Distinguished lecture series in Physics

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The Fall 2022 Distinguished Lecture Series in Physics
November 17-18, 2022.

These presentations have been recorded.  Please visit the links below to view.

The UW-La Crosse Distinguished Lecture Series in Physics (DLS) is co-sponsored by the UW-La Crosse Foundation, the Department of Physics, the College of Science and Health, and Wettstein's.  The purpose of the series is to bring to La Crosse each year a world-renowned physicist whose significant accomplishments can inspire and enrich the lives and careers of students, faculty, and the community in general.  

Dates:  Thursday, November 17th and Friday, November 18th
Speaker:  Arthur B. McDonald, 2015 Nobel Laureate in Physics

Credit: Queen's University

Art McDonald was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.  He has degrees in physics from Dalhousie University (BSc, MSc) and Caltech (PhD) and fifteen honorary degrees.  From 1969-1982 he was a Research Officer at AECL Chalk River Laboratories; 1982-1989, Professor at Princeton University; 1989-2013 Professor at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada; 2006-2013 Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics, 2013-present Gray Chair Emeritus.  Since 1989 he has been Director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Scientific Collaboration.  Among many awards, he is a Companion of the Order of Canada, co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics and 2007 Benjamin Franklin Medal; the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics and the 2013 Cocconi Prize of the European Physical Society with the SNO Collaboration.  He is a member of the Royal Societies of Canada and the UK, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.  He continues to be active in basic research in Neutrinos and Dark Matter.  In 2020-21 he was the Canadian lead on a project that has delivered more than 7000 low-cost ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, November 17th - 5:00 p.m.
Public Lecture
Location:  Centennial Hall - Skogen Auditorium A, Room 1400

A Deeper Understanding of Our Universe from Far Underground

By going deep underground and creating ultra-clean conditions it is possible to produce the lowest radioactivity laboratory in the world.  There we can address very fundamental questions about our Universe:  How does the Sun burn?  What are the abundant dark matter particles in the spaces between the stars?  What are the properties of neutrinos, elusive particles that are one of the fundamental building blocks of nature?  How do these particles influence how our Universe evolves?  Experiments addressing these questions are taking place at underground labs internationally and will be described.

Link: https://mymedia.uwlax.edu/Mediasite/Play/0c3d07c1d47f45b78524e4eedd7d8b251d

Friday, November 18th - 3:20 p.m.
Physics Seminar (open to the public)
Location:  Centennial Hall - Skogen Auditorium A, Room 1400

Searches for Dark Matter Direct Interactions and Neutrino-less Double Beta Decay

Ultra-clean, deep underground laboratories provide ideal conditions to search for Dark Matter in the form of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPS) and for the very rare radioactive process called Neutrino-less Double Beta Decay (0vßß). Descriptions will be provided of the use of liquid argon for a very sensitive search for WIMPS in our Galaxy. Liquid argon has a valuable property that nuclear recoils from WIMPS would emit light over 200 times more quickly than betas or gammas, enabling significant discrimination against those backgrounds. A repurposing of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) detector as SNO+ to provide a sensitive search for 0vßß in 130Te will also be described. The motivation for these measurements in terms of fundamental physics and cosmology will be discussed.