This Week at Physics

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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of September 29th through October 6th, 2019

Monday, September 30th, 2019

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Experiments on ExB shear instabilities and vortex dynamics in pure electron plasmas
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Noah Hurst, UCSD
Host: John Sarff
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Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Building the American Family Insurance Data Science Partnership
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Brian Yandell, UW Departments of Statistics and Horticulture
Abstract: The partnership between AFI and UW-Madison around data science projects led to the creation of the American Family Insurance Data Science Institute this Spring. The institute’s mission is to perform cutting-edge research in the fundamentals of data science and to catalyze the translation of this research into practice to advance scientific discovery in collaboration with researchers across campus and beyond. I will describe progress in creating an exciting collaborative space, with a vision to broadly elevate data science research to our mutual benefit.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Council Meeting
Physics Council Meeting
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Sridhara Dasu, UW-Madison
Host: Sridhara Dasu, Department Chair
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Electroweak probes of the nucleus and the era of precision neutrino physics
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Dan Ruterbories, University of Rochester / MINERvA
Abstract: Neutrino oscillation experiments such as NOvA and T2K search for the disappearance and appearance of muon and electron flavor neutrinos in a predominately muon-type beam. These experiments are currently measuring the oscillation parameters to greater precision but will not be able to measure the CP phase with enough significance to pin down CP violation in the lepton sector. The next generation of experiments, DUNE and Hyper-Kamiokande, will push the field into its precision era, requiring precise predictions of the flux and neutrino interactions used to measure CP violation.

The MINERvA experiment is a dedicated neutrino interaction experiment set in the NuMI beamline at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The purpose of the experiment is to measure neutrino interactions off a variety of nuclear targets to probe nuclear effects and inform modeling of neutrino interactions. The experiment measures interactions over a wide range of Q2 and W including interactions in the quasi-elastic, resonant, and shallow to deep inelastic scattering regions. The experiment has run with two beam energies peaked at ~3 and 6 GeV in both neutrino and anti-neutrino enhanced modes.

In this seminar, I will describe the current state of neutrino oscillation physics and how MINERvA data will be used in future experiments. I will specifically describe the extensive tuning exercise MINERvA has done to describe interactions in the quasi-elastic into the resonant pion regions of kinematic phase space. I will also discuss the lessons learned and a description of the next generation measurements to prepare for the DUNE experiment.
Host: Tianlu Yuan
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Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

Department Meeting
Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: B343 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Srihara Dasu, UW-Madison
Host: Department Chair
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Science Opportunities with Powerful New X-ray Sources
Time: 11:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Uwe Bergmann, Stanford PULSE Institute, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Abstract: Over the past century X-rays have revolutionized numerous fields of science. Starting in the 1970s powerful new synchrotrons sources have dramatically advanced the scientific use of X-rays and in the last decade new X-ray free electron lasers, such as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) have come to light. While the latest generation of synchrotron sources is now approaching the theoretical limits, X-ray lasers are still in their infancy and major upgrades are underway. X-ray laser sources produce ultra-short pulses with a an enormous brightness, and for the first time scientist can study matter not just at the length scale of atoms and molecules, but also at the time scale of molecular motion. We will describe these fascinating machines, and present examples and opportunities for current and future synchrotron and X-ray laser research.
Host: Gilbert
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Cosmology Journal Club
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Please visit the following link for more details:
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 Ross Cawthon ( and Santanu Das (
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Friday, October 4th, 2019

Physics Department Colloquium
The 2017 Lake Michigan Ozone Study
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Brad Pierce, UW Space Sciences and Engineering Center
Abstract: The 2017 Lake Michigan Ozone Study (LMOS 2017) was a collaborative, multi‐agency field study of ozone chemistry and meteorology along the Wisconsin‐Illinois Lake Michigan shoreline using a combination of aircraft, ground‐based and ship‐based measurements. The goal of the study was to better understand ozone formation and transport around Lake Michigan; in particular, why ozone concentrations are generally highest along the lakeshore and drop off sharply inland and why ozone concentrations peak in rural areas far from major emission sources. Field activities were conducted from May 22‐June 22, 2017 and included two aircraft (one for remote sampling and one for insitu profiling), two ground based super sites (Sheboyhgan, WI and Zion, IL) with both remote sensing and insitu measurements, two mobile sampling platforms measuring lakeshore‐inland ozone concentration gradients, and additional ground‐based remote sensing instruments collocated at several other shoreline locations. Air quality and meteorological forecasts provided flight planning guidance and in‐field evaluation of model prediction skill during the campaign. This talk provides an overview of the LMOS 2017 field campaign, a summary of the measurements conducted during the LMOS 2017 field campaign and preliminary results, and a summary of preliminary model/measurement comparisons highlighting the difficulties in predicting coastal ozone concentrations along the western shore of Lake Michigan.
Host: Susan Nossal
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