madison Department of Physics
Host: Wesley Smith
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Simulating the neutrino sky: Cosmological probes of neutrino mass
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: JD Emberson, Argonne National Laboratory
Abstract: Neutrinos are second only to photons as the most abundant particle in the Universe, yet remain poorly understood due to their weak interaction with other matter. In particular, individual neutrino masses remain an elusive property for both particle physicists and cosmologists. Recently, it has been proposed that individual neutrino mass may be constrained from a unique dipole distortion in the matter density field induced by the relative flow between cold dark matter (CDM) and neutrinos. We study this effect by modifying the cosmology code CUBEP3M to evolve neutrino N-body particles alongside CDM. We have performed the world's largest cosmological N-body simulation, containing roughly 3 trillion neutrino plus CDM particles, completed using 86% of the Tianhe-2 supercomputer. In this talk, we discuss preliminary analysis of the simulation data in regards to the neutrino dipole distortion. We also present a new independent probe of neutrino mass that was numerically detected in our simulation data. This new effect is due to neutrino free streaming, which sources local variations in the relative abundance of neutrinos, creating a differential bias that may skew the luminosity function of galaxies.
Host: Amol Upadhye
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Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Please visit the following link for more details:
http://cmb.physics.wisc.edu/journal/index.html
Please feel free to bring your lunch!
If you have questions or comments about this journal club, would like to propose a topic or volunteer to introduce a paper, please email Amol Upadhye (aupadhye@wisc.edu).
Host: Amol Upadhye
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Friday, April 29th, 2016

Special Physics 208 Lecture
SHINE and Medical Radioisotopes
Time: 8:50 am
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Greg Piefer, SHINE Medical Technologies
Abstract: Greg Piefer founded SHINE Medical Technologies in 2010 and currently serves as the CEO of the company, which seeks to become the world leader in producing medical isotopes for diagnostic imaging of various conditions, including heart disease and cancer. SHINE’s revolutionary accelerator-based process allows for low-cost, environmentally friendly production of medical isotopes without a nuclear reactor. Dr. Pfiefer previously founded Phoenix Nuclear Labs, a company that has developed a new generation of high-yield neutron generators.
Host: Mark Rzchowski
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Physics Department Colloquium
When Magnetic Field Lines Break
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (Coffee & Cookies at 3:15pm)
Speaker: Paul Cassak, West Virginia University
Abstract: Freshman physics tells us that magnetic field lines are not allowed to have free ends. However, counterintuitively, magnetic field lines are allowed to break! When this process occurs in high temperature plasmas, it is called magnetic reconnection. Rather than simply being a curiosity, it turns out to be a crucial phenomenon as it facilitates the conversion of magnetic energy into kinetic energy and heat of the surrounding plasmas. It is the mechanism behind the energy release in solar flares and coronal mass ejections, geomagnetic storms producing aurora, disruptive events in magnetically confined fusion plasmas, and in many astrophysical contexts. Consequently, understanding reconnection is a key aspect of both mitigating the harmful effects of space weather and the harnessing of essentially renewable energy through fusion. Studying reconnection was the motivation for the recently-launched NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. In this talk, results using theoretical techniques and a number of different supercomputer numerical simulations will be shown. Applications to the boundary of the region of influence of Earth’s magnetic field (the magnetosphere) and fusion will be discussed.
Host: Jan Egedal
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