Feb
25
Teaser:

What could possibly be new in the Ising model, arguably the most-studied model of statistical physics?  Plenty!  Consider the Ising model initially at
infinite temperature that is suddenly cooled to zero temperature and evolves by single spin-flip dynamics.  What happens?  In one dimension, the ground state is always reached and the evolution can be solved exactly.  In two dimensions, the ground state is reached only about 2/3 of the time, and the long-time evolution is characterized by two distinct time scales, the longer of which arises from topological defects...

Feb
20
Teaser:

PLEASE NOTE: This is a WEBINAR

We investigate the effect of anharmonicity and interactions on the dynamics of an initially Gaussian wavepacket in a weakly anharmonic potential. We find that repeated perturbations can create revivals, echoes, and revival-echoes, with properties that can be controlled via the strength and symmetry of the perturbations.  We also find that depending on the strength and sign of interactions and anharmonicity, the quantum state can be either...

Feb
18
Teaser:

I present inelastic neutron scattering data from one- two- and three-dimensional insulating magnetic materials at low temperatures that do not display a coherent resonant mode of excitation. Instead, momentum resolved spectra take the form of bounded continua. I interpret the spectra as evidence for fractionalization of a spin flip into distinct quasi-particles.

Feb
14
Teaser:

The U.S. Naval Observatory provides the master clock for the DoD.  To support this mission, we have built and fielded 4 rubidium atomic fountain clocks at our Washington D.C. site.  This ensemble of clocks has been running continuously for slightly less than two years and is contributing to our larger ensemble of atomic clocks.

Feb
12
Teaser:

Many organisms fly in order to survive and reproduce. I am fascinated by the mechanics of flying birds, insects, and autorotating seeds. Their development as an individual and their evolution as a species are shaped by the physical interaction between organism and surrounding air. It is critical that the organism’s architecture is tuned for propelling itself and controlling its motion. Flying macroscopic animals and plants maximize performance by generating and manipulating vortices. These vortices are created close to the body as it is driven by the action of muscles or gravity, then are...

Feb
11
Teaser:

A quantum processor,  using quantum states of light and matter, holds the promise of performing calculations and simulations that are not practical by a classical processor. Many of the key components for a quantum processor have been demonstrated by various research groups and we can expect these components to be integrated into basic quantum processors in the near future. However, there remain significant technical challenges in scaling the system size and making the system robust and flexible. In GTRI ‘s Quantum Information Systems (QIS)  Group, we use...

Feb
07
Teaser:

Low-luminosity GRBs or X-ray flashes (XRFs), which often accompany supernovae, are typically ascribed to either the supernova shock breakout or weak GRBs powered by the central engine of stellar mass. We propose the tidal disruption of a white dwarf (WD) by an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) as another channel for XRFs. Such disruptions last for 100-5000 seconds.  The release of gravitational energy over short time generates a powerful flare. The magnetic field is quickly amplified in the fallback material, and then the BH launches a slow uncollimated jet. The emission from jet photosphere dominates X-...

Feb
06
Teaser:

PLEASE NOTE: This is a WEBINAR

Loose sand particles can jam together to become a solid. Think of the dry sand on the beach: it supports your weight so you can walk on it – you don't need to swim in sand. Jammed sand indeed so much resists deformation that it even expands when you try to make it flow. This was already discovered by Osborne Reynolds in 1885. In fact, you can make sand particles jam by making them flow in a container that cannot expand. This effect is known as shear jamming and was discovered only recently. We have now studied the...

Feb
05
Teaser:

Gravitational waves sap orbital angular momentum and energy from a black hole--neutron star (BH-NS) binary, driving it to inspiral and merge. In the violence of merger, the NS may tidally disrupt and form a hot accretion disk with the collimated magnetic fields necessary to launch jets, providing the central engine for one of the most energetic phenomena in the Universe: a gamma-ray burst (GRB). We assess the feasibility of this scenario with numerical relativity simulations of magnetized BH-NS binary mergers, seeding the NS with magnetic fields and exploring their effects on the remnant disk and the gravitational waves. We find that the gravitational waves are likely to be detectable by...

Feb
04
Teaser:

Icicles are harmless and picturesque winter phenomena, at least in cold climates.  The shape of an icicle emerges from a subtle feedback between ice formation, which is controlled by the release of latent heat, and the flow of water over the evolving shape.  The water flow, in turn, determines how the heat flows.  The air around the icicle is also flowing, and all forms of heat transfer are active in the air.  Ideal icicles are predicted to have a universal "platonic" shape, independent of growing conditions.  In addition, many natural icicles exhibit a...

Feb
02
Teaser:

 

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Feb
02
Teaser:

Manipulating the texture of foods is central to cooking.  One common manipulation is to induce a phase transition, for example, from a solid to a liquid state, which can occur both during cooking and eating.  In understanding the phase behavior of food materials, we will consider the protein, carbohydrate, and fat molecules that are components of foods that we eat.  Interestingly, these same molecules can also impart unique physical properties to plants and animals, which are critical...

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