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Events at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Effects of Facebook self-presentation on individual and relational well-being
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Catalina Toma, UW Department of Communication Arts
Abstract: Facebook invites users to compose detailed personal profiles, where they describe their activities, interests, and values; express daily thoughts and musings; and articulate "friendships" with other users in the system. Research shows that users engage in copious yet careful self-disclosure in their own profiles, and that they frequently provide positive feedback ("likes," "comments") to friends' postings. What are the psychological implications of constructing and engaging with this socially connected, online version of self? I will first discuss the emotional well-being effects of engaging with one's own profile. In a suite of studies, we found that users experience self-affirmation, increased positive affect, and increased self-esteem after examining their own profiles. They also gravitated towards these profiles when feeling badly about themselves, in an effort to repair feelings of self-worth. I will then discuss the effects of profile self-presentation on users' romantic relationships. Data show that users who publicly declare their involvement with a romantic partner (by listing themselves as "in a relationship," posting couple photographs, etc.) experience increased commitment towards that partner and are less likely to break up after 6 months. I will end by discussing future research avenues on the psychological effects of Facebook self-presentation.
Host: Sprott
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Membranes, monodromy, and the weak gravity conjecture
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Miguel Montero, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
Abstract: Instantons coming from the Weak Gravity Conjecture (WGC) often
raise issues with large field inflationary models coming from axions.
These issues are famously absent for monodromic inflationary models, in
which the axion rolls many times its fundamental period. However, a
different version of the WGC, the 3-form WGC, predicts the existence of
membranes which can mediate fast transitions along the axion potential.
I will discuss the validity of the 3-form WGC, how typical monodromy
inflation models are not threatened by membrane-mediated transitions,
and some other details of membrane physics.
Host: Pablo Soler
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