physics & astronomy

Cosmic Linear Accelerators: Extreme Reconnection and other Surprises from the Crab Nebula

The unexpected discovery of gamma-ray flares from the Crab Nebula may have surprising implications for plasma astrophysics. Standard particle acceleration mechanisms cannot account for the energies of the flaring photons. Instead, these observations point toward an acceleration process involving rapid destruction of magnetic field through reconnection. I will discuss the extreme particle acceleration process that may lead to the flares, and the likely role of current-driven instabilities in triggering reconnection in the Crab and elsewhere.

Colloquium: Glimpsing Color in the World of Black and White

Glimpsing color in a world of black and white

Protons, neutrons and all the many other strongly interacting subnuclear particles, known as hadrons, are made of quarks and gluons. These fundamental constituents are held together by a color force described by quantum chromodynamics (QCD). A detailed understanding of how the strong coupling regime of QCD, which is responsible for confinement and dynamical chiral symmetry breaking, determines the spectrum and structure of hadrons will be outlined. Such studies, both experimental and theoretical, color in the picture of strong dynamics. What we know now and the glimpses to come from accelerator facilities like that at Jefferson Lab will be described.

New Faculty 2012: Meet Dale Kocevski

The Department of Physics & Astronomy is excited to welcome professor Dale Kocevski to its faculty!

Professor Kocevski joins us this fall focused on researching distant galaxies that host actively accreting supermassive black holes. Evidence suggests that the evolution of galaxies is intricately linked to the presence of black holes at their center. Kocevski plans to use multi-wavelength observations to examine the demographics of the galaxies that host these growing black holes.  
 
This podcast is part of a series highlighting the new faculty members who joined the College of Arts and Sciences in the fall 2012 semester.
 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Higgs Discovery: Implications for Particle Physics - 2 Nov. 2012

The LHC has recently discovered a Higgs-like resonance with a mass of about 125 GeV. It may be the missing element of the so-called Standard Model of particle physics. This model was proposed a few decades ago, and, after the inclusion of neutrino masses, describes in an accurate way all measured observables not involving gravity. We shall discuss what are the possible implications of the Higgs Discovery for particle physics and, in particular, for theoretical and experimental physics High Energy Physics in the coming years.

Physics Professor Featured in International Science Journal

Alfred Shapere, professor in the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy, was featured in "Nature," an international weekly journal of science, for his recent paper describing framework or starting point to explaining how particles cope with fluctuations in gravity.

New Faculty 2012: Meet Renbin Yan

The Department of Physics & Astronomy is excited to welcome professor Renbin Yan to its faculty!

Professor Yan has been interested in the cosmos since childhood, and joins us this fall to continue his research on star formation. His research seeks to understand why some galaxies no longer produce stars. This podcast is part of a series highlighting the new faculty members who joined the College of Arts and Sciences in the fall 2012 semester, and was produced by Cheyenne Hohman

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

From Voids to Clusters: Gas and Galaxy Evolution in the Local Universe - 12 Oct. 2012

Our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies and their large scale structure has advanced enormously over the last decade, thanks to an impressive synergy between theoretical and observational efforts. While the growth of the dark matter component seems well understood, the physics of the gas, during its accretion, removal and/or depletion is less well understood. Increasingly large scale optical surveys are tracing out the cosmic web of filaments and voids. Mathematical tools have been developed to describe these structures and to identify galaxies located in specific environments. HI imaging surveys begin to answer the question: how do galaxies get and lose their gas? The best evidence for ongoing gas accretion is found in the lowest density environments, while removal of gas in the highest density environments stops star formation and reddens the galaxies. Speaker: Jacquiline van Gorkom, Columbia University

Searching for a WIMP signal in the gamma-ray sky: Current status, results and challenges.

Indirect detection of dark matter is extremely important because it probes the same physics that took place in the early universe leading to the observed relic abundance. I will focus on the current state of dark matter annihilation searches, and latest results. In addition, I will discuss on how these results fit in the broad picture of dark matter physics and what are the key outstanding issues in this endeavor.

From Voids to Clusters: Gas and Galaxy Evolution in the Local Universe

Our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies and their large scale structure has advanced enormously over the last decade, thanks to an impressive synergy between theoretical and observational efforts. While the growth of the dark matter component seems well understood, the physics of the gas, during its accretion, removal and/or depletion is less well understood. Increasingly large scale optical surveys are tracing out the cosmic web of filaments and voids. Mathematical tools have been developed to describe these structures and to identify galaxies located in specific environments. HI imaging surveys begin to answer the question: how do galaxies get and lose their gas? The best evidence for ongoing gas accretion is found in the lowest density environments, while removal of gas in the highest density environments stops star formation and reddens the galaxies. Speaker: Jacquiline van Gorkom, Columbia University

Undergraduate Research at UK

Students, as well as A&S faculty members Chris Crawford (Physics) and Melody Carswell (Psychology) talk about the undergraduate research opportunities at UK.

This video appears courtesy of Reveal: University of Kentucky Research Media research.uky.edu/reveal/index.shtml

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