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This Week at Physics

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Events on Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
"Rossby Waves - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 1610 Engineering Hall
Speaker: Prof. Matthew Hitchman, , Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UW-Madison
Abstract: The mathematical and physical basis for Rossby waves in neutral fluids is described. Conservation of potential vorticity creates an elastic restoring mechanism for an upstream-propagating transverse wave on a rotating sphere. This Beta effect is due to the meridional gradient of planetary vorticity. Manifestations include "Alberta Clippers" and the "Polar Vortex of 2013-14". Violations of the non-acceleration theorem during Rossby wave breaking (RWB) couple the Rossby wave activity conservation relation to the mean flow equations. Consideration of 3D RWB provides insight into stratosphere - troposphere
exchange and the distribution of tropopause folds.
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Faculty Candidate Seminar
Benchtop Particle Astrophysics
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Gray Rybka, University of Washington
Abstract: Advances in low noise cryogenic amplifiers and the commercialization of microwave technology have not only improved astrophysical measurements, but also enabled exquisitely sensitive laboratory experiments. I will discuss a number of benchtop experiments that utilize radio astronomy techniques and technology to make measurements that are important for astroparticle physics. The experiments I cover will include searches for dark matter axions using electronics with noise limited only by quantum mechanical effects, searches for light exotic beyond-the-standard-model particles, and a precision measurement of beta decay energies that could be used to determine the neutrino mass scale.
Host: Dasu
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