BNL Physics Department Videos

Physics Colloquium of 11 June 2019
"High energy atmospheric neutrinos: connections between laboratory experiments and cosmic rays"
Mary Hall Reno, University of Iowa

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory's measurement of a diffuse flux of neutrinos from astrophysical sources has opened a new era in high energy astroparticle physics. Neutrinos produced by cosmic ray interactions in the atmosphere are the main background to the astrophysical neutrino flux. At these high energies, data from the Large Hadron Collider experiments on heavy flavor production can be used to narrow the uncertainties in the background predictions at the highest energies. Our evaluation of the atmospheric neutrino flux from charm will be used to illustrate how collider physics results are connected to cosmic ray physics in this context.

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Physics Colloquium of 7 May 2019
"Mu*STAR Accelerator-Driven Subcritical Molten-Salt All-Purpose non-Nuclear Reactor"
Rolland Johnson, Muons Inc.

The Mu*STAR BHAG[1] is: To make superconducting RF accelerators so powerful and efficient that they make enough neutrons to produce nuclear energy for electricity or for process heat at less cost than from wind, solar, or natural gas, without weapons proliferation legacies of enrichment and chemical reprocessing, by burning unwanted nuclear materials. The arguments are presented to support that such a goal is possible in the near future. [1] BHAG: Big Hairy Audacious Goal, from "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras (2004)

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Leona Woods Distinguished Postdoctoral Lectureship Colloquium of 30 April 2019
"The Connected Universe: Relating Early, Intermediate and Late Universe with Cosmological Data"
Vivian Miranda, University of Arizona

The standard paradigm of cosmology is built upon on a series of propositions about how the early, intermediate and late epochs of the universe behave. In particular, it predicts that the universe is currently filled with dark energy and dark matter. Understanding the properties of dark energy is plausibly the biggest challenge in theoretical physics; while we believe the general features of dark matter are well known. Indeed, there is a broad assumption in cosmology that the universe on its earlier stages is fully understood and that discrepancies between the standard model of cosmology and current data are suggestive of distinct dark energy properties. Uncertainties on the validity of this hypothesis are not usually taken into account when forecasting survey capabilities, even though our investigations might be obfuscated if the intermediate and early universe did behave abnormally. In this colloquium, I propose a program to investigate dark energy and earlier aspects of our universe simultaneously, through space missions in the 2020s in combination with ground-based observatories. This program will help guide the strategy for the future WFIRST supernovae and weak lensing surveys. My investigations on how properties of the early and intermediate universe affect inferences on dark energy (and vice-versa) will also support NASA's understanding of how future space missions can be used to test some of the core hypotheses of the standard model of cosmology.

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Physics Colloquium of 9 April 2019
"Do Women Get Fewer Citations Than Men?"
Sabine Hossenfelder, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Germany

I will talk about the results of a citation analysis on publication data from the arXiv and inspire in which we explored gender differences. I will further explain how we can use bibliometric analysis to improve the efficiency of knowledge discovery.

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Physics Colloquium of 9 April 2019
"How Beauty Leads Physics Astray"
Sabine Hossenfelder, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Germany

Theoretical physicists often rely on beauty—simplicity and naturalness, in particular—as they develop new laws that describe nature. These guides have been strongly influential in the foundations of physics since the development of the standard model of particle physics, which describes all known fundamental particles and explains how they interact. During her talk, Hossenfelder will describe how arguments of beauty have led to a dead end as well as what can be done about it.

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Physics Colloquium of 4 April 2019
"Views and news on chiral transport"
Karl Landsteiner, Instituto de Fisica Teorica UAM-CSIC

I present an effective action approach to chiral transport. Chiral Magnetic and Chiral Vortical Effect are treated in exact parallel and result in the known dependence on chemical potential and temperature. The approach sheds light on some of the more obscure features of chiral transport such as covariant and consistent anomalies and a seeming mismatch of the derivative expansion. As a related application I will comment on the thermal Hall effect on 2D topological insulators. Then I discuss a new example of chiral transport: anomalous Hall viscosity at the quantum critical point of the Weyl-semimetal/insulator transition. Results from a holographic model will be compared to a weak coupling quantum field theory analysis.

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Physics Colloquium of 3 April 2019
"Prospects on nucleon tomography"
Herve Moutard, Université Paris-Saclay

Much attention has been devoted in recent years to the three-dimensional quark and gluon structure of the nucleon. In particular the concept of Generalized Parton Distributions promises an understanding of the generation of the charge, spin, and energy-momentum structure of the nucleon by its fundamental constituents. Forthcoming measurements with unprecedented accuracy at Jefferson Lab and at a future electron-ion collider will presumably challenge our quantitative description of the three-dimensional structure of hadrons. To fully exploit these future experimental data, new tools and models are currently being developed. After a brief reminder of what make Generalized Parton Distributions a unique tool to understand the nucleon structure, we will discuss the constraints provided by the existing measurements and review recent theoretical developments. We will explain why these developments naturally fit in a versatile software framework, named PARTONS, dedicated to the phenomenology and theory of GPDs.

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Physics Colloquium of 26 March 2019
"Quantum Information Science Landscape, Vision, and NIST"
Carl Williams, NIST

The first part of the colloquium will provide an overview of United States government's interest in quantum information science from the National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science that established the policy objectives for this administration to the National Quantum Initiative Act that formalizes parts of this strategy for key civilian science agencies. This portion of the talk will conclude with placing the United States strategy in the global context and describe how the United States plans to establish the foundation for the quantum 2.0 economy. The second part of the colloquium will begin with a high-level overview of NIST, of NIST's interest in Quantum Information Science, before talking briefly about some interesting highlights from NIST laboratories. Moving from the highlights, the talk will explore ongoing and future metrological applications followed by some hypothetical conjectures of future technological applications with a focus on how quantum information science and its technology may impact fundamental physics from exploring potential time variation of fundamental constants to future probes of dark matter and gravitational waves.

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Other Listings

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