Colloquia 2017 Fall

  • 9/7/2017
    • Speaker  Nick Hutzler
    • Affiliation Caltech
    • Title Physics Beyond the Standard Model with Polar Molecules
    • Abstract  Precision measurements in polar molecules are extremely sensitive probes of symmetry violating Physics Beyond the Standard Model.  These experiments are already exploring the TeV-scale in table-top experiments, and have many orders of magnitude of sensitivity remaining to be realized.  I will discuss some recent advances and ideas in the field that will extend these searches to the PeV-scale, as well as into sectors not currently probed with molecule experiments, such as the Hadronic sector.
  • 9/14/2017
    • Speaker Paul Cottle (discussion leader)
    • Affiliation FSU
    • Title The Future of Introductory-Level Teaching in the FSU Physics Department:  A Discussion
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  • 9/21/2017  - No colloquium - Physics Welcome Party
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  • 9/28/2017
    • Speaker  Wenshan Cai
    • Affiliation  Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Title  Manipulating Light Waves with Optical Metamaterials
    • Abstract  Nanostructured metals have provided us with a unique opportunity to manipulate light in an unconventional manner. Collectively, subwavelength metallic structures serve as building blocks for optical metamaterials with properties that were not observed or even speculated about in the past. This is a very exciting frontier in optics and materials science, with the promising goal of yielding better solar cells, faster computer chips, ultrasensitive biochemical detectors, and even invisible devices. While metamaterials are commonly viewed as artificially-structured media capable of realizing exotic electromagnetic properties, we can drive beyond this limited vision and explore the use of optical metamaterials as a generalizable platform for optoelectronic information technology. In this talk I will start with a general description of metamaterials in the conventional linear regime, include experimental demonstrations of the first magnetic metamaterial across the entire visible spectrum, and the world’s first negative-index material at optical frequencies. In the second half of the talk I will steer towards nonlinear light-matter interactions in optical metamaterials, including the electrically induced harmonic generation and optical rectification of light in a perfect metamaterial absorber, the nonlinear spectroscopy and imaging of a chiral metamaterial, and the backward phase-matching in an optical metamaterial where the fundamental and frequency-doubled waves possess opposite indices of refraction.
  • 10/5/2017
    • Speaker Klaus Peters
    • Affiliation GSI
    • Title Studies of Hadron Structure and Dynamics with the PANDA Experiment at FAIR
    • Abstract  The PANDA (antiProton ANihilation in DArmstadt) collaboration at FAIR is a cooperation of more than 400 scientists from 19 countries. Its central goal is the elementary understanding of hadrons using the power of an antiproton beam. The vast difference in mass between the proton and its constituents is a manifestation of the importance of understanding the binding among quarks in the confinement regime. Exotic hadrons with their non- conventional structure, such as multi-quarks, hybrids, and glueballs will reveal uncharted properties of this binding. Proton form-factor measurements, deep virtual Compton scattering and the wide area of quark(-spin) dynamics as well as the behavior of hadrons inside nuclear media are significantly complementary aspects to understand the very nature of hadrons and are vital pieces of the experimental program of PANDA as well. Thus, open and hidden charm, lepton pairs and radiative channels, hidden strangeness and hyperons are commensurable probes to explore the imminent questions among bound states of QCD. The PANDA experiment features a modern multipurpose detector with excellent tracking, calorimetry and particle identification capabilities. Together with the high-quality antiproton beam at HESR, unprecedented annihilation rate, and sophisticated event filtering, it will be ideally suited to deliver decisive contributions to this field.
  • 10/12/2017
    • Speaker Eduardo Mucciolo
    • Affiliation University of Central Florida
    • Title  New Developments and Ideas at the Interface between Physics and Computer Science
    • Abstract 
      For several decades, important problems in computer science have attracted the interest of theoretical physicists because of their close connection to statistical mechanics, as well as to more fundamental questions such as the role of information in the physical universe. On the practical side, this has led to the development and application of a number of physics-inspired methods to tackle problems in areas such as neural networks, artificial intelligence, compressed sensing, constrained satisfiability, to name a few. In addition, physics concepts such as entanglement are starting to make their way into computer science. The recognition that quantum superposition and entanglement can be used to speed up certain types of computations has motivated scientists to continue exploring ideas at the interface between physics and computer science. In this colloquium, I will provide some historical background and present some new developments in this area. I will focus on two aspects: the connection between complexity, entanglement, and irreversibility in classical and quantum circuits, and how the mapping of complex logic functions onto a special class of lattice models (the so-called vertex models) opens up a new way to solve optimization problems with hardware that is already available. I will close with some recent results from our group on the application of tensor networks to computational problems.
       
  • 10/19/2017
    • Speaker  Mark Goforth
    • Affiliation Goforth Scientific, Inc.

    • Title Data Analytics for Sensemaking
    • Abstract After graduating in the mid-90’s with a high energy physics degree, employment opportunities were scarce in the field with the shutdown of the Super-conducting Super Collider project.  The internet boom combined with the explosion of data sources and cloud technologies changed data analytics dramatically in the next 20 years.  I will share with you how I transitioned to data analytics and created a small startup in the Washington, DC area spanning multiple administrations and recessions.  I will discuss some of the projects I’ve worked on, current methodologies, and recent challenges for putting streaming data together and extracting value from it.
  • 10/26/2017
    • Speaker  Steven Girvin
    • Affiliation  Yale
    • Title Quantum Error Correction:  
      Building a (Nearly) Perfect Quantum Computer from Imperfect Parts
    • Abstract 

      A revolution is underway in the construction of ‘artificial atoms’ out of superconducting electrical circuits.  These macroscopic ‘atoms’ have quantized energy levels and can emit and absorb quanta of light (in this case microwave photons), just like ordinary atoms. The large size of these ‘atoms’ yields remarkably strong atom-photon coupling and has given us the ability to completely control and measure the quantum state of the electromagnetic field in a cavity at the level of individual microwave photons.

      In particular, it is now possible to create record large ‘Schrödinger cat’ photon states and cats delocalized and entangled between two boxes.   In addition to being used to study quantum mechanics at macroscopic scales, these cat states form a novel but highly successful basis for quantum error correction in a ‘photonic’ quantum computer.  This talk will present an elementary introduction to the field as well as an overview of recent progress.

  • 11/2/2017
    • Speaker Mark Robbins
    • Affiliation Johns Hopkins
    • Title A “Rough” View of Friction and Adhesion
    • Abstract Friction affects many aspects of everyday life and has played a central role in technology dating from the creation of fire by rubbing sticks together to current efforts to make nanodevices with moving parts. The friction "laws" we teach today date from empirical relationships observed by da Vinci and Amontons centuries ago. However, understanding the microscopic origins of these laws remains a challenge. While Amontons said friction was proportional to load and independent of area, most modern treatments assume that friction is proportional to the real area of contact where atoms on opposing surfaces are close enough to repel. Calculating this area is complicated because elastic interactions are long range and surfaces are rough on a wide range of scales. In many cases they can be described as self-affine fractals from nanometer to millimeter scales. The talk will first show that this complex problem has a simple solution. Dimensional analysis implies a linear relation between real contact area and load that can explain both Amontons' laws and many exceptions to them. Next the talk will explain why we can't climb walls like spiderman even though the attractive interactions between atoms on our finger tips should provide enough force to support our weight. The talk will conclude by considering how forces in the contact area give rise to friction. Friction shows surprisingly counterintuitive and complex behavior in nanometer to micrometer scale contacts and only a few explanations are consistent with macroscopic measurements.
  • 11/9/2017
    • Speaker Raju Venugopalan
    • Affiliation Brookhaven National Laboratory
    • Title How Glasma evolves to Quark-Gluon Plasma: turbulent attractor to perfect fluid
    • Abstract Collisions of ultrarelativistic heavy nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) in the US and at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe create ephemeral droplets of Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP), the hottest matter on earth, with temperatures up to 5 trillion Kelvin. Experiments at RHIC and the LHC provide strong evidence that the QGP flows briefly as a nearly perfect fluid, with very little resistance to its motion. After an introduction to the QGP and its properties, we fill focus on its primordial state, the Glasma--a state of highly occupied, strongly correlated gluons--and describe some of its remarkable properties. One of these is that the hot fluid may be a turbulent attractor identical to similarly prepared cold atomic gases. This suggests that the hottest and coldest matter created on earth may flow similarly. Another remarkable property is that of the role of topology in such fluids. In particular, we will outline how off-equilibrium topological “sphaleron" transitions generate an anomalous Chiral Magnetic current, with observable consequences. Finally, we will sketch how even smaller sized systems such as high multiplicity proton-proton and proton-nucleus collisions can provide deeper insight into the thermalization of the Glasma into the Quark-Gluon Plasma.
  • 11/16/2017
    • Speaker Dan Green
    • Affiliation Fermilab
    • Title Fermilab and the Foundations of the Standard Model
    • Abstract Fermilab has been a leader in the exploration of the Standard Model throughout its 50 year history. The past history will be reviewed. The present, with international collaboration between the U.S. and CERN, exploration beyond the SM (BSM) is the future with FNAL and DUNE and CERN and the high luminosity LHC (HL LHC).
  • 11/30/2017
    • Speaker Gabriela Gonzalez
    • Affiliation Louisiana State University
    • Title Searching for – and finding!  gravitational waves
    • Abstract  TBA
  • 12/7/2017  No colloquium - Christmas Party
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