Physics Friday Colloquia
Department of Physics organizes a series of colloquia. Friday's colloquium is open to everyone. It will be served tea/coffee and biscuits from 14:00. Talk starts at 14:15.
Time: Friday at 14:15 - 15:00
This year we have tried to put together a broad program of great speakers, so we do hope that you will join us regularly throughout this semester. Topics will include material science, nanoscience, life sciences and biophysics, atmospheric physics and more.
The Friday Colloquia are meant for a broad physics audience, so the speakers have been encouraged to make their talks accessible for groups varying from undergraduate students to professors of the various sections. We hope that you will find all of the colloquia interesting!
Friday colloquia for the spring 2015
The Industrial Revolution: A Phase Transition?
To understand the future of energy and the economy, we need to understand the past. As scientists and engineers strive towards a renewable energy future, it is not clear how this transition would impact future economic growth. In this context, energy-economic models may help assess possible scenarios, based on past events.
This talk will provide an insight into classical macro-economic models and how they are applied to understand economic history. Special focus will lie on the Industrial Revolution as the main historical event against which any macro-economic model should be validated. To this day, it remains a challenge to capture the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society by use of an appropriate model that reproduces various growth rates correctly.
The presentation is divided into three parts: i) a general discussion of economic models and their shortfalls from a physicists perspective, ii) a macro-economic model for the Industrial Revolution and iii) a brief note on why oil prices have fallen so dramatically over the last six months.
Note: The material presented under ii) is based on joint research with Mark Staley at TD Bank in Toronto, Canada.
Small scale wave coupling of the atmosphere
Although the atmospheric layer between 70 and 100 km is far above the Earth’s surface, it is important to better understand the processes that drive the weather in this region, as the inclusion of it in weather and climate models has been shown to improve forecast and prediction capabilities.
Small scale atmospheric waves couple this region, known as the ‘mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT)’, to the lower atmosphere, as changes in lower atmospheric winds modify the upward propagation of the waves: the wind direction and strength determines which waves can travel upward. It is these small scale waves that are the main driver of change in the MLT, and force the flow of air.
In this talk I will discuss direct observations of these small scale waves in the MLT over Trondheim, Norway. Data recorded over a full seasonal cycle were used to determine how changes in the winds below the MLT change the force these small waves exerted on the airflow in the MLT. This work demonstrated that the wind field gives a good indication of the direction and strength of the wave forcing on the MLT. These results can be used in the future to constrain weather and climate models so that they more accurately reflect the processes occurring in the whole atmosphere.