Monday Colloquium

2021 Nov 15

Monday Colloquium: Jean Philippe Bouchaud (CFM)

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

Crises & Tipping Points: From Statistical Physics to Social Sciences

As P. W. Anderson wrote in 1972 in his article "More is Different", the behavior of large assemblies of individuals (/molecules) cannot be understood by extrapolating the behavior of isolated individuals (/molecules). On the contrary, completely new behaviors, sometimes spectacular and difficult to anticipate, can appear and require new ideas and methods. The purpose of statistical physics is precisely to try to understand these collective phenomena, which do not belong to any of the underlying elementary...

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2021 Nov 08

Monday Colloquium: Paul McEuen (Cornell University)

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom
Microscopic Robots?!
 
Can we build microscopic robots? Autonomous ambulatory creatures too small to be resolved by the naked eye? The brains are not the problem: a modern IC has tens of thousands of transistors in the area occupied by a paramecium. But two major components are missing: electronic actuators that can operate as the robot’s micro-appendages, and a power/communication system for getting energy/info in and out. In this talk, I will discuss work by an interdisciplinary team at Cornell to create tiny robots. We first created OWiCs, or...
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2021 Feb 22

Monday Colloquium: Isaac Chuang (MIT) "Grand unification of quantum algorithms"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

Modern quantum algorithms with provable speedups originate historically from three disparate origins: simulation, search, and factoring. Today, we can now understand and appreciate all of these as being instances of a single framework, recently created by Gilyen, Su, Low, and Weibe, based on two key ideas: (1) the transformability of singular values by quantum evolution, and (2) the nonlinearity available to process two-level quantum signals. This remarkable unified framework opens doors to new quantum algorithms, provides opportunities for quantum advantage, and introduces questions...

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2021 Mar 15

Monday Colloquium: Maria Fyta (Universitat Stuttgart) "Nanometer-sized holes opened in materials for molecular detection"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

Nanometer-sized holes can be opened in materials in order to detect single molecules, sequence DNA and RNA or store information. Using computational means at various spatiotemporal levels, we attempt to understand the characteristics of nanopores in different materials in order to tune their detection efficiency and biosensitivity. On top of these, Machine Learning approaches have allowed us to interpret relevant experimental data and provide us with predictions on the identity of the molecules threading the pores. We discuss what we have learned so far and the relevance of our work in...

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2021 Mar 29

Physics Monday Colloquium: Kang-Kuen Ni (Harvard University) "Bringing Together Quantum Chemistry and Physics with Ultracold Molecules"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

Advances in quantum manipulation of molecules bring unique opportunities, including the use of molecules to search for new physics, harnessing molecular resources for quantum engineering, and exploring chemical reactions in the ultra-low temperature regime. In this talk, I will focus on the latter two topics. First, I will introduce our effort on building single ultracold molecules with full internal and motional state control in optical tweezers for future quantum simulators and computers. This work allows us to go beyond the usual paradigm of chemical reactions that proceed via...

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2021 Apr 19

Monday Colloquium: Martin Bazant (MIT) "Beyond Six Feet: A Guideline to Control Indoor Airborne Transmission of COVID-19"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

The current revival of the American economy is being predicated on social distancing, notably the Six-Foot Rule of the CDC, which offers little protection from pathogen-bearing aerosol droplets sufficiently small to be mixed through an indoor space. The importance of indoor airborne transmission of COVID-19 is now widely recognized, but no simple safety guideline has been proposed to protect against it. We here build upon models of airborne disease transmission to derive a guideline that bounds the ``cumulative exposure time", the product of the number of occupants and their time...

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