Colloquia History

Special Colloquium


Monday, February 24, 2020
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 203

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"Integrated x(2) photonics"


Professor Hong Tang , Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University
[Host: UVA Student Chapter of OSA/SPIE]
ABSTRACT:

The ability to generate and manipulate photons with high efficiency and coherence is of critical importance for both fundamental quantum optics studies and practical device applications. However mainstream integrated photonic platforms such as those based on silicon and silicon nitride lack the preferred cubic c(2) nonlinearity, which limits active photon control functionalities. In this talk, I will present integrated photonics based on aluminum nitride (AlN) and lithium niobite (LN), whose non-centrosymmetric crystal structures give rise to the strong second-order optical nonlinearity. Together with their low optical loss, the integrated AlN and LN photonics can provide enhanced c(2) photon-photon interactions to achieve high fidelity photon control, including on-chip parametric down-conversion, coherent light conversion, spectral-temporal shaping, and microwave-to-optical frequency conversions.

 

 

Special Colloquium


Wednesday, February 19, 2020
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Deconfinement on Axion Domain Walls"


Mohamed Anber , Lewis & Clark College
[Host: Peter Arnold]
ABSTRACT:

The general lore, according to effective field theory, is that one ignores the high energy degrees of freedom when studying low energy phenomena. For example, we usually do not need to know quantum chromodynamics (QCD) (the strong nuclear force) in order to study fluid mechanics! However, the existence of 't Hooft anomalies (subtle phases in the partition function) may signal non-trivial intertwining between the high and low energy scales. This assertion can be seen in axion physics; axion is a hypothetical particle that may play important roles in solving a few puzzles in the Universe.  After a brief introduction to QCD and axions, I show how this intertwining takes place on axion domain walls (DW). To this end, I first discuss a new class of 't Hooft anomalies that was recently identified, and then use the anomalies to argue that quarks are deconfined (liberated) on axion DW. This newly discovered phenomenon implies that non-trivial interplay between different scales happens on the walls. Further, I confirm this picture by performing explicit calculations in a toy model, which is argued to be continuously connected to the full-fledged QCD.

Special Colloquium


Wednesday, February 12, 2020
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"New connections between Quantum Field Theory and String Theory"


Christoph Uhlemann , University of Michigan
[Host: Peter Arnold]
ABSTRACT:

Quantum field theory is a universal language in theoretical physics, which provides the foundation for the Standard Model of elementary particles, underlies the physics of the early universe, and describes a wealth of interesting phenomena in condensed matter. But despite its great successes, fully understanding this important framework is still very much a work in progress. Many insights, especially into theories with strong interactions, have been obtained using mathematical tools from string theory, and this has reshaped our understanding of what quantum field theory is. In this talk I will discuss new connections between quantum field theory and string theory that provide access to a remarkable class of theories that would not have been believed to exist based on conventional lore.

Special Colloquium


Wednesday, February 5, 2020
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Neutrinos - Harbingers of New Physics"


Julian Heeck , University of California, Irvine
[Host: Peter Arnold]
ABSTRACT:

Neutrinos are the most elusive known elementary particles; they fly through all of us in vast numbers but are extremely difficult to detect. Immense progress has been made in analyzing their properties over the last decades, culminating in the surprising discovery of neutrino flavor oscillations. These neutrino oscillations imply that neutrinos have tiny but nonzero masses, which provides strong evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. With the increasing precision in neutrino measurements it has even become possible to use neutrinos as a tool to probe for further new physics, e.g. by studying how neutrinos scatter off electrons. In addition, neutrinos could prove uniquely helpful in the search for dark matter and provide complementary information to standard indirect detection signatures.

Special Colloquium


Wednesday, January 29, 2020
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Generating New Physics from Known Particles: Baryogenesis and Dark Matter from Mesons"


Gilly Elor , University of Washington
[Host: Peter Arnold]
ABSTRACT:

I will address two of the most fundamental questions about our Universe -- "What is the Universe made of?” and "How did complex structures come to exist?”. These translate into understanding the origins of dark matter and a mechanism to generate the asymmetry of matter over anti-matter in the early Universe. I will put these problems in context and then present a novel, testable, solution to both mysteries in the same framework.  The key idea is to rely on Standard Model particles called Beauty (B) Mesons which decay into dark matter particles. This mechanism has multiple testable signals. Some experimental searches are already under development, the results of which could yield the first hints of how nature chose to address these profound questions.

Colloquium
Friday, January 24, 2020
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"What do we learn about gravity & nuclear physics from gravitational waves?"


Kent Yagi , University of Virginia - Department of Physics
[Host: Bob Jones]
ABSTRACT:

A hundred years after the prediction by Einstein, gravitational waves were directly detected for the first time in 2015 by LIGO, which marked the dawn of gravitational-wave astronomy. Gravitational waves are sourced by astrophysical compact objects, such as black holes and neutron stars. Due to their extremely large gravitational field and compactness, they offer us natural testbeds to probe strong-field gravity and dense matter physics. In this talk, I first give an overview of the current status of gravitational-wave observations. Next, I explain how well one can test General Relativity, constrain the equation of state of nuclear matter and measure nuclear parameters with gravitational waves. I also comment on how one can combine gravitational-wave information with the recent measurement of a neutron star radius by an X-ray payload NICER to further probe nuclear physics.

Special Colloquium


Wednesday, January 22, 2020
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Quantum Open Systems and Field Theory"


Duff Neill , Los Alamos National Lab
[Host: Peter Arnold]
ABSTRACT:

When learning about the properties of a quantum mechanical system, for instance, the energy levels of its bound states, it is useful to think of the system as closed and isolated from any environment, though we know in any laboratory setting, all systems eventually will interact with an environment. However, we can often engineer such interactions to be weak, short-ranged, and controllable, so that the isolated approximation is a good one.

I will argue that in many physically relevant field theories, the long-time observables or states of the theory can only be defined in the context of a quantum open system, where we take into account the interactions between the system and the environment continually in the evolution of the system. This is because excitations of the field theory will inevitably create their own environment, that is, states we must trace over. Resumming these interactions with the self-created environment is necessary to give a convergent expansion for observables over all of phase-space.

Special Colloquium


Wednesday, January 15, 2020
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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ABSTRACT:

Microscopic quantum interactions between elementary particles control transport in macroscopic states of matter, such as in fluids and plasmas. In numerous states of interest, these microscopic interactions are strong, including in water, among electrons in graphene and in quark-gluon plasma — a state of nuclear matter that filled the early Universe and that is currently being recreated in particle colliders. While macroscopic theories describing the dynamics of such states, in particular, hydrodynamics (of fluids) and magnetohydrodynamics (of magnetized plasmas) have been partially understood, a full description of transport also requires a certain microscopic knowledge of its underlying quantum physics. After more than a century of striking advance in quantum theories, our theoretical understanding of these microscopic processes remains mostly limited to states with weak interactions. Recently, however, string theory also enabled explorations of strongly interacting states through the mathematical statement of holographic duality, which translates otherwise intractable problems into simpler analyses of black holes and gravitational waves.   

In my talk, I will first discuss new aspects of the macroscopic theory of hydrodynamics, focusing on the properties of the infinite series of higher-order corrections to the infamous Navier-Stokes equations. By using a novel concept of generalized global symmetries, which can encode the fact that the number of magnetic flux lines in Nature is conserved, I will then describe the construction of a new, comprehensive theory of magnetohydrodynamics. This reformulation has led to a number of general theoretical and experimental predictions for transport in magnetized plasmas. I will then move on to discuss the microscopic physics responsible for transport in strongly interacting states. Beginning with an introduction of holographic duality, this section will summarize holographic insights into the problem of the “unreasonable effectiveness of hydrodynamics” for the description of quark-gluon plasma. Then, I will discuss how the descriptions of microscopic physics and transport transition between strongly and weakly interacting pictures. Finally, by utilizing the mathematical structure behind our new theory of magnetohydrodynamics, a holographic dual of magnetized plasmas will be presented along with the first analyses of strongly interacting magnetized transport.

Colloquium
Friday, December 6, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Exploring the Nucleon Sea"


Jen-Chieh Peng , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
[Host: Simonetta Liuti]
ABSTRACT:

Direct experimental evidence for point-like constituents in the nucleons
was first found in the electron deep inelastic scattering (DIS) experiment.
The discovery of the valence and sea quark structures in the nucleons
inspired the formulation of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) as the gauge field
theory governing the strong interaction. A surprisingly large asymmetry
between the up and down sea quark distributions in the nucleon was observed
in DIS and the so-called Drell-Yan experiments. In this talk, I discuss the
current status of our knowledge on the flavor structure of the nucleon sea.
I will also discuss the progress in identifying the "intrinsic" sea
components in the nucleons. Future prospect for detecting some novel
sea-quark distributions will also be presented.

Joint Colloquium with Physics and Astronomy/NRAO


Friday, November 15, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 203

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"Multimessenger astronomy of compact binaries from the vantage point of computational gravity"


Prof. Vasileios Paschalidis , University of Arizona
[Host: Kent Yagi]
ABSTRACT:

We live in an exciting era where strong-field gravity has become a central pillar in the study of astrophysical sources.   For the first time in history the detection of gravitational waves and simultaneous electromagnetic signals (multimessenger astronomy) from the same source have the potential to solve some of the most long-standing problems in fundamental physics and astrophysics. Computational gravity plays an important role in the success of the multimessenger astronomy program. Using the vantage point of computational gravity, in this talk we will we focus on how observations of colliding neutron stars can teach us about the state of matter at densities greater than the nuclear density, and with a critical eye assess what we have learnt so far from the first observation of a binary neutron star (event GW170817). We will also discuss how multimessenger detection of collisions of binary black holes may inform us about their environments andthe nature of black holes.

Colloquium
Friday, November 8, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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ABSTRACT:

Advanced LIGO and Virgo have already detected black holes crashing into each other at least ten times. With their upgrades we anticipate a rate of about 1 gravitational-wave detection per week. More signals and higher precision will take the dream of testing Einstein's theory of gravity, general relativity, and make it a reality. But would we know a correction to Einstein's theory if we saw it? How do we make predictions from theories beyond GR? And do current numerical relativity simulations have enough precision that we could be confident in any potential discrepancy between observations and predictions? I will discuss (i) how to perform simulations in beyond-GR theories of gravity, and (ii) how numerical relativity simulations need to improve to be ready for the precision frontier of gravitational wave astrophysics.

 

Colloquium
Friday, November 1, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Studying the stars here on earth: Experimental investigations of the nuclear equation-of-state "


Sherry Yennello , Texas A&M University
[Host: Simonetta Liuti]
ABSTRACT:

Heavy-ion collisions can produce nuclear material over a range of densities and proton fractions to study the nuclear equation-of-state. These measurements are enabled by accelerating nuclei to – in some cases – GeV energies and detecting the fragments that are produced from the collisions.  The detectors are multi-detector arrays capable of measuring dozens of particles simultaneously from a single collision.  Data rates can range up to many hundreds of collisions per second. One can either explore the characteristics of the individual fragments that are produced, often extracting particle ratios or double ratios, or correlations between the fragments – in particular transverse collective flow.  From very low density to about three times normal nuclear density measurements have been made of the density dependence of the asymmetry energy.  I will present an overview of how these measurements have been made and the constraints they have set on the nuclear equation-of-state.

Colloquium
Friday, October 25, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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ABSTRACT:

We are in the midst of a second quantum revolution fueled by “quantumness” of physical systems and the sophisticated measurement devices or detectors to produce and characterize these exotic systems. Thus, characterization of quantum states and the detectors is a key task in optical quantum science and technology. The Wigner quasi-probability distribution function provides such a characterization. In this talk, I present our recent results on quantum state tomography of a single-photon Fock state using photon-number-resolving measurements using superconducting transition-edge sensor [1]. We directly probe the negativity of the Wigner function in our raw data without any inference or correction for decoherence, which is also an important indicator of the “quantum-only” nature of a physical system. For the second part of the talk, we discuss a method to characterize quantum detectors by experimentally identifying the Wigner functions of the detector positive-operator-value-measures (POVMs), a set of hermitian operators completely describing the detector [2]. The proposed scheme uses readily available thermal mixtures and probes the Wigner function point-by-point over the entire phase space from the detector’s outcome statistics. In order to make the reconstruction robust to the experimental noise, we use techniques from convex quadratic optimizations.

References
1. R. Nehra, A. Win, M. Eaton, R. Shahrokhshahi, N. Sridhar, T. Gerrits,A. Lita, S. W. Nam, and O. Pfister, “State-independent quantum state tomography by photon-number-resolving measurements,” Optica 6,1356–1360 (2019). 2. R. Nehra and K. Valson Jacob (2019), “Characterizing quantum detectors by Wigner functions,” [arXiv:1909.10628].
 

Colloquium
Friday, October 4, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Ferroelectric Polarons, Belgian Waffles, and Principles for “Perfect” Semiconductors"


Professor Xiaoyang Zhu , Columbia University
[Host: Seunghun Lee]
ABSTRACT:

Lead halide perovskites have been demonstrated as high performance materials in solar cells and light-emitting devices. These materials are characterized by coherent band transport expected from crystalline semiconductors, but dielectric responses and phonon dynamics typical of liquids.  Here we explain the essential physics in this class of materials based on their dielectric functions and dynamic symmetry breaking on nano scales. We show that the dielectric function in the THz region may lead to dynamic and local ordering of polar nano domains by an extra electron or hole, resulting a quasiparticle which we call a ferroelectric large polaron, a concept similar to solvation in chemistry. Compared to a conventional large polaron, the collective nature of polarization in a ferroelectric large polaron may give rise to order(s)-of-magnitude larger reduction in the Coulomb potential. We show that the shape of a ferroelectric polaron resemble that of a Belgian waffle. Using two-dimensional coherent phonon spectroscopy, we directly probe the energetics and local phonon responses of the ferroelectric large polarons. We find that that electric field from a nascent e-h pair drives the local transition to a hidden ferroelectric order on picosecond time scale.  The ferroelectric or Belgian waffle polarons may explain the defect tolerance and low recombination rates of charge carriers in lead halide perovskites, as well as providing a design principle of the “perfect” semiconductor for optoelectronics.

Colloquium
Friday, September 13, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Quantum states, walks, tiles, and tensor networks"


Israel Klich , University of Virginia - Physics
[Host: Bob Jones]
ABSTRACT:

A major challenge of physics is the complexity of many-body systems. While true for classical systems, the difficulty is exasperated in quantum systems, due to entanglement between system components and thus the need to keep track of an exponentially large number of parameters. In particular, this complexity places a challenge to numerical methods such as quantum Monte Carlo and tensor networks. Here, exactly solvable models are of crucial importance:  we use these to test numerical procedures, to develop intuition, and as a starting point for approximations.

In this talk, I will explain our current understanding of a new solvable "walk" model, the area deformed Motzkin model. The model shows that entanglement may be more acute than previously thought, in particular, it features a novel quantum phase transition between a non-entangled phase and extensively entangled “rainbow” phase. Most remarkably, the model motivated the construction of a new tensor network, providing, after many years, the first example for an exact tensor network description of a critical system. Finally, I will remark on open problems, and on exciting connections to other fields such as the notion of holography in field theory, and a famous problem in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics.

Colloquium
Friday, September 6, 2019
2:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Neutron stars droplets and the quarks within"


Professor Or Hen , MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
[Host: Nilanga Liyanage]
ABSTRACT:

Neutron stars are one of the densest strongly-interacting many-body systems in our universe. A main challenge in describing the structure and dynamics of neutron stars steams from our limited understanding of the nuclear interaction at high-densities (i.e. short-distances) and its relation to the underlaying quark-gluon substructure of nuclei.

In this talk I will present new results from high-energy electron scattering experiments that probe the short-ranged part of the nuclear interaction via the hard breakup of Short-Range Correlations (SRC) nucleon pairs. As the latter reach densities comparable to those existing in the outer core of neutron stars, they represent ’neutron stars droplets’ who’s study can shed new light to the dynamical structure of neutron stars. Special emphasis will be given to the effect of SRCs to the behavior of protons in neutron-rich nuclear systems and how it can impact the cooling rates and equation of state of neutron stars.  Pursuing a more fundamental understanding of such interactions, I will present new measurements of the internal quark-gluon sub-structure of nucleons and show how its modification in the nuclear medium relates to SRC pairs and short-ranged nuclear interactions. 

Given time I will also discuss the development of new effective theories for describing short-ranged correlations, the way in which they relate to experimental observables, and the emerging universality of short-distance and high-momentum physics in nuclear systems.

Colloquium
Friday, August 30, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"From interacting Majorana to universal fractional quasiparticles"


Jeffrey Teo , University of Virginia - Physics
[Host: Bob Jones]
ABSTRACT:

Ising anyons, Majorana fermions (MF) and zero energy Majorana bound states have promising prospects in topological quantum computing (TQC) because of their ability to store quantum states non-locally in space and insensitivity to local decoherence. Unfortunately, these objects are not powerful enough to assemble a TQC that can perform universal operations using topological braiding operations alone. On the other hand, there are anyonic quasiparticles, like the Fibonacci anyon in a Read-Rezayi quantum Hall state, that are universal in the braiding-based TQC sense. However, these are quantum dynamical excitations, which can be challenging to spatially manipulate and susceptible to temperature fluctuations in a thermodynamic system. We propose and define a new notion of universal fractional quasiparticles, which are semi-classical static topological defects, supported by many-body interacting MFs in a superconducting spin-orbit coupled topological electronic system.

VIDEO:
Joint Colloquium with Physics and Astronomy/NRAO


Friday, April 26, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"From Multimessenger Astronomy to Neutrons and Protons"


Andrew Steiner , University of Tennessee
[Host: Kent Yagi]
ABSTRACT:

Of course, multimessenger astronomy promises to revolutionize

astronomy and our understanding of nucleosynthesis. My

research shows that it goes further: astronomical observations

(via both photons and gravitational waves) provides a unique

laboratory to deepen our understanding of QCD and the

nucleon-nucleon interaction. Most current work is focused

on the equation of state. While the equation of state is

indeed important, in this talk, I show how we can

go beyond energy density and pressure. I present the first

large-scale Bayesian inference of neutron star observations

and nuclear structure data to obtain novel results on the

composition of dense matter and the nature of nucleonic

superfluidity.

Colloquium
Friday, April 19, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Emergence of Mass in the Standard Model"


Dr. Craig D. Roberts , Argonne National Laboratory
[Host: Nilanga Liyanage]
ABSTRACT:

Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), the nuclear physics part of the Standard Model, is the first theory to demand that science fully resolve the conflicts generated by joining relativity and quantum mechanics.  Hence in attempting to match QCD with Nature, it is necessary to confront the innumerable complexities of strong, nonlinear dynamics in relativistic quantum field theory.  The peculiarities of QCD ensure that it is also the only known fundamental theory with the capacity to sustain massless elementary degrees-of-freedom, gluons (gauge bosons) and quarks (matter fields); and yet gluons and quarks are predicted to acquire mass dynamically so that the only massless systems in QCD are its composite Nambu-Goldstone bosons.  All other everyday bound states possess nuclear-size masses, far in excess of anything that can directly be tied to the Higgs boson.  These points highlight the most important unsolved questions within the Standard Model, namely: what is the source of the mass for the vast bulk of visible matter in the Universe and how is this mass distributed within hadrons?  This presentation will provide a contemporary sketch of the strong-QCD landscape and insights that may help in answering these questions.

 

Colloquium
Friday, April 12, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Computing Images from Weak Optical Signals"


Dr. Vivek Goyal , Boston University
[Host: MIller Eaton]
ABSTRACT:

In conventional imaging systems, the results are poor unless there is a physical mechanism for producing a sharp image with high signal-to-noise ratio.  In this talk, I will present two settings where computational methods enable imaging from very weak signals:  range imaging and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) imaging.

Lidar systems use single-photon detectors to enable long-range reflectivity and depth imaging.  By exploiting an inhomogeneous Poisson process observation model and the typical structure of natural scenes, first-photon imaging demonstrates the possibility of accurate lidar with only 1 detected photon per pixel, where half of the detections are due to (uninformative) ambient light.  I will explain the simple ideas behind first-photon imaging and lightly touch upon related subsequent works that mitigate the limitations of detector arrays, withstand 25-times more ambient light, allow for unknown ambient light levels, and capture multiple depths per pixel.

NLOS imaging has been an active research area for almost a decade, and remarkable results have been achieved with pulsed lasers and single-photon detectors.  Our work shows that NLOS imaging is possible using only an ordinary digital camera.  When light reaches a matte wall, it is scattered in all directions.  Thus, to use a matte wall as if it were a mirror requires some mechanism for regaining the one-to-one spatial correspondences lost from the scattering.  Our method is based on the separation of light paths created by occlusions and results in relatively simple computational algorithms.

Related paper DOIs:
10.1126/science.1246775
10.1109/TSP.2015.2453093
10.1109/LSP.2015.2475274
10.1364/OE.24.001873
10.1038/ncomms12046
10.1109/TSP.2017.2706028
10.1038/s41586-018-0868-6

Colloquium
Friday, March 29, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Interfaces in oxide quantum heterostructures"


Dr. Ho Nyung Lee , Oak Ridge National Laboratory
[Host: Seunghun Lee]
ABSTRACT:

Complex oxides are known to possess the full spectrum of fascinating properties, including magnetism, colossal magneto-resistance, superconductivity, ferroelectricity, pyroelectricity, piezoelectricity, multiferroicity, ionic conductivity, and more. This breadth of remarkable properties is the consequence of strong coupling between charge, spin, orbital, and lattice symmetry. Spurred by recent advances in the synthesis of such artificial materials at the atomic scale, the physics of oxide heterostructures containing atomically smooth layers of such correlated electron materials with abrupt interfaces is a rapidly growing area. Thus, we have established a growth technique to control complex oxides at the level of unit cell thickness by pulsed laser epitaxy. The atomic-scale growth control enables to assemble the building blocks to a functional system in a programmable manner, yielding many intriguing physical properties that cannot be found in bulk counterparts. In this talk, examples of artificially designed, functional oxide heterostructures will be presented, highlighting the importance of heterostructuring, interfacing, and straining. The main topics include (1) charge transfer induced interfacial magnetism and topologically non-trivial spin textures in SrIrO3-based heterostructures and (2) lattice and chemical potential control of oxygen stability and associated electronic and magnetic properties in nickelate-and cobaltite-based heterostructures.

This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division.

Colloquium
Friday, March 22, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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ABSTRACT:

This presentation describes an arc in mathematical/theoretical physics traversing concepts from equations, graphs, error-correction, and pointing toward an evolution-like process acting on the  mathematical laws that sustain reality.

Colloquium
Friday, March 1, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Kelvin-Froude wake patterns of a traveling pressure disturbance"


Genya Kolomeisky , University of Virginia - Physics
[Host: Israel Klich]
ABSTRACT:

Water wave patterns behind ships fuel human curiosity because they are both beautiful and easily observed.  These patterns called wakes were famously described in 1887 by Lord Kelvin.  According to Kelvin, the feather-like appearance of the wake is universal and the entire wake is confined within a 39 degree angle.  While such wakes have been observed, deviations from Kelvin’s predictions have also been reported.  In this talk summarizing my work with UVA alumnus Jonathan Colen I will present a quantitative reasoning based on classical surface water wave theory that explains why some wakes are similar to Kelvin’s prediction, and why others are less so.  The central result is a classification of wake patterns which all can be understood in terms of the problem originally treated by Kelvin.

Special Colloquium


Wednesday, February 20, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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"Gravitational waves and fundamental properties of matter and spacetime"


David Nichols , University of Amsterdam
[Host: Diana Vaman]
ABSTRACT:

Gravitational waves from the mergers of ten binary black holes and one binary neutron star were detected in the first two observing runs by the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors. In this talk, I will discuss the eleven gravitational-wave detections and the electromagnetic observations that accompanied the neutron-star merger. These detections confirmed many of the predictions of general relativity, and they initiated the observational study of strongly curved, dynamical spacetimes and their highly luminous gravitational waves. One aspect of these high gravitational-wave luminosities that LIGO and Virgo will be able to measure is the gravitational-wave memory effect: a lasting change in the gravitational-wave strain produced by energy radiated in gravitational waves. I will describe how this effect is related to symmetries and conserved quantities of spacetime, how the memory effect can be measured with LIGO and Virgo, and how new types of memory effects have been recently predicted. I will conclude by discussing the plans for the next generation of gravitational-wave detectors after LIGO and Virgo and the scientific capabilities of these new detectors. These facilities could detect millions of black-hole and neutron-star mergers per year, and they can provide insights on a range of topics from the population of short gamma-ray bursts to the presence of dark matter around black holes.

 

Special Colloquium


Wednesday, February 13, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204

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ABSTRACT:

The next decade promises fundamental new scientific insights and discoveries from Multi-Messenger Astrophysics, enabled through the convergence of large scale astronomical surveys, gravitational wave astrophysics, deep learning and large scale computing. In this talk I describe a Multi-Messenger Astrophysics science program, and highlight recent accomplishments at the interface of gravitational wave astrophysics, numerical relativity and deep learning. I discuss the convergence of this program with large scale astronomical surveys in the context of gravitational wave cosmology. Future research and development activities are discussed, including a vision to leverage data science initiatives at the University of Virginia to spearhead, maximize and accelerate discovery in the nascent field of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics.

 

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