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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of September 13th through September 20th, 2015

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Progress and plans for NSTX Upgrade and prospects for next-step spherical tori
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2241 Physics Bldg
Speaker: Jon Menard, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab
Abstract: The National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) Project at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory was recently completed and achieved first test plasma on August 10, 2015. When fully operational, NSTX-U will be the most capable spherical torus (ST) facility in the world magnetic fusion program and will substantially broaden tokamak physics understanding. Progress and plans for the NSTX-U research program and the prospects for next-step ST devices will be discussed.
Host: UW
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Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Field Day Lab @ Wisconsin Institute for Discovery: At the intersection of media and education theory
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: David Gagnon, UW Department of Academic Technology
Abstract: In this talk, David Gagnon, director of the Field Day Lab, will discuss how a methodology of Design Based Research is allowing for innovation at the intersection of media theory with education theory. Several prototypes and associated studies will be discussed, ranging from iPad games to teach thermodynamics to iPhone field research apps to scaffold ornithology education. The purpose of the talk is to both expose the exciting work happening within the lab, but also to seek new opportunities for collaboration with other UW researchers.
Host: Sprott
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
High-mass H --> VV signal and Higgs width determination at the LHC
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Nikolas Kauer, University of London
Abstract: A substantial off-shell high-mass Higgs signal in the gluon fusion and vector boson fusion H --&amp;gt; ZZ and H --&amp;gt; WW channels at the LHC facilitates a novel, complementary approach to constraining the Higgs width and couplings. I review the theoretical basis of the new approach and discuss its significance in comparison to other methods to bound and measure the Higgs width at the LHC and future colliders.
Host: Amol Upadhye
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Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Astronomy Colloquium
Cosmic Accretion and Star formation in Dwarf Galaxies
Time: 3:45 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Bruce Elmegreen, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Abstract: Star formation in dwarf galaxies is anomalous for many reasons: Blue Compact Dwarfs have enormous bursts relative to their size but no evident mergers, dwarf Irregulars have rates per unit area that get as low as 0.1% of that in the solar neighborhood while preserving nearly perfect exponential profiles, and most galaxies with less than 10% solar metallicity have cometary shapes suggesting ram pressure or other lopsided disturbances. Dwarf irregulars also have hardly any CO emission yet can have specific star formation rates higher than the Milky Way. Here I discuss these anomalies and our recent observations to help understand
them. These observations include the relationship between star formation rate and gas surface density in 20 local dwarf Irregulars, which are gas dominated, thick, and very stable according to the Toomre condition, evidence for cosmic accretion in the form of locally low metallicities in the starburst regions of extremely metal poor galaxies, and two-sided accretion at a rate sufficient to sustain star formation in the local dwarf starburst IC 10. I also discuss CO observations with ALMA of the lowest metallicity molecular clouds in the local dwarf irregular WLM.
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Graduate Introductory Seminar
Time: 4:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Arnold, McCammon, Timbie
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Friday, September 18th, 2015

Physics Department Colloquium
Latest Results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer: a multipurpose particle physics detector aboard the International Space Station
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Karen G. Andeen, Marquette University
Abstract: The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a state-of-the-art cosmic-ray detector, has been operating on the international Space Station since May 19, 2011. AMS was designed and developed to operate in the unique environment of space, with an aim to conduct a long-duration mission of fundamental physics research. AMS has collected data continuously since the start of data acquisition and has accumulated more than 68 billion cosmic ray events in 4 years of operation. Analyses using these data have been published recently on cosmic ray composition and flux, providing new insights in open fields like the search for primordial antimatter and the search for evidence of Dark Matter. This talk will focus on the experimental design and operations as well as recent results. Students are especially encouraged to attend!
Host: Albrecht Karle
Poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2015/3785.pdf
Video: https://vod.physics.wisc.edu/media/2015_09_18.m4v
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