List of Past CTC Theory Lunches : 01-Jan-2001 to 01-Jun-2001

Date:   Tuesday 27-Feb-01
Speaker:   Dan Lathrop
Title:   Effects of turbulence and Lorentz forces on dynamo action: liquid sodium experiments at UMCP

Date:   Tuesday 06-Mar-01
Speaker:   Tilak Hewagama
Title:   High Resolution Thermal-IR Signatures of Extra-Solar Planets

Date:   Tuesday 13-Mar-01
Speaker:   Alice Harding
Title:   Gamma-Ray Pulsars and Unidentified EGRET Sources

Date:   Tuesday 27-Mar-01
Speaker:   Steve Alexander
Title:   On the obliquity of Uranus AND the possibility of systems of moons about extrasolar giant planets

Date:   Tuesday 03-Apr-01
Speaker:   Michael Mumma
Title:  A Current View of Organic Volatiles in Comets

Cometary nuclei are orts of the early solar system; they contain key information from the time when planets were forming, and even earlier - some contain material from the natal interstellar cloud. The most easily modified forms of matter - the ices, low-temperature-refractory organics, and refractory minerals - hold special significance for understanding processes during evolution from the natal cloud core. Comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp were the first bright comets to be studied with powerful new astronomical facilities. A wealth of new information on cometary organic composition was obtained, including the discovery of symmetric hydrocarbons (methane, ethane, acetylene) by infrared spectroscopy and of six new molecular species at radio wavelengths. Since then, larger telescopes (e.g. Keck) and even more powerful instruments (e.g. NIRSPEC) have become available, permitting in-depth investigation of much fainter comets. Six comets from the Oort cloud reservoir (including the unusual organic composition of the disrupted comet LINEAR) will be compared and discussed in the context of heterogeneity in the giant-planets' nebular region. Implications for future studies of Oort-cloud and Jupiter-family comets will be mentioned.

Date:   Tuesday 10-Apr-01
Speaker:   Andrew Young
Title:   Recent Chandra Observations

Date:   Tuesday 17-Apr-01
Speaker:   Michael Corcoran
Title:  Eta Carinae: X-raying a Stellar Monster

Eta Carinae is one of the most massive stars in the Galaxy, and once, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. An eruption of the star in the mid-19th century produced a thick veil of dust and gas which currently hides the star from direct view. However, we can use the star's own X-ray emission to peer through this veil. Using X-ray data from a 4-year campaign with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer to monitor Eta Carinae's X-ray variability, and using new x-ray images and spectra from the Chandra X-ray observatory, I'll discuss how the X-ray data impacts our current understanding of the real nature of Eta Carinae.

Date:   Tuesday 24-Apr-01
Speaker:   Harold Weaver
Title:   The Demise of Comet LINEAR

Date:   Tuesday 08-May-01
Speaker:   Jennifer Wiseman
Title:   Protostellar Envelopes and Jets

Date:   Monday 14-May-01
Speaker:   Peter Teuben
Title:   The Black Art of Velocity Fields and Rotation Curves

Date:   Tuesday 15-May-01
Speaker:   Michael Shay
Title:   The Emerging Physics of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

Date:   Tuesday 22-May-01
Speaker:   Jim Chiang
Title:   Thermal Comptonization and Disk Reprocessing in AGNs

Date:   Tuesday 29-May-01
Speaker:   Ed Colbert
Title:   Intermediate-luminosity X-ray Objects and Intermediate-mass Black Holes

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