Oct
12
Teaser:

Physicist and adventurer Francis Slakey describes his decade long journey that led to his becoming the first person to both summit the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean.  The talk reviews some of the people he encounters and the challenges he endures – a Lama who gives him an amulet etched with “life’s meaning”, an ambush in the jungles of Indonesia, a life-or-death choice atop Everest – that culminate in a recognition that science is the most powerful tool we have to...

Oct
11
Teaser:

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been shown by the Fermi LAT to be a source of gamma rays with energies as high as ~100 GeV in the rest frame. Detection at higher energies may be possible with next-generation ground-based instruments. I will present results from a new simulation of GRB detections with the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), using models based on the combined observations of Fermi LAT and lower-energy satellite experiments. This simulation allows the prediction of the overall detection rate, how this rate might vary as a function of telescope performance and uncertain GRB statistical properties, and the likely properties of detected GRBs. I will also show a preliminary...

Oct
11
Teaser:

color:black;mso-themecolor:text1">Our group is applying the techniques of modern atomic physics to the system of diatomic molecules.  Molecules are more complex than atoms because of their vibrational and rotational degrees of freedom, and this makes them difficult to control.  However, we have identified a variety of simple principles that allow us to make use of these "new" properties to provide powerful types of leverage on a broad range of problems.  These span...

Oct
09
Teaser:

I will present some recent results from our Lab on the mechanical response of complex-shaped shells subject to loading and in different mechanical environments (with or without an in-out pressure difference). A powerful aspect of our experimental approach is that the geometry and material properties of our shells can be accurately custom-controlled using digital rapid prototyping techniques. First, we focus on the linear response of non-spherical shells under indentation to explore the new concept of geometry-induced rigidity. Despite the complex geometries, we find a remarkable predictive description. Moreover, we investigate universal modes of localization...

Oct
08
Teaser:

A triumph of contemporary physics is the highly successful description of the most fundamental constituents of Nature and their excitations. Recent theories of “topological insulators” [1,2] have shown that in the complex and emergent world of condensed matter physics, one can engineer the interplay between fundamental symmetries, band structure and spin-orbit coupling to create novel energy-spin-momentum relationships for band electrons and to yield effective realizations of exotic particles predicted but yet unobserved in Nature.  This Colloquium will describe the experimental routes we are pursuing in this context to build "detectors" for such particles, by...

Oct
04
Teaser:

Cosmic rays have been observed on Earth with energies in excess of 10^20 eV. Because cosmic rays are charged particles and are bent by galactic magnetic fields, the origin of these particles has remained a mystery. Gamma-ray bursts are one of a few astronomical sources containing an environment capable of accelerating charged particles to the energies observed. In addition, gamma-ray bursts are the leading candidate due to the fact that the total aggregate power observed in gamma-ray bursts and ultra high energy cosmic rays are the same order of magnitude. Neutrinos can only be created by hadronic interactions, so an observation of neutrinos in coincidence with a gamma-ray burst would...

Oct
02
Teaser:

Cells are sensitive to mechanical signals produced either by application of exogenous force, or by the resistance to cell-generated forces caused by the viscoelastic properties of the materials to which they adhere. The range of stiffness over which different cell types respond can vary over a wide range and generally reflects the elastic modulus of the tissue from which these cells were isolated. Many cell types can alter their own stiffness to match that of the substrate to which they adhere. The maximal elastic modulus that cells can attain is similar to that of crosslinked actin networks at the concentrations in the cell cortex...

Oct
01
Teaser:

Why does a piano sound like a piano? A similar question can be asked of virtually all musical instruments. A particular note, such as middle C, can be produced by a piano, a violin, and a clarinet.  Yet, it is easy for even a musically untrained listener to distinguish between these instruments.  One would like to understand why the sound of the “same” note depends greatly on the instrument.  In particular, we would like to understand what aspects of the piano are most critical in...

Sep
27
Teaser:

Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;
mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">Recent cold atom researches are reaching out far beyond the realm that was conventionally viewed as atomic physics. Many long standing issues in other...

Sep
24
Teaser:

Entropy can order shapes into complex structures, even in the absence of explicit attractive forces. As such, shape is important in the self assembly and crystallization of colloids, nanoparticles, proteins and viruses, and in the packing of granular matter.  Using computer simulations of nearly 200 different hard polyhedra, including families of tetrahedra, we demonstrate the emergence of entropic bonds and show how simple measures of building block shape and local order in fluid phases can predict crystals and quasicrystals, liquid crystals, rotator crystals, and glasses.  From these findings, we propose design rules for entropically patchy particles.

Sep
20
Teaser:

For many investigations like astronomical observations in various electromagnetic windows, atmospheric and high altitude research, it is necessary to reach the top of the atmosphere. Balloons have been used as a carrier for a long time. The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research has conducted regular balloon flights for over 60 years and operates the National Balloon Facility in Hyderabad. This facility has been used by Indian and international groups for a variety of investigations. Balloons provide a cost effective means for space research by a small group of scientists. I will talk about the adventures of ballooning with special reference to the flights conducted by TIFR. I will show...

Sep
20
Teaser:

Coherent manipulation of atoms by strong electromagnetic radiation can be used to engineer new optical properties of matter. The technique of using a strong control field to manipulate the transmission of a weak probe field, such as it is done in Autler-Townes splitting, has recently been extended to control the transmission of x rays.

Sep
19
Teaser:

 PLEASE NOTE: This is a WEBINAR

More than 125 years ago Osborne Reynolds launched the quantitative study of turbulent transition as he sought to understand the conditions under which fluid flowing through a pipe would be laminar or turbulent. Since laminar and turbulent flow have vastly different drag laws, this question is as important now as it was in Reynolds' day.  Reynolds understood how one should define ``the real critical value'' for the fluid velocity beyond...

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