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This Week at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Madison Science Museum: from chaos to complexity
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Olga Trubetskoy and Dave Nelson, Madison Science Museum
Abstract: We will start from ongoing story of starting up a science museum in Madison describing how from initial turmoil, obstacles and defeats the museum is now emerging being shaped by inspiration, visions and public involvement. We will resume the saga by revealing a few curious stories from Madison science history scene that will be a part of a future museum exhibits.
Host: Clint Sprott
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Faculty Candidate Seminar
Chasing our Cosmic Dawn: Opening the 21cm cosmological window on the universe
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Daniel C. Jacobs, NSF Fellow, Arizona State University
Abstract: The Epoch of Reionization (EoR) marks when the first stars ionized primordial hydrogen half a billion years after the big bang. Direct observation of cosmological hydrogen is possible via the 21cm line and is now being hotly pursued as a new cosmological probe. I am a major contributor to new large-scale radio arrays including the Precision Array for Probing the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER), the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and the upcoming Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA). PAPER currently holds the deepest limits on the epoch of reionization power spectrum, while the MWA is making major advancements in understanding foregrounds at a level necessary for imaging large scale structure. My group specializes in commissioning, operating and delivering results with these new types of arrays. Current projects include digital modeling of instrumental response, developing high level heuristics for data flagging, accelerating imaging pipelines, pushing more analysis steps into real-time systems, and in-situ calibration with external drone-mounted transmitters. Lessons learned and systems developed for PAPER and the MWA are being incorporated into the design and operations model of the next generation HERA, which will yield 20 times the sensitivity of first generation arrays and on into the regime of the upcoming Square Kilometer Array.
Host: Dasu
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Faculty Candidate Seminar
One century of neutrino mass experiments: from radium salts to microwaves
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Benjamin Monreal, UCSB
Abstract: The neutrino mass is one of the longest-standing unanswered questions in physics. We've recently learned a tremendous amount about how the weak interaction mixes neutrino mass states together; we've learned that there are three different, and we've narrowed the ordering of these masses down to two; but we still haven't learned what the masses actually are. The KATRIN experiment, soon to start data taking, will use a huge electrostatic spectrometer to search for the signature of a massive neutrino in beta decay, but astrophysicists predict that the mass scale is too small for KATRIN to see. Project 8's microwave spectrometry technique may provide the next, crucial, factor of 10 in this search; I will present recent Project 8 data showing our single-electron detection, tracking, and spectroscopy capabilities.
Host: Dasu
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