Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Space and Earth Science
Part of the National Security Education Center

CSES FY17 Events

High quality, cutting-edge science in the areas of astrophysics, space physics, solid planetary geoscience, and climate science


Center for Space and Earth Sciences Town Hall Meeting
October 19
1:00 - 2:00pm
Los Alamos Astrophysics Distinguished Seminar Series and CSES present: David Soderblom, Space Telescope Science Institute:
Seeing the distant, the dusty and the dark: How the new James Webb Space Telescope will help reveal the origins of our Universe, our Galaxy, and our World
Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Soderblom will discuss how the work of Hubble has led to the need for JWST, JWST’s scientific capabilities, and its remarkable engineering. Soderblom will also show a short animation of the launch and deployment of JWST into its orbit 1.5 million km from Earth.

October 16
3:00 - 4:30pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium hosted by EES and CSES present: Professor Fiamma Straneo, University of California, San Diego:
Greenland ice loss and its connection with a warmer, fresher North Atlantic Ocean
Physics Auditorium (TA-03, Bldg 0215)

Fiamma Straneo Abstract (pdf)

October 12
12:00 - 1:00pm
Emerging Ideas Project Seminar Series hosted by CSES present: Sanna Annika Sevanto, EES-14:
3D in situ imaging of tree root structure with RF signals: test of the concept
EES-DO Conference Room (TA3, Building 0215, RM 275)

Sanna Annika Sevanto Abstract (pdf)

October 5
4:00 - 5:00pm
CSES Space Science Large Project Seminar: Yue Chen, LANL, ISR-1: Predicting Relativistic Electrons inside Outer Van Allen Radiation Belt Moon Room (TA3, Building 40, RM N125)

Yue Chen Abstract (pdf)

October 5
3:45 - 4:45pm
2017 Physics/Theoretical Seminar: Dan Hooper, Fermilab: HAWC, Pulsars and The High-Energy Sky Rosen Auditorium (TA-53, Bldg. 1), Refreshments at 3:15pm

Hooper will discuss several interesting implications of these results, including those for gamma-ray, cosmic-ray and neutrino astrophysics.

October 4
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium Hosted by EES and CSES present: Prof. Dongxiao Zhang, Peking University, College of Engineering: Multiscale Characterization and Flow Mechanisms for Shale Oil/Gas Recovery Physics Auditorium (TA-03, Bldg 0215)

Dongxiao Zhang Abstract (pdf)

October 3
3:00 - 4:00pm
LA Astro Emerging Ideas Project Seminar and CSES present: J. Patrick Harding, LANL, P-23: LANL Efforts on The All-Sky Medium Energy Gamma-ray Observatory (AMEGO) Challenge Conf. Room , TA3, Building 200, Rm 256

Harding will discuss the AMEGO mission concept and how AMEGO science and hardware designs unite several areas across LANL. He will also discuss the current LANL efforts on AMEGO as well as the plans going forward to involve the lab in this innovative experiment in its critical early stages.

September 28
10:00 - 11:00am
CSES Planetary Science Seminar Series: Dr. Tanya Harrison, Arizona State University: The Emerging Role of Commercial Spaceflight in Earth Remote Sensing Science Quantum Conference (TA-03, Bldg. 0040, Rm N101)

A growing portion of the commercial “NewSpace” industry is the acquisition of Earth observation data from satellites built and operated by private companies. Satellite images offered by commercial companies have resolutions as much as an order of magnitude better than the highest-resolution publicly available government-owned counterpart, the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2. This jump—from 10 meters to 1 meter or better in some cases— unlocks resolutions previously only obtainable by government reconnaissance satellites. Thanks to these improvements, private companies have emerged as some of the top providers of key data for Earth observation. This talk will give an overview of the current players in the game and their offerings and capabilities.

September 27
11:00am - 12:00pm
Chick-Keller Postdoctoral Fellowship, CSES Research Seminar 2017: Maruti Kumar Mudunuru, LANL/EES-16, Chick-Keller Postdoctoral Fellow: A machine learning framework to understand system state using time-series signals EES-DO Conference Room (TA3, Building 215, RM 275)

This talk presents a machine learning framework to construct models to efficiently reduce the time-series data by means of feature extraction and feature selection.

Mentors: Satish Karra, Hari Viswanathan, Gowri Srinivasan

Collaborators: Vamshi Krishna Chillara, Dipen Sinha

September 18
2:30 - 3:30pm
Climate Impacts Seminar hosted by CSES present: Jeanne Fair, B-10, Biosecurity and Public Health: Sharpening edges: using next generation sequencing to define fuzzy disease boundaries for monitoring climate change impacts B-DO Conference Room (TA43, HRL-1, RM 102)

Fair will discuss on how to use sequencing to monitoring disease movement and evolution.

September 15
10:00 - 11:00am
CSES Planetary Science Seminar: Dr. Arya Udry ,University of Nevada Las Vegas: Exploring martian magmatism: Understanding Mars’s interior using martian meteorites Quantum Room SM40 N101

Rovers and orbiters have allowed us to better understand Mars surficial and other geological processes. However, martian meteorites, which are our only samples from this planet, can help constraining magmatic processes that occurred on Mars. Although only 107 meteorites from Mars have been recovered, they have helped us unravel the martian crust and mantle using classic petrological analyses.

September 14
1:30 - 2:30pm
Advances in Space Sciences Seminar Series and CSES present: Christina Cohen, Caltech: Using Multi-Spacecraft Studies of Solar Energetic Particle Event to Improve Space Weather Forecasting Moon Room, TA3, Building 40, RM N125

This talk will review some of the unexpected SEP observations made over this solar cycle and discuss what we have subsequently learned about particle acceleration near the Sun, transport through the inner heliosphere and the implications for space weather forecasting.

September 12
10:00 - 11:00am
Advances in Space Sciences Seminar Series and CSES present: Artaches Migdissov and Hongwu Xu (EES-14), and Haylea Nisbet, McGill University : Towards resolving the Rare Earth Crisis: Acquiring thermodynamic data required for modelling of the formation of Th-bearing monazites EES-DO Conference Room (TA3, Building 0215, RM 275)

First part of the talk, Migdissov will review existing thermodynamic models devoted to transport, deposition, and fractionation of REE in natural hydrothermal systems.

Second part of the talk, Nisbet will present recently acquired experimental data on the mobility of Th in hydrothermal systems, discuss challenges associated with thermodynamic modeling of high temperature Th-REE hydrothermal systems, and first attempt to incorporate this element in the above-mentioned models of REE behavior in natural hydrothermal systems.

September 6
2:00 - 3:00pm
Advances in Space Sciences Seminar Series and CSES present: Dr. Emma Spanswick, University of Calgary: Using the Aurora to Remote Sense Geospace SM40 N101 Quantum Conference Room

Spanswick will present two cases of magnetospheric phenomena that can be directly connected to ionospheric auroral signatures; the proton aurora and the substorm injection. She will discuss insights the aurora provides in terms of the structure and dynamics of the magnetosphere and also contradictions that arise with satellite observations. Spanswick will also present future ground based and satellite imaging assets and their expected capacity for enhancing the auroral observational capacity in geospace research.

August 31
1:00 - 2:00pm
Los Alamos Astrophysics Distinguished Seminar Series: Julie McEnery, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: The MeV-GeV Sky Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

McEnery will present highlights from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Observatory which has been operating since 2008 and observes the sky from 20 MeV to 300 GeV. I will also describe a future mission AMEGO to extend observations of the sky from Fermi energies to below an MeV in order to view this relatively un-observed region of the spectrum.ll give an overview of the current players in the game and their offerings and capabilities.

August 28
3:00 - 4:00pm
EES and CSES Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium present: Dr. Molly Jahn, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Risk and Resilience in Regional and Global Food Systems and U.S. National Security Physics Auditorium (TA-03, Bldg. 215 )

Jahn will describe current and planned work her research group is executing under a research agreement with the U.S. Government entitled, “Food security, food systems and national security interests” to operationalize scalable regional and global food security assessment and decision-support systems using risk-based approaches.

August 24
1:00 - 2:00pm
Los Alamos Astrophysics Distinguished Seminar Series and CSES present: Luca Comisso, Princeton University: Plasmoid Instability in Time-evolving Current Sheets Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

In the widely studied Sweet-Parker current sheets, the growth of the plasmoid instability occurs at a rate that is proportional to the Lundquist number (S) raised to a positive exponent. For this reason, in large-S systems, Sweet-Parker current sheets cannot be attained as current layers are linearly unstable and undergo disruption before the Sweet-Parker state is attained. To properly address this problem, here we consider reconnecting current sheets that can evolve over time, rather than assuming a fixed Sweet-Parker current sheet. We formulate a principle of least time [1,2] that enables us to determine the properties of the reconnecting current sheet (aspect ratio and elapsed time) and the plasmoid instability (growth rate, wavenumber, inner layer width) at the end of the linear phase. After this phase the reconnecting current sheet is disrupted and fast reconnection can occur [3]. The scaling laws of the plasmoid instability are not simple power laws, and depend on the Lundquist number, the magnetic Prandtl number, the noise of the system, the characteristic rate of current sheet evolution, as well as the thinning process [1,2,3].

[1] L. Comisso, M. Lingam, Y.-M. Huang, A. Bhattacharjee, Phys. Plasmas 23, 100702 (2016).
[2] L. Comisso, M. Lingam, Y.-M. Huang, A. Bhattacharjee, ArXiv e-prints (2017), arXiv:1707.01862
[3] Y.-M. Huang, L. Comisso, A. Bhattacharjee, ArXiv e-prints (2017), arXiv:1707.01863

August 23
11:00am - 12:00pm
Emerging Ideas R&D Project Seminar Series hosted by CSES: Ting Chen, EES-17, Geophysics: Physics-based rupture modeling of induced seismicity EES-DO Conference Room (TA3, Building 0215, RM 275)

Induced earthquakes are earthquakes caused by human activities such as hydraulic fracturing, enhanced geothermal system, and underground wastewater/gas storage. In the United States midcontinent, the number of induced earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years. The induced seismicity risk poses a large threat to society and economy. To understand the mechanical processes and further control the relationship between fluid injection and induced seismicity, we need a physics-based modeling of induced seismicity. Here we present such a framework that is capable of integrating fluid injection with fracture propagation and earthquake rupture. This work is based on the LANL-developed Hybrid Optimization Software Suite (HOSS), which has a novel integrated solid-fluid solver and can handle fracture process as a natural transition from a continuum to a discontinuum regime. By incorporating frictional constitutive law of earthquake rupturing to HOSS, we are able to model a wide range of induced earthquake process. We demonstrate the current capability of our modeling tool with a number of numerical simulations.

August 22
3:00 - 4:00pm
Geoscience Student Project Report Seminar: Yue Wu, University of Rochester: Earthquake Detection Using Deep Learning EES-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Bldg. 215, Room 275)

Yue Wu Abstract (pdf)

August 22
1:00 - 2:00pm
Advances in Space Science Seminar Series and CSES present: Ryan Haagenson, University of Colorado - Boulder: A Buckley-Leverett type approximate solution for stray gas migration through continuous fractures with constant pressure boundary conditions EES-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Bldg. 215, Room 275)

Haagenson will discuss proposing a Buckley-Leverett type approximate solution to track the migration of invading gas through a one-dimensional inclined fracture intersecting an uncased annulus.

August 17
1:00 - 2:00pm
Los Alamos Astrophysics Distinguished Seminar Series and CSES present: Andrea Isella Rice University: Planet Formation seen with Radio Eyes TA3, Building 4200, Research Park, RM 203A

Isella will present an overview of the most recent observations of planet forming disks obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array.These observations reveal structures in the distribution of the circumstellar gas and dust that can be interpreted as the result of the gravitational interaction between the circumstellar material and planetary size companions. Isella will discuss how these features probe the mass and orbital radius of newborn planets, and what are the implications for planet formation models.

August 16
2:00 - 3:00pm
LA Astro Student Project Seminar Series: Joe Lundeen, Michigan State University: Studies on HAWC Dark Matter and Outriggers Challenge Conference Room, TA3, Building 200, RM 256

Joe Lundeen Abstract (pdf)

August 15
11:00am - 12:00pm
Advances in Space Science Seminar Series and CSES present: Prof. Jan Egedal, Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison: Magnetic Reconnection in Plasmas; a Celestial Phenomenon in the Laboratory T-DO Challenge Conference Room

Egedal will describe experimental observations from TREX as well have theoretical investigations which have led to a new theoretical paradigm for magnetic reconnection.

August 14
1:00 - 2:00pm
EES and CSES Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium: Professor Achim Stoessel, Texas A&M University: Antarctic Sea-Ice and Bottom Water in High-Resolution Climate Models CNLS Conference Room (TA-03, Bldg. 1690, Room 102)

Achim Stoessel Abstract (pdf)

August 10
11:00am - 12:00pm
CSES Geoscience Student Project Seminar: David Chas Bolton, LANL, EES-17: Applying Unsupervised Machine Learning to Characterize Experimental Stick-Slip Cycles EES-DO Conference Room, TA-03, Bldg. 215, Room 275

David Chas Bolton Abstract (pdf)

August 8
1:00 - 2:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colliquium for EES and CSES present: Daniel Birdsell (Presenter, EES-16), Satish Karra (EES-16), Hari Rajaram (Dept of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado - Boulder): Numerical Modeling of Induced Seismicity: Challenges in Code Development and New Results for Soil Matrix Compressibility EES-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Bldg. 215, Room 275)

Birdsell discuss how the massively parallel, fully-coupled flow and geomechanics code PFLOTRAN can be used to capture key aspects of induced seismicity. Birdsell will also examine mathematically and numerically how subsurface flow codes that can accept a number of constitutive relations for porosity, fluid density, and fluid flux can be used to simulate saturated flow.

July 31
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colliquium for EES and CSES present: Mini Das, University of Houston: New Frontiers in X-ray Spectral Detection and Phase Contrast Imaging EES-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Bldg. 215, Room 275)

Das will discuss emerging methods that can allow accurate quantitation and material decomposition for in-vivo imaging techniques. There are significant possibilities for combining multi-modality imaging with these advanced detection schemes as well.

July 28
Frontiers in Geoscience Colliquium for EES and CSES present: Geoff Reeves , ISR-1, LANL: Whether There’s Weather in Space New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, 1801 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, NM

A discussion about the science behind space weather. Admission is free.

July 26
Frontiers in Geoscience Colliquium for EES and CSES present: Geoff Reeves , ISR-1, LANL: Whether There’s Weather in Space Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road, Los Alamos

A discussion about the science behind space weather. Admission is free.

July 19
3:00 - 4:00pm
Advances in Space Science Seminar Series and CSES present: Josh Rigler, United States Geological Survey: Real Time Data-Derived Maps of Geomagnetic Disturbance over North America Moon Room, TA3, Building 40, RM N125

Rigler will discuss the theory, data, algorithmic implementation, and validation results for software suite that generates continuous maps of geomagnetic disturbance across North America using spherical elementary current systems, as well as its delivery and implementation at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

July 18
9:30 - 10:30am
Center for Space and Earth Sciences Town Hall Meeting CNLS Conference Room (TA-03, Bldg. 1690, Room 102)

Topics: CSES Portfolio Overview and 2017 CSES Call for Proposals (For FY18 new starts)

July 13
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar and CSES present: Nicolas Cowan, McGill University: The Climate and Habitability of Short-Period Planets Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Cowan will present recent highlights from his team's studies of so-called hot Jupiters. Cutting-edge analysis techniques and next-generation instruments should allow his team to extend their methods to temperate terrestrial planets orbiting nearby red dwarfs. In the coming decade, they will be able to determine which of these planets are, in fact, habitable and we will start to search them for signs of life.

July 13
10:00 - 11:00am
Space Science Seminar Series and CSES: J. R. Jokipii, University of Arizona: Beyond the Heliopause: Insights From Voyager 1 Moon Room, TA3, Building 40, RM N125

Jokipii will discuss models related to the observation that a number of transient disturbances, apparently propagating from the heliopause into the interstellar medium have caused observable effects on the galactic cosmic rays. I will also discuss briefly the observed turbulent fluctuations of the magnetic field beyond the heliopause, the proposed plasma depletion layer, and the question of momentum conservation at the heliopause.

July 10
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium and CSES: Dr. Sean W. Fleming, White Rabbit R&D, LLC, Oregon State Univ., and Univ. of British Columbia: Data Analytics Methods for Detection and Characterization of Climate Variability and Change Signals in Observational Water Resource Datasets Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

Fleming's talk will provide examples of how data science-based retrospective approaches using direct observational datasets can provide a necessary complement – a sort of ground truth, as it were – to predictive outcomes from process simulation models. He will focus on nonparametric statistical, information theoretic, and other forward-looking data analytics approaches, implemented and interpreted in such a way as to integrate or at least respect hydrologic system process knowledge, as opposed to strictly black-box approaches.

July 6
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar and CSES present: Daryl Haggard, McGill University: The Black Hole at the Heart of the Milky Way Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Haggard will review the status of Sgr A* monitoring campaigns from Chandra, Swift, Spitzer and the VLA, and recent Chandra coordination with the Event Horizon Telescope. He will also discuss how these observations might constrain models for Sgr A*'s variability, which range from tidal disruption of asteroids to gravitational lensing to collimated outflows to magnetic reconnection.

June 29
1:30 - 2:30pm
LA Astro Seminar and CSES present: Samuel Jones, LANL: Modelling stars near the electron-capture supernova limit Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Jones will review the current status of modelling the evolution of stars close to the electron-capture supernova limit, including the limitations of current models and some of the recent developments in trying to address them.

June 22
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar and CSES present: Edison Liang, Rice University: Astrophysical Applications of Relativistic Kinetic Shear Flows Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Liang will summarize recent PIC simulation results on relativistic kinetic shear flows and discuss their applications to spine-sheath jets of blazars and Gamma-Ray Bursts, and accretion flows near rapidly spinning black holes.

June 15
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar and CSES present: Veronica Dexheimer, Kent State University: Phase Transitions in Dense Matter Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Dexheimer will discuss the non-congruence of the quark deconfinement PT at high densities and/or temperatures relevant for heavy ion collisions, neutron stars, proto-neutron stars, supernova explosions and compact star mergers.

June 14
2:00 - 3:00pm
LA Astro Seminar and CSES present: Donald Willcox, Stony Brook University: Status of Recent Work for Type Ia Supernovae Progenitors: Hybrid C-O-Ne White Dwarfs, the Convective Urca Process, and Accelerated Reaction Networks Building 200 collab (TA-03, Building 0200, Room 115)

Willcox will present the results of multidimensional explosion simulations for these hybrid WDs using the FLASH code with the deflagration to detonation (DDT) paradigm. He will also discuss the goals and status of my ongoing work studying the convective Urca process in simmering, pre-supernovae WDs using 3-dimensional low-Mach hydrodynamics via the MAESTRO code. The talk will finally provide an overview of ongoing work to accelerate the integration of nuclear reaction networks on GPU devices for both MAESTRO and Castro, MAESTRO's sibling compressible hydrodynamics code.

June 7
2030 - 3:00pm
CSES presents: Don Q. Lamb, University of Chicago: SCC 1014, Unclassified

Lamb will focus on the use of validated FLASH simulations to design, execute, and interpret high energy density physics (HEDP) experiments carried out at Omega, NIF, and LMJ – the three highest-energy laser facilities in the world. He will first give a brief description of the HEDP capabilities of the FLASH code, including its ability to simulate diagnostics used in laser-driven experiments, and then discuss a number of HEDP experiments in which the Flash Center is playing a major role, including several that are led by scientists at LANL.

June 7
1:30 - 2:30pm
Space Science Seminar Series and CSES present: Antti A. Pulkkinen, NASA GSFC: Geomagnetically Induced Currents: Science, Engineering and Applications Readiness TA-03, Bldg. 40, Quantum Conference, Room N101

Pulkkinen will provide a broad overview of the current status and future challenges pertaining to the science, engineering and applications of the Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GIC) problem.

June 6
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Professor Junuthula Reddy, Texas A&M University: On Least-Squares Finite Element Models and Non-Local Mechanics Physics Auditorium (TA-3) Bldg. 215

The lecture will address two distinctly different topics: (1) least-squares finite element models of fluid flows and (2) non-local and non-classical continuum mechanics formulations that bring material length scales into effect.

May 11
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Matthew Baring, Rice University: Blazars: A Cosmic Forum for Studying Turbulence and Acceleration Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Baring will highlight how multiwavelength spectra including X-ray band and Fermi+TeV band data can be used to probe turbulent charge acceleration in mildly-relativistic, MHD shocks within blazar jets.

April 13
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Ed Daw, University of Sheffield: Gravitational Waves and Axions - Aspects of the Dark Universe Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Daw will describe the LIGO gravitational wave detectors, and the search for the axion, a dark matter candidate of increasing interest as the space for new electroweak physics is squeezed by ever-more-stringent null results.

April 3
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Prof. Nicholas Meskhidze, North Carolina State University: Effect of Atmospheric Dissolved Organic Carbon on the Iron Solubility in Seawater: Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

This talk will examine some previously unrecognized processes and elucidates the mechanisms that may affect aerosol sol-Fe on the timescale of minutes to days after deposition to the surface ocean. This talk will present i) novel experimental data that show that certain dissolved organic carbon species - found in deliquesced aerosols and cloud water - can considerably extend the lifetime of sol-Fe after deposition to the oceans, and ii) the results of numerical model simulations that show that in the presence of these organic acids in aerosol solution, over 95% of sol-Fe could bind with marine organic ligands and enter the oceanic DFe pool; this fraction reduces to ~ 15% for pure inorganic sol-Fe solution.

March 20
2:00 - 3:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Luke Johns, University of California - San Diego: Neutrinos and Nuclei in the Early Universe Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Johns will discuss the connection between neutrinos and nuclei in the early universe, emphasizing the leverage that the connection provides on physics beyond the Standard Model. An ongoing collaboration, with personnel stationed at LANL, UC San Diego, and elsewhere, is working at the frontier of this nuclear/particle/cosmology intersection. Johns will also give an overview of these research efforts.

March 16
12:30 - 1:30pm
LA Astro Seminar, Jonathan I. Katz, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Washington University: What's New in Fast Radio Bursts Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)


Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are not only the latest excitement in astrophysics, but are rapidly developing.


  • What can be inferred from the constant dispersion measure of the one repeating FRB? Does this contradict the required peak power?
  • Are bursts the result of a narrow but steady wandering beam, rather than sudden flashes?
  • Can electrostatic energy be stored in neutron star magnetospheres, and released in sudden bursts?
  • Are FRB the result of "dark" core collapse, making neutron stars without supernovae?
March 13
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, David Gutzler, University of New Mexico: Climate Change, Snowpack, and Water Resources in New Mexico Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

Presentation flyer (pdf)

March 7
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Prof. Kamini Singha, Colorado School of Mines: The Critical Role of Water in Critical Zone Science: An Exploration of Water Fluxes in the Earth’s Permeable Skin Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

Presentation flyer (pdf)

February 27
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Jonathan Zrake, Columbia University: Magnetic field dissipation in pulsar wind nebulae T-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Building 123, Room 121)

Zrake will discuss recent computational and analytic work that improves understanding of how magnetic energy dissipates in pulsar wind nebulae, and how they produce their radiation.

February 23
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Galen R. Gisler, LANL: Asteroid Threats Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Gisler will present a review of the current status of asteroid searches and the NNSA-NASA joint project on asteroid mitigation and will end with simulations of steroid-ocean impact that he has been performing with xRAGE.

February 14
10:30 - 11:30am
HEP/Cosmology Seminar, Matteo Fasiello, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics: LSS probes of Dark Energy T-Division Conference Room (TA-03, Building 123, Room 256)

Fasiello will briefly review the status of some of the most interesting proposals and then focus on LSS probes.

February 13
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Dr. Ben Livneh, University of Colorado - Boulder: Watershed Responses to Hydrologic Disturbances: Local, Regional, and National Perspectives Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

Presentation flyer (pdf)

February 13
2:00 - 3:00pm
HEP/Cosmology Seminar, Ema Dimastrogiovanni, Case Western Reserve University: Testing early Universe physics with upcoming observations Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Dimastrogiovanni will discuss how the microphysics of inflation may be tested in galaxy surveys through “fossil” signatures originating from squeezed primordial correlations.

February 9
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Prof. Pawan Kumar, University of Texas, Austin: The Mystery of Fast Radio Bursts, and its possible resolution Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Using very general arguments Kumar will show that the radio emission is coherent, the magnetic field strength associated with the source of these events should be 1014 Gauss or more, and the electric field is of order 1011 esu.

Kumar will also highlight recent work that magnetic reconnection is likely to be responsible for the strong electric field and the coherent radiation produced in these enigmatic events.

February 2
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Aycin Aykutalp, Georgia Institute of Technology: Black Hole Growth in the Early Universe Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Aykutalp will present results from cosmological radiation hydrodynamics simulations following the growth of direct collapse black holes including the X-ray irradiation from the central black hole and the distinct star formation and feedback models for the metal-free first stars and metal-enriched stars. Aykutalp will further highlight the importance of X-rays and their interactions particularly with metal-enriched gas on the formation and evolution of stellar populations.

January 31
1:10 - 3:00pm
Director’s Colloquium, Barbara Romanowicz, Professor and chair of Physics of the Earth’s Interior at UC Berkeley and Collège de France, Paris and Member, National Academy of Sciences: How global scale images inform our thinking about mantle dynamics Pete V. Domenici Auditorium. Talk is open to all Lab badge holders.

About Romanowics and summary of her talk (pdf)

January 26
11:00am - 12:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Jane Lixin Dai, University of Maryland: Tidal Disruption Events as a Probe of Super-Eddington Accretion Otowi Building, 2nd Floor, Side Room A&B

Dai will first show the observational evidence that a jetted tidal disruption event (TDE) Sw 1644 indeed exhibited signatures of super-Eddington accretion. She will also give a quick overview on TDE physics, and present theoretical calculations on what parameters of the black hole mass and stellar orbit can lead to fast disk assembly and super-Eddington accretion. Lastly, she will talk about ongoing general relativistic radiation magnetohydrodynamics simulations of super-Eddington accretion disks in the context of TDEs.

January 19, 2017
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Anna Kwa, UC Irvine: Searches for Dark Physics in the Sky: Two Possible Avenues for Detecting Dark Matter in Astrophysical Observations Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

In the first half of the seminar, Kwa will talk about indirect gamma-ray searches for evidence of weakly-interacting massive particle (WIMP) dark matter annihilating in dense astrophysical regions. For the last half of the seminar she will discuss atomic dark matter as an example of the broader class of self-interacting dark matter models.

January 19, 2017
11:00am - 12:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Alex Chen, Columbia University: PIC Simulations of the Twisted Magnetospheres of Magnetars ​Otowi Building, 2nd Floor, Side Room C

Chen will discuss the mechanism of magnetar activity with plasma simulations using the particle-in-cell (PIC) technique.

January 12, 2017
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Jirina R. Stone, University of Tennessee: Low Energy Nuclear Structure Modeling: Can it be improved? Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Stone will give a basic about the change between the nucleon-nucleon force in free space and in nuclear environments, the saturation property of the nuclear force and effects of the sub-nucleon (quark) structure of the nucleon. Selected classes of nuclear models, shell models, mean field models, microscopic-macroscopic and ab-initio models, will be discussed with emphasis on their regions of applicability. Finally, suggestions will be made for, at least partial, progress that can be made with the quark-meson coupling model, as reported in the recent publication.

December 16
LA Astro Seminar, Jonas Lippuner, CalTech: The origin of heavy elements: r-process nucleosynthesis in neutron star mergers T-DO Conf Room, TA-3, Bldg 123

Lippuner will discuss the origin of the elements with an emphasis on heavy elements, give an overview of the slow and rapid neutron capture processes (s- and r-process), briefly address the open question of the r-process site, and then describe recent nucleosynthesis results he has obtained with his reaction network code SkyNet.

December 15
LA Astro Seminar, Marius Eichler, TU Darmstadt: The Third r-Process Peak and the Origin of the p-Nuclei 92,94Mo and 96,98Ru Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Eichler will address the nucleosynthesis of the p-nuclei 92,94Mo and 96,98Ru in 2D core-collapse supernova simulations of a 11.2 solar mass and 17.0 solar mass star.

December 2
LA Astro Seminar, Emanuela (Ema) Dimastrogiovanni, Arizona State University: Testing early Universe physics with upcoming observations T-Div. Conf Room, TA-3, Bldg 123

Dimastrogiovanni will discuss how the microphysics of inflation may be tested in galaxy surveys through “fossil” signatures originating from squeezed primordial correlations.

December 1
LA Astro Seminar, Patrick Slane, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: Energetic Windbags Young and Old: The Evolving Story of Pulsar Wind Nebulae T-4 Conference Room (TA-03, Building 524, Room 105)

Slane will provide a broad overview of the structure and evolution of pulsar wind nebulae, with specific examples of observations extending from the radio band to very high energy gamma-rays, and of hydrodynamical studies of these nebulae evolving within their host supernova remnants.

December 1
LA Astro Seminar, Siyao Xu, Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University: Magnetic Field's travels from Lilliput to Brobdingnag: Turbulent Dynamo in a Partially Ionized Plasma JRO 1&2 Conference Rooms (TA-03, Building 207, Room 111 & 112)

Xu will will discuss theoretical work on the nonlinear turbulent dynamo and the resulting MHD turbulence in a partially ionized plasma. Xu will also briefly discuss the implications of the results on, e.g., primordial star formation, structure formation in molecular clouds, a new method of measuring magnetic field strength in molecular clouds, and cosmic ray propagation in the partially ionized interstellar medium.

November 29
LA Astro Seminar, Jonah Miller, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics : Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Relativistic Astrophysics T-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Building 123, Room 121)

Miller will briefly introduce numerical relativity and discuss his work on discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods, which he believes offer a mathematically beautiful and computationally efficient way to solve computational astrophysics problems.

November 17
LA Astro Seminar, Nilanjan Banik, University of Florida: BAO in the presence of significant redshift uncertainty Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Banik will present results of his analysis done on mocks known as Halogen samples, which were constructed to match the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Year 1 sample.

November 14
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Prof. Michael Whitney, University of Connecticut: Including Estuary Processes in Earth System Models Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

Whitney will discuss development of and results for an estuary box model applied to the Community Earth System Model.

Presentation flyer (pdf)

November 3
LA Astro Seminar, Parviz Ghavamian, Towson University: Balmer-Dominated Supernova Remnants and the Physics of Collisionless Shocks Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Ghavamian will describe some of the latest results in the study of Balmer-dominated shocks, including how the Balmer line spectra can provide a sensitive probe of the physics of electron-ion temperature equilibration.

October 27
LA Astro Seminar, Emil Mottola, T-2: Scalar Gravitational Waves in the Effective Theory of Gravity Research Park (TA-03, Bldg. 4200, Conference Room 203 A&B)

Abstract (pdf)

October 20
CSES Presentation, Evan Grohs, University of San Diego: Towards a High Precision Treatment of Neutrino Cosmology Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Grohs' talk will focus on the epoch when the neutrinos decouple from the thermal plasma and the numerical models of the weak, strong, and electromagnetic reactions between the constituents of the early universe.

Presentation flyer (pdf)

October 17
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Dr. W. Matt Jolly, U.S. Forest Service: Exploring spatial and temporal connections between climate, vegetation dynamics and wildland fire potential EES-DO Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 215, Room 275)

Jolly discusses a new theory of live fuel flammability variations that integrates both physical and plant physiological processes to explain seasonal ignitability variations in live and dead fuels.

Presentation flyer (pdf)

October 13
LA Astro Seminar, Roseanne M. Cheng, Center for Astrophysical Sciences, Johns Hopkins University: Developing Numerical Tools for Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Cheng will showcase a set of numerical tools for simulating the tidal disruption of a star by a black hole.

October 11
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Prof. Hajo Eicken, University of Alaska Fairbanks: Responding to rapid Arctic change – Closing the gap between desired outcomes and Arctic system science MSL Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 1698)

How can the research community work most effectively with the peoples of the Arctic and a wider circle of stakeholders in supporting response actions to such rapid Arctic change?

In his presentation, Eicken will outline specific challenges deriving from this overarching question, in particular as they relate to the types of prediction and observing systems required to meet stakeholder information needs.

Presentation flyer (pdf)

October 6
LA Astro Seminar, Bill Myers: What's an Analemma? An introduction to celestial navigation for prospective open ocean sailors or a little cultural broadening for the rest of us. Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Myers, retired LBL physicist, ocean sailor with 19 Pacific Ocean crossings and navigation prize winner, explains how the position of the sun at noon can be used to determine latitude and longitude.

October 5
Giday WoldeGabriel, George Buthrie and Jeff Heikoop, EES: Rare Earth Elements in Coals and Coal-Byproducts: Prospecting for Domestic Unconventional Strategic Mineral Resources EES-DO Conference (Ta-03, Bldg. 215, Rm)

The presentation will highlight background information on REEs+Y, preliminary studies at LANL, and ongoing national efforts to develop efficient extraction methods.

Abstract (pdf)

October 4
LA Astro Seminar, Savvas Koushiappas, Brown University: Dark matter searches and cosmological questions T-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Building 123, Room 121)

Koushiappas will discuss details of the indirect search in the context of current experimental efforts. In addition, he will discuss the cosmological effects of dark matter decays and how one can use these to make predictions for a next generation of cosmological probes.

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