Mar
26
Teaser:

With recent advances in experimental imaging, computational methods, and dynamics insights it is now possible to start charting out the terra incognita explored by turbulence in strongly nonlinear classical field theories, such as fluid flows. In presence of continuous symmetries these solutions sweep out 2- and higher-dimensional manifolds (group orbits) of physically equivalent states, interconnected by a web of still higher-dimensional stable/unstable manifolds, all embedded in the PDE infinite-dimensional state spaces. In order to chart such invariant manifolds, one must first quotient the symmetries, i.e. replace the dynamics on M by an equivalent, symmetry reduced flow on M/G, in...

Mar
22
Teaser:

Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the brightest light sources in the Universe, as well as the most distant sources known. These characteristics, combined with their powerlaw spectra, make them ideal cosmological probes. In this talk I will discuss how GRBs are impacting several areas of extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology. In particular, I will show how they can be used to trace the evolution of the mean density and clumpiness of the interstellar medium with redshift, and the properties of dust in high-z galaxies. Detection of GRBs at very high redshifts can help set constraints on the small-scale power spectrum of density fluctuations. High-resolution observations of long GRBs...

Mar
19
Teaser:

In the natural world, complex behaviors such as learning, aggression and sleep are regulated by interconnected networks of genes and their products. Owing to their nontrivial topology and large number of components, most of these networks are poorly understood and consequently, our knowledge of how diverse behaviors arise remains limited. In this talk, I will argue that the fruit fly circadian clock, a genetic circuit that signals to and modulates several key behavioral networks, is an ideal system with which to dissect the fundamental principles that govern organismal...

Mar
15
Teaser:

Most of the baryons in the present universe are missing. This talk gives a historical review of the issue, followed by some highlights of current theoretical and observational effort to understand it.

Mar
14
Teaser:

Engineered biological circuits expressed in living cells are becoming increasingly attractive as a technology, with applications...

Mar
13
Teaser:

This talk will describe new results on the properties of colloidal crystals, both on their solidification and on their melting.  It will describe how hard-sphere like colloids crystallize, and will explore the huge discrepancy between the nucleation rates predicted by theory and measured in simulation and those measured experimentally.  The discrepancy can be as large as 150 orders of magnitude!  A simple modification to the theory, suggested by experiment, is able to account for this behavior and to rectify the discrepancy....

Mar
12
Teaser:

The viruses that infect bacteria have a hallowed position in the development of modern biology, and once inspired Max Delbruck refer to them as "the atom of biology".  Recently, these viruses have become the subject of intensive physical investigation.  Using single-molecule techniques, it is actually possible to watch these viruses in the act of packing  and ejecting their DNA.    This talk will begin with a general introduction to viruses and their life cycles and will then focus on simple physical arguments about the forces that attend viral DNA packaging and ejection, predictions about the ejection process and single-molecule measurements...

Mar
10
Teaser:

In this exciting event, three lectures will be presented from world renown Chef Jose Andres and Harvard Physics Professors Michael P. Brenner and David A. Weitz.  Awards will also be presented to the top Dekalb County high school student...

Mar
09
Teaser:

Membrane proteins are critical components of all cells, controlling, e.g., signaling, nutrient exchange, and energy production, and are the target of over half of all drugs currently in production.  At an early stage of their synthesis, nearly all membrane proteins are directed to a protein-conducting channel, the SecY/Sec61 complex, which permits access to the membrane via its lateral gate.  By combining molecular dynamics simulations with cryo-electron microscopy data, we recently resolved the first structure of a membrane-protein-insertion intermediate state of SecY bound to a translating ribosome, with a transmembrane (TM) segment...

Mar
08
Teaser:

We study the effect of electron-electron interaction on the resistivity of a metal where umklapp scattering is either not effective or suppressed. This can happen in cases such as in a metal near a Pomeranchuk quantum phase transition or in a system with low density of carriers, e.g., the surface states of three-dimensional (3D) topological insulators. In such cases, one must consider both interactions and disorder to obtain a finite and T dependent resistivity. The existence of the Fermi-liquid (T^2) term in resistivity of a two-dimensional (2D) metal, as we show, then depends on 1) dimension (2D vs 3D), 2) geometry (concave vs convex), and 3) topology (simply vs multiply...

Mar
08
Teaser:

Topological states of matter have quantum entangled ground states characterized by topological quantum numbers rather than symmetry
breaking. Inspired by the discovery of topological insulators, I describe recent progress in finding a variety of new classes of topological materials
in semiconductors and superconductors. Potential applications in electronics and quantum computation will be briefly discussed.

Mar
07
Teaser:

The ribosome translates the genetic information encoded in messenger RNA into protein. Folded structures in the coding region of an mRNA represent
a kinetic barrier that lowers the peptide elongation rate, as the ribosome must disrupt structures it encounters in the mRNA to allow translocation to the next codon. Such structures are exploited by the cell to create diverse strategies for translation regulation. Although strand separation activity is inherent to the ribosome, requiring no exogenous helicases, its mechanism is still unknown. By using a single-molecule optical tweezers assay to follow in real time the codon-by-codon translation of mRNA...

Mar
06
Teaser:
The ability to effectively control a fluid would enable many exciting technological advances, such as the design of quieter, more efficient aircraft.  Model-based feedback control is a particularly attractive approach, but the equations governing the fluid, although known, are typically too complex to apply standard tools for dynamical systems analysis or control synthesis.  This talk addresses model reduction techniques, which are used to simplify existing models, to obtain low-order models tractable enough to be used for analysis and control, while retaining the essential physics.

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