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Spring 2013

Schedule Spring 2013

February 7

"Will the Earth catch cold when the Sun sneezes?: Space Weather and Sun-Earth connections."

Dr. Xia Cai

Virginia Tech

The near Earth electromagnetic environment is strongly affected by solar activity. During severe solar events such as interplanetary coronal mass ejections, the Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere are seriously disturbed and become hostile for millions of satellites. And the strong ground induced current may also destroy the power grid and oil pipelines. Therefore understanding and forecasting the near Earth environment or Space Weather is important for our modern civilization. In this presentation, I will discuss different magnetosphere response modes to different solar activities with global data sets. I will also show the efforts of simulation of these modes with a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model Space Weather Modeling Framework which is developed at the University of Michigan.

Tuesday February 12, 2013

"Superconducting Radio Frequency cavity design for high current Energy Recovery Linacs"

Dr. Robert Rimmer
Jefferson Lab

In this talk I will review the principle of operation of the energy recovery linac and why Superconducting RF cavities are a unique enabling technology for this class of machine. I will examine the cavity design goals for this application, which are different in some aspects from conventional SRF linacs, and show some examples from the JLab Free Electron Laser (FEL) upgrade studies. I will discuss some of the cost drivers and technical risks for large ERL facilities and finally I will look at prospects for further advancements in the technology for future applications.

Tuesday February 19, 2013

"Magnetometers for Fetal Biomagnetism and Fundamental Physics"

Dr. Thad Walker
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Atomic magnetometry is now capable of sensitivities sufficient for detection of magnetic fields produced by human hearts and brains, and promises order-of-magnitude cost savings as compared to superconducting detectors. In this talk I will describe how atomic magnetometers work, and present the first measurements of fetal magnetocardiography using a four detector array. Then I will present new concepts for using these magnetometers for detection of nuclear magnetic resonance, and present results of a proof-of-principle experiment demonstrating two orders of magnitude improvement in the limits on P- and T- violating scalar-pseudoscalar couplings at 1 mm length scales.

Tuesday February 26, 2013


Dr. Matthias Grosse-Perdekamp

Tuesday March 26, 2013

"Hadron structure: Jefferson Lab 12 and beyond"

Dr. Alexei Prokudin

Jefferson Laboratory

A a great deal of experimental and theoretical progress has been achieved in our understanding of hadron structure in recent decades. I will discuss our current understanding of hadron structure from the point of view of Quantum Chromodynamics, the theory that describes the hadron as dynamical system of partons (quarks and gluons). Jefferson Lab 12 will play crucial role in experimental measurements of hadron structure. I will explain details of the program and show the potential of future measurements. I will also discuss future of nuclear physics beyond Jefferson Lab 12 at a proposed Electron-Ion Collider.

Tuesday April 2, 2013

"The hottest stuff on earth: how it's formed, what its made of, and how it flows"

Dr. Raju Venugopalan

Brookhaven National Laboratory


Stony Brook University, USA

We discuss aspects of the physics of very high energy heavy ion collisions, which form the hottest and densest matter on earth. This matter previously only existed micro-seconds after the big bang. We attempt to provide a deeper look into how this matter is formed, what its made up of, and its transport properties. Our lecture will draw directly or indirectly on ideas in QCD, string holography, statistical mechanics, plasma physics, quantum chaos, Bose-Einstein Condensates and pre-heating in inflationary cosmology.

Tuesday April 9, 2013

"Nuclear Science for National Security: R&D at LANL's Space Science and Applications Group"

Dr. Alexei Klimenko

Space Science and Applications Group (ISR-1)

Intelligence, and Space Research Division

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns. The Space Science and Applications group (ISR-1) does world-class space and astrophysics and develops the associated technologies which are applied to detect, characterize, and respond to national security threats. Our capabilities are broad-based and cover the gamut from mission concept to sensor design/manufacture/calibration, as well as spacecraft integration, mission operations, data analysis, and theory. ISR-1 is engaged in a number of pioneering space missions with NASA to enhance our underlying expertise in basic research and contribute to our technology base. Those programs cover a number of disciplines, including magnetospheric physics, planetary exploration, astrophysics, gamma-ray astronomy, optical transient detection, space situational awareness, and solar-terrestrial interactions. ISR-1 has an international reputation in nuclear phenomenology and proliferation-detection expertise and is engaged in programs supported by DOE, DOD, NASA, DHS, and other US government agencies. An overview of the research performed at the Space Science and Applications Group will be presented.

Tuesday April 16, 2013

"From Sigma Pi Sigma to STS-1 The Launch of a Hidden Physicist"

Sigma Pi Sigma Induction
Cheryl Dronzek
Applied Management Engineering

So a priest, an engineer, and a physicist walk into a launch control room...

But seriously folks, what is your plan after you receive your physics bachelor's degree? Nearly 90% of physicists are hidden physicists, working in a career that isn't a typical physics job. Cheryl Dronzek will discuss her trajectory from a planned research career in astrophysics to systems engineering for the Checkout Control and Monitoring System used for testing and launch operations of the US Space Shuttle program.

Tuesday April 23, 2013

"Towards weak interaction studies in Francium"

Dr. Luis Orozco, and the FrPNC Collaboration
Joint Quantum Institute
Department of Physics
University of Maryland

Francium, a radioactive element, is the heaviest alkali. Its atomic and nuclear structure makes it an ideal laboratory to study the weak interaction at low energy. I will present our proposal and progress towards weak interaction measurements at TRIUMF, the National Canadian Accelerator in Vancouver. We can now laser trap and cool in line with the accelerator and have started spectroscopic studies that give information on the nuclear structure: hyperfine anomaly measurements. Future includes measurement of the weak charge and the nuclear anapole moment in a chain of francium isotopes. Supported by NSF and DOE from the USA; TRIUMF, NRC and NSERC from Canada; and CONACYT from Mexico.

Tuesday April 30, 2013

Senior Thesis Presentations

Undergraduate Physics Major
Old Dominion University

Brian Hayes Brooks
3:05 - 3:20

James M. Sheil
3:20 - 3:35