Events

## SMARTech Video Archive

Sep

28

Particle scattering processes at experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN are described by scattering amplitudes. In quantum field

theory classes, students learn to calculate amplitudes using Feynman diagram methods. This is a wonderful method for a process like electron +

positron -> muon^- + muon^+, but it is a highly challenging for a process like gluon+gluon -> 5 gluons, which requires 149 diagrams even at the leading order in perturbation theory. It turns out, however, that the result for such gluon scattering processes is remarkably simple, in some cases it is just a single term! This has lead to new methods for...

Sep

27

We study wetting and filling of patterned surfaces by a nematic liquid crystal. We focus on three important classes of periodic surfaces: saw-toothed, sinusoidal and stepwise, which have been considered in the literature as promising candidates to develop less-consuming zenithal bistable switches for practical applications. For saw-toothed substrates, geometry induces the nucleation of disclination lines on the wedges and apexes of the substrate, so the nematic surface free energy density develops an elastic contribution which scales as qlnq (with q being the wavenumber associated with the substrate periodicity). This leads to a large departure from...

Sep

21

Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) have revolutionized atomic physics, a revolution which, sixteen years after their discovery, shows little sign of stopping. The attention of the quantum gases community has increasingly shifted from studies of broad features of the many-body condensed state to more specific realizations based upon control of spin state, trapping geometry, dimensionality and temporal behavior. In many regards quantum gases have no direct counterpart in condensed matter, although many parallels do exist, and these serve to guide efforts at the interface between disciplines....

Sep

12

As a student of numerical relativity who planned to work the rest of his life in academia, I had never envisioned the possibility of finding myself working in the commercial sector. The perception exists that opportunities to do novel research or to direct one's own career path are limited in industry, but I have found that this is largely not true. Rather, different constraints on your time and resources are imposed, with different challenges and rewards. In this talk, I will describe how I came to find myself leading the development of a cloud-scale information extraction and retrieval application for a customer within the Intelligence Community, share my experiences working with...

Sep

07

Measuring an event in time seems to require a shorter one. As a result, the development of a technique for measuring ultrashort laser pulses—the shortest events ever created—has been particularly difficult. We have, however, developed simple methods for fully characterizing these events, that is, for measuring a pulse's intensity and phase vs. time. One involves making an optical spectrogram of the pulse by using nonlinear optic. The mathematics involved is equivalent to the two-dimensional phase-retrieval problem—a problem that’s solvable because the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra fails for polynomials of two variables. We call...

Sep

01

We'll look at two novel experiments that are looking for ultrahigh energy neutrinos in the Antarctic ice. ANITA is a balloon-borne experiment which has twice flown over Antarctica making observations of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays and neutrinos. ARA is a new englacial project, under construction at the South Pole with similar goals. Both utilize the Askaryan Effect, coherent radio Cherenkov emission from particle cascades in matter, for neutrino detection.

Aug

29

Photons do not interact strongly in nature, and have thus been relegated to a role as a tool rather than an object of study in condensed matter physics.

However, in cavity quantum electrodynamics, the strong interaction of light with a single atom can lead to strong atom-mediated photon-photon

interactions, even when the light and atomic transitions are not resonant. Recent theoretical proposals have predicted phase transitions in arrays of

these cavities, demonstrating that complex matter-like phenomena can emerge from a sea of interacting photons.

I will present our recent measurements demonstrating strong photon-photon interactions in superconducting cavity QED...

Aug

24

As Goodyear discovered, when he first vulcanized rubber in 1839, a viscous liquid of macromolecules becomes an unusual, utterly random, solid, provided that enough chemical bonds are introduced between the molecules. Perhaps surprisingly, given the randomness of their architectures, solids formed by the vulcanization process exhibit a number of rather simple and universal features -- both structural and elastic -- that are not exhibited by the apparently simpler, crystalline solids. In this colloquium, I shall give an overview of current approaches to the physical properties of vulcanized matter and other random-network-forming media, paying special attention to...

Jun

23

Two important advances have occurred in recent years which have brought us closer to the goal of observing and interpreting gravitational waves from coalescing compact objects: the successful construction and operation of a world-wide network of ground-based gravitational-wave detectors and the impressive success of numerical relativity in successfully simulating the merger phase of Binary Black Hole (BBH) coalescence. The aim of the Numerical INjection Analysis (NINJA) project is to study the sensitivity of gravitational-wave analysis pipelines to numerical simulations of waveforms and foster close collaboration between numerical relativists and data analysts. NINJA-1 was a huge...

May

25

This workshop brings together researchers with an interest in soft materials, fluids, and biophysics to discuss their work and explore partnerships. All participants may present a sound bite (a few minutes). The day will include breakfast, lunch, and coffee. Registration is free, but required.

Invited Speakers include M. Cristina Marchetti (Keynote Speaker, Syracuse University), Paul Goldbart (Georgia Tech), Juana Mendenhall (Morehouse College), Elisa Riedo (Georgia Tech), Susanne Ullrich (University of Georgia).

Location: Georgia Tech, Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Room 1116

Registration...

May

24

Obtaining a priori information on strongly interacting many-fermion systems remains a challenging problem in theoretical physics. A promising way forward is the use of Monte Carlo simulations, which are non-perturbative and take full account of quantum fluctuations. A famous example is Lattice QCD, which aims to elucidate the interactions between quarks and gluons at low energies, where QCD is strongly coupled. I will provide an update

on the application of such methods to closely related problems in condensed matter and atomic physics, highlighting modern computational and algorithmic developments. Specific examples include graphene and strongly coupled ultracold Fermi gases.

May

19

Some years ago an anomaly was noted in the decay of luminescence in certain doped alkali halides. The anomaly was eventually explained using a factor of a billion slowdown in lattice relaxation, a remarkable stretching of time scales. This slowdown was found to be caused by the creation of a ‘breather’ in the neighborhood of the dopant. Discrete breathers are nondispersive classical excitations that are known to be significant in many natural systems. In the talk I focus on the occurrence of breathers in doped alkali halides. Several more general properties of breathers have arisen from this study, among them is the quantum breather...

Apr

21

In theory, quantum computers can solve certain problems much more efficiently than classical computers. This possibility has motivated experimental efforts to construct devices that manipulate quantum bits (qubits) in a variety of physical systems. One such system is composed of atomic ions confined by electric fields in a rf Paul trap. The motions of such ions can be modeled to a very good approximation as harmonic oscillators, and with suitable laser cooling techniques they can be cooled to the harmonic oscillator ground state. When trapped within the same potential minimum, ions interact strongly via the Coulomb force, thereby enabling multiple-qubit quantum gates that are...

Apr

20

Yves Couder and coworkers have recently reported the results of a startling series of experiments in which droplets bouncing on a fluid surface exhibit wave-particle duality and, as a consequence, several dynamical features previously thought to be peculiar to the microscopic realm, including single-particle diffraction, interference, tunneling and quantized orbits. We explore this fluid system in light of the Madelung transformation, whereby Schrodinger's equation is recast in a hydrodynamic form. Doing so reveals a remarkable correspondence between bouncing droplets and subatomic particles, and provides rationale for the observed macroscopic quantum behaviour. New experiments are...