Jan
23
Teaser:

The heart is an electro-mechanical system in which, under normal conditions, electrical waves propagate in a coordinated manner to initiate an efficient contraction. In pathologic states, propagation can destabilize and exhibit period-doubling bifurcations that can result in both quasiperiodic and spatiotemporally chaotic oscillations. In turn, these oscillations can lead to single or multiple rapidly rotating spiral or scroll waves that generate complex spatiotemporal patterns of activation that inhibit contraction and can be lethal if untreated. Despite much study, little is known about the actual mechanisms that initiate, perpetuate, and terminate...

Jan
18
Teaser:

Embryogenesis and regeneration are among the most striking and beautiful phenomena in nature. For a physicist, this brings together many major themes—pattern formation, information processing, the mechanics of complex fluid-like materials—that are essential for our understanding of life more broadly. In my talk I will give two examples on the important role of tissue mechanics for these phenomena.

First, I will discuss how a macroscopic tissue property, specifically tissue surface tension, is connected to the properties of the constituent cells, such as cortical tension and adhesion. I will directly compare theoretical...

Jan
12
Teaser:

Departing from the context of CoGeNT and COUPP, two direct searches for WIMP dark matter, we will inspect the recent landscape of anomalies observed by these and several other detectors. The aim of this talk is to communicate an appreciation for the subtleties inherent to experimental efforts in this field, and for the considerable difficulties that await for those trying to make sense of WIMP search observations (or lack thereof).

Dec
15
Teaser:

The detection of gravitational waves from the inspiral of a neutron star or stellar-mass black hole into an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) promises an entirely new look at strong field gravitational physics. Gravitational waves from these intermediate-mass-ratio inspirals (IMRIs), systems with mass ratios from 10:1 to 100:1, may be detectable at rates of up to a few tens per year and will encode a signature of the central body's spacetime. Direct observation of the spacetime will allow us to use the "no-hair" theorem of general relativity to determine if the IMBH is a Kerr black hole (or some more exotic object, e.g. a boson star). In this talk, I will discuss the...

Dec
07
Teaser:

This colloquium will discuss recent theoretical predictions and experimental confirmation of two unusual classes of ultra-long-range molecules. One class involves a highly-excited Rydberg electron that manages to bind a distant ground state atom at thousands of Bohr radii. The other class involves the bizarre Efimov effect for three or four ground state atoms with resonant interactions. Implications for the behavior of ultracold quantum gases will be addressed.

Dec
07
Teaser:

Advances in microscopy have enabled measurements in living cells, but there is a wealth of biologically relevant dynamical information contained in experimental data that has not been utilized.  Existing analysis methods either coarse grain too much or cannot overcome some technical challenges inherent to in vivo measurements. The importance of more fully utilizing information “hidden” in noisy 3D in vivo measurements will be emphasized in several problems.  In this talk, I demonstrate how recent advances in time series analysis can be used to estimate stochastic differential equations (SDEs) and construct hypothesis tests checking the...

Dec
06
Teaser:

Advances in microscopy have enabled measurements in living cells, but there is a wealth of biologically relevant dynamical information contained in experimental data that has not been utilized.  Existing analysis methods either coarse grain too much or cannot overcome some technical challenges inherent to in vivo measurements. The importance of more fully utilizing information “hidden” in noisy 3D in vivo measurements will be emphasized in several problems.  In this talk, I demonstrate how recent advances in time series analysis can be used to estimate stochastic differential equations (SDEs) and construct hypothesis tests checking the consistency...

Nov
30
Teaser:

We consider the Universe to be fundamentally quantum and statistical, the many-paths/many-worlds information-theoretic story. This lecture uses Cosmic Information Theory and Analysis, CITA, as a unifying theme to explore the vast sweep  of our current ideas of the Universe and the experiments we use to probe them, ranging from the ultra-early beginnings to our far-future fate. I describe the intimate entanglement of theory with precision "first-light"  and other cosmic data, in particular from the satellite Planck and the Andes-based ACT. Such data are the BITs in IT informing us of the physics that defines the BIT of the Universe...

Nov
17
Teaser:

We present a Hamiltonian derivation of a class of reduced models in plasma physics obtained by imposing dynamical constraints on a parent Hamiltonian model. We will consider MHD equations and Maxwell-Vlasov equations as parent models. It is shown that the Poisson bracket associated with these reduced models is the Dirac bracket obtained from the Poisson bracket of the parent model.

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