This Week at Physics

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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of February 26th through March 5th, 2017

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Plasma Stability and Impurity Radiation Physics
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2317 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Dr. Luis Delgado-Aparicio, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, USA
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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:
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 (
Host: Amol Upadhye
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Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Council Meeting
Council meeting
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin hall
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Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
The future of nuclear energy in a carbon constrained world
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Mike Corradini, UW Department of Engineering Physics
Abstract: A study is underway sponsored by the Sloan Foundation investigating the future of nuclear energy. The main goal of the study is to evaluate the prospects for innovative nuclear technologies, policy and business models, and regulatory governance mechanisms to accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon global energy system in the United States and around the world. The study investigates time periods from the present thru 2050, and the talk will review the major questions being addressed with a special focus on the opportunities presented by considering advanced nuclear technologies to displace fossil fuels.
Host: Clint Sprott
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"Physics Today" Undergrad Colloquium (Physics 301)
Puzzles in Particle Physics
Time: 1:20 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Yang Bai, UW Madison Department of Physics
Host: Wesley Smith
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Sterile Neutrino Dark Matter with Supersymmetry
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Bibhushan Shakya, University of Cincinnati/University of Michigan
Abstract: Sterile neutrino dark matter, which remains a popular alternative to the WIMP paradigm, has generally been studied in non-supersymmetric setups. In this talk, we investigate dark matter properties of the sterile neutrino within an underlying theory that is supersymmetric, which demonstrates several interesting and novel features such as multiple populations from multiple production mechanisms and significant contributions to the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom. We will also discuss how dark matter considerations can shed light on the nature of the underlying theory.
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Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

No events scheduled

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Spiraling energy dispersion of arc states in Weyl semimetals
Time: 10:00 am
Place: Chamberlin 5310
Speaker: Anton Andreev, University of Washington
Abstract: Weyl semimetals are recently discovered materials in which the
valence and conduction bands touch at isolated points (Weyl nodes)
in the Brillouin zone. This gives rise to unusual electronic properties
of these materials. In particular, Weyl semimetals host peculiar
surface electron states whose Fermi lines have the form of open arcs.
I will show that static electric fields that are necessarily present
near the crystal surface result in a spiraling structure of Fermi arcs.
The winding angle of the spiral is controlled by the chirality of the Weyl
node and the magnitude of the surface potential. I will also discuss
magnetoresistance of a pn-junction in a Weyl semimetal.
Host: Levchenko
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Astronomy Colloquium
"The Internal Structure of Interstellar Filaments in the Southern Milky Way"
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and Cookies at 3:30 PM. Talk starts 3:45 PM
Speaker: Audra Hernandez, UW Madison Astronomy Dept
Abstract: Is all Galactic star formation concentrated within filamentary structures inside molecular clouds? High resolution observations have shown that filamentary interstellar clouds are ubiquitous throughout the interstellar medium. These filaments exist over a range of spatial scales, from parsec regions containing young stellar activity, to the multi-parsec scales of giant molecular clouds. Although infrared observations have provided high-resolution images of star-forming clouds, they are limited by their two-dimensional nature. The only way to assess the kinematical natures of thee filaments is through spectroscopic radio observations. While it is clear that stars form within the desist regions of the interstellar medium, one of the main goals of modern astrophysics is to understand how the properties of interstellar filaments influence the star-formation process. I will begin with a review of the recent and exciting studies on multi-scale molecular filaments. Finally, I will discuss my ongoing research on probing the internal structure of interstellar molecular filaments within the Southern Galactic plane with recent multi-line large-scale spectroscopic molecular surveys.
Host: Astronomy Dept
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Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Physics Department Colloquium
Quantum measurement in superconducting circuits: mapping quantum trajectories from spontaneous emission.
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin hall
Speaker: Kater Murch, Washington University, St. Louis
Abstract: Spontaneous emission of light by atoms is one of the most basic light-matter interactions and is responsible for the majority of the visible light that we see. The process of spontaneous emission can also be viewed in the context of quantum measurement, the light-matter interaction entangles the atom with the electromagnetic field and subsequent measurements of the field convey information about the state of the atom. For example, if the emitted light is detected in the form of energy quanta, the detection of an individual photon results in an instantaneous jump of the atom to a lower energy state. However, if the emission is instead measured with a detector that is not sensitive to quanta, but rather the amplitude of the field, the atom’s state will undergo different dynamics over finite timescales.
In this talk, I will review how recent progress in the fabrication and control of quantum coherent superconducting circuits has enabled experiments that probe the fundamental physics of quantum measurement. These range from the observation of non-classical weak values to the generation of entanglement through measurement and the tracking of individual quantum trajectories. I will then describe our recent experiments that focus on the special case of spontaneous emission, revealing rich dynamics associated with measurement, and how we are harnessing these dynamics to extend thermodynamics into the regime of single quantum systems.
Host: Justin Vandenbroucke
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