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Imprinting the quantum : Measurement as a route to novel quantum behavior by Mukund Vengalattore

Mar 23, 2017, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Matthew LaHaye / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

The act of measurement can have profound consequences on a quantum system. As such, a quantum system can be controlled and coaxed into novel behavior through the continuous measurement of its properties. I will describe our experimental studies on the measurement-induced quantum control of systems ranging from nanoKelvin atomic gases to millimeter-scale optomechanical systems. In the former case, we show that the quantum evolution of ultracold atomic gases can be controlled and even completely frozen by sporadic measurements - a manifestation of the Quantum Zeno effect. Extending such studies to regimes of dynamically and spatially controlled measurements, we show the emergence of novel phase transitions and critical behavior in the ultracold gas. I will extend these insights to macroscopic optomechanical systems and discuss continuous measurement schemes that allow the quantum state preparation, manipulation and control of macroscopic resonators for applications to quantum sensor technologies and quantum information processing. 

Professor Mukund Vengalattore is an experimentalist who works in the area of ultra-cold atomic gases and hybrid quantum systems. His talk this week will focus on quantum measurement, including his group’s work on demonstrating the quantum zeno effect with atomic gases and related efforts underway to implement measurement-induced quantum control of optomechanical systems.  His abstract and title are pasted below. (Please see the following link for a description of his research and a link to an interview in which he discusses the quantum Zeno effect http://ultracold.lassp.cornell.edu/.

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What do bull sperm know about emergent behaviors? - by Chih-Kuan Tung

Mar 24, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Lisa Manning | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

In a complex system, some patterns or orders only emerge when the objects interact with the environment or each other.  In a dynamical system, the description of how the environmental stress induces the new order can often be described by a bifurcation.  In a many-body system, the interaction between individual objects often results in a phase transition or phase separation.  These are arguably the most universal descriptions you can find in physics, covering phenomena from Higgs mechanism in high energy, superconductivity in condensed matter, to thermal convection in nonlinear dynamics.  Biology provides vast number of different complex systems, yet people only just started to explore finding universality through their emergent behaviors.  In this talk, I will focus on two emergent behaviors discovered by using microfluidics to model the physical environment of the mammalian female reproductive tract for sperm.  By modeling the outward going fluid flow in the female tract, we showed that sperm swimming against a flow can be described by a bifurcation theory, such that the upstream orientation order only emerges when the flow rate exceeds a critical level, and the emergence follows a ½ power law, which is known for a mean field theory.  By adding polymer into the sperm medium to model the viscoelasticity naturally found in the mucus, we found that sperm start to form aggregates, and the formation/dissociation of the aggregates is a dynamic process, similar to a liquid/gas phase separation.  This aggregation is primarily mediated by the elasticity of the fluid.  I will discuss the implications in both physics and biology.

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Stochastic Particle Production in the Early Universe (with help from disordered wires) by Mustafa Amin

Mar 24, 2017, 12:00 PM-2:00 PM

208 Physics Bldg

Host: Prof. Scott Watson / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

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Visiting Day for Admitted Graduate Students

Mar 27, 2017, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

202/204 Physics Bldg.

Host: Stefan Ballmer, Tomasz Skwarnicki and Patty Whitmore. Contact: Yudaisy Salomon Sargenton



The Syracuse University Physics department is excited to host our annual Visiting Day for Admitted Students on March 27th. We look forward to meeting the admitted graduate class for Fall 2017 and introducing them to some of the exciting experiences available through our department.

View the Tentative Schedule

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The LIGO Discovery and Primordial Black Hole Dark Matter by Ely Kovitz

Mar 27, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

208 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Scott Watson / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

The LIGO observatory has recently reported several detections of gravitational waves from the coalescence of binary black holes. We consider the extraordinary possibility that the detected events involving heavier masses are mergers of primordial black holes making up the dark matter in the Universe. We will describe various ways of testing this proposition once more gravitational wave data is gathered, survey some of the existing constraints and present a novel probe of massive compact dark matter in the relevant mass range based on strong gravitational lensing of fast radio bursts. We will conclude with a summary of the observational prospects to test the proposed scenario over the next decade.

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TBD by Joaquin Drut

Mar 27, 2017, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM

208 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Simon Catterall / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

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SPS colloquium presented by Jack Laiho

Mar 28, 2017, 3:45 PM-5:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Patrick Miles/ Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

I discuss my attempt to reconcile general relativity with quantum theory, i.e. to come up with a quantum theory of gravity.  I will give some background on path integrals and running couplings in quantum field theory, and I will explain how these ideas fit into my approach to solve quantum gravity numerically on the computer.  I will present numerical results suggesting that we are on the right track.

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Cooperative behaviors in living systems: from molecular motors to bacteria - by Agnese Curatolo

Mar 29, 2017, 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Room 208

Host: Cristina Marchetti | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

Biology and physics meet in a large variety of different contexts. At all scales, from DNA dynamics to ecological problems, statistical physics provides powerful tools to model and understand the mechanisms leading to collective behaviors so widespread in living systems. In the first part of my talk I will show how to construct the phase diagram of multilane systems which can be used to model molecular motors along microtubules as well as traffic flows of cars or pedestrians. In the second part I will talk about collaborative pattern formation in multi-species bacterial colonies. Our idea is that the control of the cell motilities by the local densities of the different bacterial strains can lead to a variety of patterns with segregation and aggregation between the strains, in the absence of any directional interactions.

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Very low energy particle physics at CERN: Particle nucleation, planetary albedo, and climate by Neil Donahue

Mar 30, 2017, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Matthew Rudolph / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

In the Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets (CLOUD) experiment at CERN we study the chemistry and physics leading to particle nucleation in Earth’s atmosphere.  Fine particles are important to climate because particles (haze) scatter light and because cloud droplets require water soluble particles to to form in order to overcome the surface tension barrier to droplet formation.  For this reason the number of droplets in a cloud depends on the number of particles larger than about 100 nm diameter in the air forming the cloud (the particles must have enough moles of solute to seed a cloud droplet).  Clouds with more (smaller) droplets are whiter than those with fewer (larger) droplets, and so they reflect more sunlight back to space.  Consequently, the planetary albedo depends on 100 nm diameter particles.  The number of particles in air forming clouds has almost certainly changed over the past 250 years since the industrial revolution, and so whiter clouds from pollution are probably masking some portion of potential warming associated with carbon dioxide.  At CLOUD we employ a suite of mass spectrometers, particle size spectrometers, and particle number counters to initiate new-particle formation under precisely controlled conditions.  We have recently explored the role of highly oxidized organic compounds formed via heretofore unknown chemistry in both particle formation and subsequent particle growth via condensation toward climate relevant sizes.  Both are crucial, as tiny, mobile particles must grow rapidly or die by colliding with larger particles.

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Fingers, toes and tongues: the anatomy of interfacial instabilities in viscous fluids - by Irmgard Bischofberger

Mar 31, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Joseph Paulsen | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

The invasion of one fluid into another of higher viscosity is unstable and produces complex patterns in a quasi-two dimensional geometry. This viscous-fingering instability, a bedrock of our understanding of pattern formation, has been characterized by a most-unstable wavelength that sets the characteristic width of the fingers. We have shown that a second, previously overlooked, parameter governs the length of the fingers and characterizes the dominant global features of the patterns. 

Because interfacial tension suppresses short-wavelength fluctuations, its elimination would suggest an instability producing highly ramified singular structures. Our experimental investigations using miscible fluids show the opposite behavior -- the interface becomes more stable even as the stabilizing effect of interfacial tension is removed. This is accompanied by slender structures, tongues, that form in the narrow thickness of the fluid. Among the rich variety of global patterns that emerge is a regime of blunt structures, "toes", that exhibit the unusual features characteristic of proportionate growth. This type of pattern formation, while quite common in mammalian biology, was hitherto unknown in physical systems.

bischofberger1

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TBD by Peter Lepage

Apr 6, 2017, 3:30 AM-5:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Refreshments at 3:30 pm and the talk starting at 3:45 pm

Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

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TBD - by Paul Janmey

Apr 7, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Jen Schwarz | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

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Why Black Holes Matter by Prof. Paul Souder

Apr 8, 2017, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM

Aurora Inn (391 Main St., Aurora) on Cayuga Lake

To register, please call 315.685.7163



The intriguing and fascinating world of black holes is the subject of a lecture by nuclear physicist Paul Souder, benefitting the Southern Cayuga Planetarium and Observatory in Aurora, New York.  

Souder, a professor of physics at Syracuse University, will deliver a multimedia presentation titled “Why Black Holes Matter” on Saturday, April 8, at 11 a.m. at the historic Aurora Inn (391 Main St., Aurora) on Cayuga Lake. He will provide an overview of black holes, as well as share some recent findings, including the discovery of a rare, medium-weight black hole.

The event is open to the public; however, registration is required. Tickets are $45, and include the lecture, lunch and a silent auction. To register, please call 315.685.7163, or send a check, payable to “Friends of the Southern Cayuga Planetarium,” to P.O. Box 186, Aurora NY 13026. Seating is limited; tickets also are available at the door, while supplies last.

Following the lecture, attendees are entitled to a free private tour of MacKenzie-Childs, a Victorian farm that produces high-end tableware and home furnishings, and a $5 wine tasting at Bet the Farm Winery and Gourmet Market.

For an additional $250, couples may spend the night at the Aurora Inn/E.B. Morgan House or the Rowland House, partaking of wine and cheese with Souder and a continental breakfast the next morning. Space is limited; the deadline to book a room is Wednesday, March 15.

Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Southern Cayuga Planetarium, a nonprofit organization raising money to restore and reopen the 50-year-old planetarium, closed in 2014.

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Massive Gravity and Time-Dependent Black Holes by Rachel Rosen

Apr 13, 2017, 3:30 PM-5:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Refreshments at 3:30 pm and the talk starting at 3:45 pm

Host: Prof. Scott Watson / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

The predictions of General Relativity (GR) have been confirmed to a remarkable precision in a wide variety of tests.  Consistent and well-motivated modifications of GR have been notoriously difficult to obtain.  However, in recent years a compelling theory has been shown to be free of the traditional pathologies.  This is the theory of massive gravity, in which the graviton is described by a massive spin-2 particle.  In this talk I will give a brief review of recent developments in massive gravity.  I will then present new results concerning intriguing features of black holes in this theory.

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TBD - by Daniel Sussman

Apr 14, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Jen Schwarz | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

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The Turbulent Vacuum by A.P. Balachandran

Apr 14, 2017, 12:00 PM-2:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Simon Catterall / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

*The following work is jointly done with M.Asorey, F.Lizzi and G.Marmo.

The vacuum state in relativistic quantum field theory is often pictured as devoid of striking properties, as vacuous. But instead the following are true :

1) Atoms or measuring apparatus inserted at space-like distances in vacuum should exhibit no correlations in the above image of the vacuum. But instead if they have localised states with orthogonal wave functions, and atom 1 is in ground state and 2 in an excited state at a space-like distance, either 1 will *never *be affected by 2 via photon emission (which is absurd) or it will be *instantaneously* affected violating causality.

2) Fields in a finite region, no matter how small, acting on the vacuum can produce *any* state in the Hilbert space.

3) Invariance of the vacuum is invariance of the world. (Coleman).

4)There are * no *localised detectors ! ( Implications for a causal quantum information theory ?)

After discussions of the above, we apply them to the Rindler wedge. There we show that photon  or graviton *cannot* be confined to the wedge : there is information leakage out of the wedge (but no unitarity violation). This happens because in qed  and gravity , infrared effects break ( asymptotic ) Lorentz invariance . The above result has potential applications to black hole information paradox. The super selection rules in the two cases are charge and momentum conservation respectively.

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TBD by Aarti Veernala

Apr 17, 2017, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Simon Catterall / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

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TBD by Mats Selen

Apr 20, 2017, 3:30 PM-5:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Refreshments at 3:30 pm and the talk starting at 3:45 pm

Host: Prof. Gianfranco Vidali / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

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TBD - by Arshad Kudrolli

Apr 21, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Joseph Paulsen | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

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TBD by Prateek Agrawal

Apr 24, 2017, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Jay Hubisz / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

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TBD by Brian Nord

Apr 27, 2017, 3:30 PM-5:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Refreshments at 3:30 pm and the talk starting at 3:45 pm

Host: Prof. Scott Watson / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

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TBD - by Madhav Mani

Apr 28, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Lisa Manning | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

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TBD - by Pankaj Mehta

May 5, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Rooms 202/204

Host: Lisa Manning | Contact: Tyler Engstrom, taengstr@syr.edu

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TBD by Rachel Houtz

May 8, 2017, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

208 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Jay Hubisz / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

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Cosmological Seed Magnetic Field from Inflation by Bharat Ratra

Sep 18, 2017, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM

202 Physics Bldg.

Host: Prof. Scott Watson / Contact: Yudaisy Salomón Sargentón, 315-443-5960

A cosmological magnetic field of nG strength on Mpc length scales could be the seed magnetic field needed
to explain observed few microG large-scale galactic magnetic fields. I first briefly review the observational
and theoretical motivations for such a seed field, two galactic magnetic field amplification models, and some
non-inflationary seed field generation scenarios. I then discuss an inflation magnetic field generation model.
I conclude by mentioning possible extensions of this model as well as potentially observable consequences.