Upcoming Comps Presentation Abstracts

3 February 2020

Rina Tanaka
Wednesday, Feb 5th 2020
3:10 pm in Anderson 036

The Physics of Bees

 Bees are fascinating creatures, and it turns out that there are many bee-related fascinating physics questions we can ask such as: How can bumblebees expel pollen out from inside a flower’s anthers simply by vibrating the anthers? How can bees know where the sun is even when it is obscured by clouds? What’s the most dominant physical phenomenon that puts a limit on the eyesight of bees? If you find yourself curious about these questions, come to my comps talk!  I will explain some physical phenomena that are relevant to the life of bees, including buzz pollination, vision, and flight.

Ann Isaacs
Friday Febst 2020
3:30 pm Anderson 036

Gamma Ray Bursts

Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) are some of the most energetic events we observe in outer space. These brief, intense observations of high-energy photons can reach us from across great reaches of space. Discovered entirely by accident by Cold War satellites looking for nuclear detonation in space, there is much we still do not know about GRBs. We have only recently learned what we need to look for. In this talk, I will cover the general story of what GRBs are, including the initial bursts and the longer-lived afterglows. I will also discuss what processes produce such high-energy light and what that means for GRB sources. Finally, I will explore the leading theories of what produces GRBs, studying such extreme environments as newly-born black holes and neutron stars with magnetic fields trillions of times that of the Earth. I will conclude by asking why we study GRBs, and what they can tell us about our universe.

Mid-term break!
Monday, Feb 10th 2020