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Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series Information


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An Electrostatic Analogy for Chameleon and Symmetron Gravity

Tuesday March 27, 2018
2:00 pm

 Presenter:  Dr. Kate Brown (Hamilton College)
 Series:  Nuclear, Particle, Astroparticle and Cosmology (NUPAC) Seminars
 Abstract:  The chameleon and symmetron scalar fields are two models of dark energy (or scalar-tensor models of gravity) which are popular in part because they can be studied in terrestrial and satellite experiments. In general the field dynamics is complicated but in certain circumstances, including those relevant to terrestrial experiments, the field profile is determined by Laplace's equation. Thus both the chameleon and symmetron are 'electrostatic analogs' and solutions developed in the context of electrostatics can be exported to these models. Doing so reveals several interesting features of each model that have no counterpart in Newtonian gravity, including a 'lightning rod' effect that can cause a pointed object to torque to align itself with the ambient field, and a repulsive force between a test mass and its image mass.
 Host:  Dinesh Loomba
 Location:  Room 190, Physics & Astronomy

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