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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of September 20th through September 27th, 2015

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Smaller and Sooner: Exploiting new superconductor technology to accelerate fusion's development
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2241 Physics Bldg
Speaker: Dennis Whyte, MIT
Abstract: Rare-Earth Barium Copper oxide (REBCO) superconductor (SC) tapes are a newly available technology that promise to revolutionize plasma and fusion research. REBCO are superconducting at liquid nitrogen temperature, providing easy access to ~1-2 tesla steady-state magnetic fields in the laboratory and, unlike standard SCs, have almost no degradation of their critical current at high magnetic fields when sub-cooled. These features allow >23 tesla magnetic coils, double the B-field of standard SC such as used in ITER, and the design of demountable SC coils. The implications of such coils have been examined in ARC, a conceptual tokamak fusion pilot plant. Exploiting the B4 dependence in fusion power density, ARC produces >500 MW in a device 1/8th the volume of ITER. Demountable coils permit modular internal components and a simple liquid immersion blanket. The compact, high-B tokamak provides for robust steady-state operational regimes with largely demonstrated physics, while high-B provides the margin to transient and disruption limits needed in burning plasmas. Critical path science and technology R&D issues are discussed that would enable this attractive path to smaller, more flexible fusion devices.
Host: UW
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
Searches for Next-to-Minimal Supersymmetry with Run I Data from CMS
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Rachel Yohay, CERN
Abstract: The next-to-minimal supersymmetric model (NMSSM) extends minimal supersymmetry by adding an extra singlet, leading to desirable theoretical properties as well as a more complicated Higgs sector. One of the striking predictions of the NMSSM is the existence of multiple Higgs particles, some of which can be much lighter than the particle identified as the 125 GeV standard model-like Higgs scalar discovered at the LHC in 2012. In this seminar, I review searches for light Higgs particles in the framework of the NMSSM and other two-Higgs-doublet models using the Run I dataset collected with the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at the LHC. These CMS searches span a range of final states and exploit the detector's excellent charged lepton reconstruction, including hadronic tau decays.
Host: Amol Upadhye
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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Chemical selection and the origin of life
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: David Baum, UW Department of Botany
Abstract: The underlying puzzle of the origin of life is, How could something capable of evolving by selection arise spontaneously? The most compelling hypothesis is that autocatalytic metabolic networks arose on mineral surfaces and could evolve adaptively by an analog of group selection. Such adsorbed, life-like chemical complexes would be expected to yield cell-like entities as a means to solve the problem of colonizing other mineral surfaces. This theoretical framework for explaining the origin of life suggests a class of experiments, which we are now embarking upon: selecting for collective mutual catalysis on complex chemical mixtures associated with mineral surfaces.
Host: Sprott
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

No events scheduled

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Please visit the following link for more details:
Please 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 Le Zhang (lzhang263@wisc.edu)
Host: Peter Timbie
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Astronomy Colloquium
New Views of Black Hole Disk Winds
Time: 3:45 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Jon Miller, University of MI
Abstract: High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy has been central to revealing the nature of X-ray winds from accreting massive black holes. These winds may ultimately have important effects on the evolution of host galaxies. However, early studies with Chandra may have given a partially skewed view of the radii at which such winds originate, and the mechanisms by which they are driven. With an eye toward the coming Astro-H era, I will briefly review past results, and then highlight some new and emerging views of black hole disk winds. Where possible, I will draw analogies between parallel investigations in accreting stellar-mass black holes. Overall, new results suggest that disk winds may originate closer to the black hole, and carry much more
mass and power than previously appreciated.
Host: Prof Sebastian Heinz
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R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Phases of Complex Oxides Driven Out of Equilibrium
Time: 4:30 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: John Freeland , Argonne National Lab
Abstract: Functional oxides based on the transition metal series display a wide spectrum of remarkable electronic properties including magnetism, superconductivity and metal-insulator transitions, which offer potential important properties for practical applications including colossal responses to external fields, switchable conductivity, and efficient energy conversion. However, under these conditions for application, these systems tend to be driven far away from the equilibrium ground-state. In order to harness these materials for the future, one of the grand challenges is to understand how to map the non-equilbrium phase space both to seek conditions where new states emerge but also as a basis for the design of materials that will help meet the energy needs of the future. In this talk, I will touch on recent work ranging from optical excitation[1,2] to catalysis[3,4] to watching how materials grow[5] as an introduction to how some of the forefront X-ray tools are helping us to scratch the surface of this problem.<br>
Work at Argonne is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.<br>
[1] H. Wen et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 37601 (2013).<br>
[2] H. Wen et al. Physical Review B 88,165424 (2013).<br>
[3] H. Jeen et al. Nature Materials 12, 1056 (2013).<br>
[4] S.-.H Chang et al. Nature Communications 5, 4191 (2014).<br>
[5] J.H. Lee et al. Nature Materials 13, 879 (2014).<br>
Host: McDermott
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Graduate Introductory Seminar
Time: 4:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Halzen, Hanson, Karle, Vandenbroucke, Westerhoff
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Friday, September 25th, 2015

Physics Department Colloquium
Materials in 2-dimension and beyond: 10 years after graphene
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee & Cookies at 3:15pm)
Speaker: Philip Kim, Harvard
Abstract: The recent advent of atomically thin 2-dimensional materials such as graphene, hexa boronitride, layered transition metal chalcogenide and many strongly correlated materials, has provide a new opportunity of studying novel quantum phenomena in low dimensional systems. In particular, graphene has been provided us opportunities to explore exotic transport effect in low-energy condensed matter systems. Moreover, combination of different layered constituents may produce heterogeneous and functional materials. In this lecture, we will discuss novel electron transport phenomena across the heterointerfaces in atomically controlled van der Waals quantum heterostructures.
Host: Mark Rzchowski
Poster: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/twap/posters/2015/3657.pdf
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