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This Week at Physics

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Events During the Week of January 20th through January 27th, 2019

Monday, January 21st, 2019

No events scheduled

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Order and simplicity in the 2018 elections
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Barry Burden, UW Department of Political Science
Abstract: To the casual observer, U.S. elections often appear to be the result of an unpredictable process driven by personalities and chance events. Although each election cycle has unique elements, I suggest that results are in fact highly predictable and reflect contextual variables in place well before election. The 2018 midterm elections in particular were the result of the well-established "cost of governing" phenomenon and structural biases in legislative districts in Wisconsin and the country.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Department Meeting
Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Sridhara Dasu, UW-Madison
Host: Sridhara Dasu
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Dept of Philosophy Job Talk
STRUCTURE AND EQUIVALENCE IN YANG-MILLS THEORY
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: Memorial Union, Old Madison Room
Speaker: Sarita Rosenstock University of California, Irvine, University of California, Irvine Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science
Abstract: Scientists and philosophers often invoke
parsimony as a theoretical virtue alongside
descriptive accuracy, and aim to minimize the
amount of structure present in mathematical
formalisms used to represent physical systems. I
present a proposal for formalizing structure
comparison in physics using category theory,
which can be thought of as the mathematical
theory of structure. I show how this method can
be used to compare alternative formulations of
Yang-Mills theory (which underlies modern
particle physics), and evaluate claims by
philosophers and physicists regarding their
relative structure.
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Whitord Public Talk Astronomy
Einstein's Waves: Cosmic Sounds from Black Holes and Neutron Stars
Time: 5:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Vicky Kalogera, Northwestern University
Abstract: For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from cataclysmic events in the distant universe. These recent observations confirm a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and open an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos. Gravitational waves carry unique information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. Detected gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the mergers of two black holes but also during the last hundred seconds of the collision of two neutron stars. The latter is the first ever cosmic event to be observed both in gravitational waves and in electromagnetic waves, shedding light to several longstanding puzzles, like the production of gold in nature and the physics origins of brief gamma-ray flashes. I will review the beginnings of this exciting field of cosmic exploration and the unprecedented technology and engineering that made it possible.
Host: Prof Robert Mathieu
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Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Astronomy Colloquium
Whitford Lecturer
“Probing Compact Objects with Gravitational Waves”
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and cookies 3:30 PM, Talk begins 3:45 PM
Speaker: Vicky Kalogera, Northwestern University
Abstract: The detection of gravitational waves by ground-based interferometric detectors has by now revealed a previously unobserved population of merging black holes and has firmly linked the mergers of neutron stars with gamma-ray bursts and heavy element production. I will review the most current gravitational-wave discoveries, the measured physical properties of the compact objects involved and how these measurements enable us to probe the astrophysics of compact objects, and constrain models of massive-star evolution. I will conclude with our expectations for further discoveries as the sensitivity of detectors continues to improve.
Host: Robert Mathieu (Barger is in Hawaii)
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Friday, January 25th, 2019

No events scheduled

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