Eric Sembrat's Test Bonanza


Physics Colloquium-Prof. Michel Janssen

*This talk is based on part of the following paper:

Michel Janssen, "Arches and Scaffolds: Bridging Continuity and Discontinuity in Theory Change." Forthcoming in: Alan C. Love and William C. Wimsatt (Eds.), Beyond the Meme. Development and Structure in Cultural Evolution. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, in preparation. The paper can be downloaded at:

Sex, Flies and Video: Communicating Science to the Public in Words and Images

Abstract: Scientists and journalists have similar, but not identical interests in getting information about their work to the public in an appealing, but accurate way. James Gorman will draw on his experience as a New York Times reporter and editor to talk about these common and competing interests and what works in translating technical information for a popular audience.

Physics Colloquium - Prof. Phil Pincus


Ions in water are typically understood to be hydrated, i.e. the appropriate water dipolar orientations point toward the charge (which is here taken to be of spherical symmetry).  Depending on the specific charge, these oriented waters of hydration are tightly bound in up to three aqueous monolayers.  The effective “hard core” radius of the ion together with its tightly bound water molecules is in the nanometer range.  

The Case for Cosmic Modesty

Abstract: Based on the premise that we are not special, Loeb argues for modesty from a cosmi perspective. His "principle of cosmic modesty" imples that both primitive and intelligent forms of life should exist away from Earth, and we should therefore search for them without prejudice. 

Physics Colloquium


Quantum many-body systems are difficult to study because the space of possible many-body states is huge: its dimension grows exponentially in the system size. However, in recent years progress in our understanding of quantum entanglement has revealed that only a small region of this huge state space is actually relevant to the study of quantum many-body systems.

Physics Colloquium

Abstract: The exact solution to interacting quantum problems is, in general, an exponentially hard task due to the exponential growth of the Hilbert space with the system size. As a result, despite extensive research during the past several decades we still do not have a good understanding of strongly correlated systems even for the simplest ones such as the Hubbard model. We can only obtain exact results for special and very limited classes of models.

Physics Colloquium


The study of liquid crystals occupies a central place in materials science, serving as a context for encountering and using a variety of exotic structural themes of molecular organization, particularly of soft matter.  A key feature of molecular ordering in liquid crystals is fluid hierarchical self-assembly, in which molecular structure provides precise control of fluid self-organization over a wide range of length scales.  


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