This Week in Science – March 7 – 11, 2016

Monday, March 7

Psychology Allport Award Speaker
Your brain on music: Exploring the relationships between music and diverse cognitive functions.  
Dr. Belfi ’10, Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Iowa, and is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at New York University.
7:00 p.m., Regents Hall 150

MSCS Research Seminar”
Combinatorics of standard Young tableaux
Michael Chmutov, NSF postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota.
Standard Young tableaux are elementary, combinatorial objects which arise naturally in abstract algebra (specifically in representation theory of the permutation groups). We will discuss two interesting results; one is the hook-length formula which allows us to compute the number of standard Young tableaux, and the other is the bijection between permutations and pairs of standard Young tableaux called the Robinson-Schensted correspondence. There are no prerequisites for this talk since the statements are completely elementary, however having had a group theory course may help with the motivation.
3:30pm, RNS 300 (3:15 cookies and conversation)

Tuesday, March 8

No Seminars

Wednesday, March 9

No Seminars

Thursday, March 10

No Seminars

Friday, March 11

Chemistry Seminar: Non-equilibrium processes:  Novel techniques for highly efficient combustion and the role of laser diagnostics in providing physical insight
Dr. James MichaelAssistant Professor, Iowa State University, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Non-equilibrium processes play important roles in processes ranging from chemical processing to plasma-assisted combustion and control.  Common themes among these processes include the importance of the disparate timescales involved, the role of excited-state species, and multiphase interactions.  This talk focuses on several novel approaches of plasma-assisted combustion and the non-equilibrium dynamics involved.  Plasma-assisted combustion offers the potential to expand the operating ranges of internal combustion and propulsion devices with efficient, tailored deposition of energy while improving efficiency.  Several techniques are discussed: (1) the interaction of pulsed microwave radiation with hydrocarbon flame fronts, (2) ignition via strong coupling between low intensity microwaves and ultrafast laser-generated ionization, and (3) enhanced combustion rates in solid propellants through coupling with alkali-metal generated ionization.  Direct plasma generation in these environments allows ultra-lean combustion for increased engine efficiency, as well as improved combustion control for gas and solid-phase combustion applications.  In studying these non-equilibrium environments, linear and non-linear laser diagnostics are powerful tools allowing direct interrogation of the thermodynamic state.  These techniques have led to improved understanding of underlying physical mechanisms common to non-equilibrium and multiscale phenomena, including turbulent combustion and plasma-enhanced processes.  Applications and developments of these laser spectroscopic techniques are discussed in relation to the understanding of energy transfer in non-equilibrium environments.
3:00 p.m. refreshments,  seminar will begin at 3:15 p.m., RNS 310