Events

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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2021 Apr 12

Monday Colloquium: Trevor David Rhone (RPI) "Data-driven studies of magnetic van der Waals materials"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom
When the dimensionality of an electron system is reduced from three dimensions to two dimensions, new behavior emerges. This has been demonstrated in gallium arsenide quantum Hall systems since the 1980’s, and more recently in van der Waals (vdW) materials, such as graphene. The discovery of vdW materials with intrinsic magnetic order in 2017 has given rise to new avenues for the study of emergent phenomena in reduced dimensions. These materials are at the forefront of condensed matter physics research. How many vdW magnetic materials exist in nature? What are their properties? How do these... Read more about Monday Colloquium: Trevor David Rhone (RPI) "Data-driven studies of magnetic van der Waals materials"
2021 Apr 05

Monday Colloquium: Janet Conrad (MIT) "Of Elephants and Oscillations"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

This talk explores next steps in the search for new physics in the neutrino sector. The discovery of neutrino oscillations has changed the way we think about our model of particle physics. We must now incorporate tiny neutrino masses into our theory, as well as consider the possibility of other unexpected properties. You might ask what a tiny mass particle has to do with elephants? To learn this, you need to come to the colloquium.

2021 Mar 08

Monday Colloquium: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (University of New Hampshire) "Large Scale Structure from Microphysics"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

In this talk, I will describe my efforts to understand the nature of the mysterious dark matter. I provide an overview of the general problem and then describe my current approach to it, which is to characterize the behavior of a proposed dark matter particle, the axion. I will give some insight into how I am using a range of tools -- model building, computation, and high energy astrophysics -- to get at the basic question of “what is the statistical mechanics of axion dark matter?” I will discuss work that shows that the self-interaction should not be ignored and that the sign of the...

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2020 Nov 30

Monday Colloquium: Lara Benfatto (Sapienza University of Rome) "Manipulating matter with light: the case of superconductors"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom
Broken-symmetry states in condensed matter offer the unprecedented opportunity to observe collective electronic modes behaving as particle-like excitations. Superconductors offers a plethora of collective excitations connected to amplitude (Higgs) and phase (Goldstone) excitations of the superconducting order parameter, and their combinations in multiband superconductors (as the Leggett mode). However, their effect remains elusive in standard equilibrium spectroscopy, due to the weak coupling to light in ordinary conditions [1]. On the other hand, strong THz pulses trigger non-linear optical... Read more about Monday Colloquium: Lara Benfatto (Sapienza University of Rome) "Manipulating matter with light: the case of superconductors"
2020 Nov 16

Monday Colloquium: David Bensimon (CNRS & UCLA) "Temperature Independence of Somitogenesis and Critical Slowing Down"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom
Somitogenesis, the segmentation of the antero-posterior axis in vertebrates, is thought to result from the interactions between a genetic oscillator and a posterior-moving determination wavefront. The segment (somite) size is set by the product of the oscillator period and the velocity of the determination wavefront. Surprisingly, while the segmentation period can vary by a factor three between 20°C and 31°C, the somite size is constant. How this temperature independence is achieved is a mystery that I will address in my talk. Using RT-qPCR we showed that the endogenous fgf8 mRNA... Read more about Monday Colloquium: David Bensimon (CNRS & UCLA) "Temperature Independence of Somitogenesis and Critical Slowing Down"
2020 Nov 09

Monday Colloquium: Joe Checkelsky (MIT) "Synthesizing “Toy Model” Quantum Materials"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

Connecting theoretical models for exotic quantum states to real materials is a key goal in quantum material synthesis. Among such theoretical models, a “toy model” is one made deliberately simplistic in order to demonstrate new physical concepts and their underlying mechanisms. We describe here our recent progress in experimentally realizing “toy model” quantum materials which, in analogy to their theoretical counterparts, are designed to capture simple model systems by lattice and superlattice design. Examples include the realization of massless and infinitely massive electrons in...

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2020 Nov 02

Monday Colloquium: Jesse Thaler (MIT) "Collision Course: Particle Physics meets Machine Learning"

4:30pm

Location: 

Zoom

Modern machine learning has had an outsized impact on many scientific fields, and particle physics is no exception. What is special about particle physics, though, is the vast amount of theoretical and experimental knowledge that we already have about many problems in the field. In this colloquium, I present two cases studies involving quantum chromodynamics (QCD) at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), highlighting the fascinating interplay between theoretical principles and machine learning strategies. First, by cataloging the space of all possible QCD measurements, we (re)discovered...

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