Inflation After WMAP
Professor Paul Steinhardt (Princeton University)
May 18, 2006
Roughly twenty-five years after they were first established, five of the six milestone tests of inflationary cosmology have been passed. This talk will explain how the tests emerge from the inflationary model; why the most recent test, the detection of a tilt reported by the WMAP team a few months ago, is perhaps the most important to date; and why the sixth milestone test that lies ahead is now especially critical. Having pointed to the successes, the talk will then turn to disturbing developments in inflationary theory in the intervening twenty-five years that suggest the need for a major revision or perhaps a radical alternative.
What Does Quantum Field Theory Have In Common With Quantitative Marketing of Automobiles?
Dr. Suzhou Huang (Ford Research and Advanced Engineering)
March 30, 2006
The speaker will use his personal experience of transitioning from a theoretical physicist to a marketing scientist to answer the question posed in the title. Similarities and differences in these seemingly very distinct professions will be contrasted from perspectives ranging from the general ability to translate a specific problem into mathematical equations to the techniques adopted to derive appropriate solutions. In addition, the audience will get a glimpse of what are involved in quantitative marketing in the auto industry: financial risk management, revenue management, used-car auction, etc.Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS) and Life After Graduate School seminar series
"Enceladus: An Active Ice World"
Professor John Spencer (Southwest Research Institute)
340 WH on Thursday September 27th from 4-5pm
The Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft has discovered ongoing geological activity on Saturn's small (500 km diameter) moon Enceladus, making it the only known active icy body in the solar system. Tidally-generated heat powers a series of jets of ice particles, water vapor, and other gases issue from warm fractures close to Enceladus' south pole. Much of the gas and dust is ejected at speeds exceeding Enceladus' escape velocity, producing a dust and gas cloud that dominates Saturn's middle magnetosphere. Many questions remain about the nature of the tidal heat engine, the mechanism that produces the jets, and in particular about the possibility of liquid water, and other requirements for life, in the interior of Enceladus. A series of eight more flybys of Enceladus by the richly-instrumented Cassini spacecraft may provide answers to some of these questions.