Past Events

  • Department Colloquium: "Simulating the self-assembly of nano-puzzles"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8

    Daan Frenkel (Cambridge University) hosted by Tom Lubensky

    A holy grail of nano-technology is to create truly complex, multi-component structures by self-assembly. Most self-assembly has focused on the creation of "structural complexity." In my talk, I will discuss "Addressable Complexity": the creation of structures that contain hundreds or thousands of distinct building blocks that all must find their place in a 3D structure. Recent experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of making such structures. Simulation and theory yield surprising insights that can inform the design of novel structures and materials [1].

  • High Energy Seminar: "Large N Tensor Models"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, 2N36

    Igor Klebanov (Princeton University)

    We review the double line notation for the Feynman diagram expansion of N by N matrix models. In the ‘t Hooft large N limit only the planar diagrams survive, and the dual graphs may be thought of as discretized random surfaces. We proceed to theories where the dynamical degrees of freedom are rank-3 tensors with distinguishable indices, each of which takes N values. Their Feynman diagrams may be drawn using colored triple lines (red, blue, green), while the dual graphs are made out of tetrahedra glued along their triangular faces.

  • Diversity and Inclusion in Physics :"Women in Physics: Understanding and Overcoming Biases and Barriers"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A4

    Amy Graves (Swathmore)

    Physics is phenomenally successful at taking data on sexless, raceless objects and transforming that information into mathematical laws with highly accurate predictive power. Why, therefore, should gender be an issue among physicists – so that there is a paucity of women in physics, at all professional levels and in virtually all nations? It is a tenet of gender studies that one should avoid attributing complicated effects to a single cause. (Gender studies is a field guaranteed to annoy the physicist.

  • Condensed Matter Seminar: "Metal chalcogenide semiconductors: Synthesis, electronic structure, light-matter interactions"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A4

    Peter Sutter, University of Nebraska

    Metal chalcogenides have received attention as two-dimensional (2D) materials beyond graphene. Semiconducting chalcogenides are particularly attractive since they exhibit novel physics such as strongly bound excitons and valley polarization, and may enable next-generation electronics benefiting from confinement, high carrier mobility, flexibility and bendability. While transition metal dichalcogenides (particularly MoS2) have been investigated as prototype systems, other materials, especially those incorporating normal metals or metalloids, remain much less studied.

  • Astro Seminar: "Investigation of Kepler-like Laws of Galactic Dynamics In Dispersion-supported Spherical Galaxies and Test of Dark Matter and Modified Gravity Theories"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A4

    Kyu-Hyun Chae (Sejong University)

    Whether dynamical systems such as galaxies, galaxy clusters and the universe itself are controlled by Einstein’s theory of gravity in conjunction with yet-to-be-identified dark matter/energy or alternatively by modified gravity is an outstanding current problem of astrophysics and fundamental physics.

  • High Energy Seminar: "Black Holes in Massive Gravity: Time-Dependent Solutions"

    DRL 2N36

    Rachel A. Rosen (Columbia University)

    When starting with a static, spherically-symmetric ansatz, there are two types of black hole solutions in massive gravity: (i) exact Schwarzschild solutions which exhibit no Yukawa suppression at large distances and (ii) solutions which contain coordinate-invariant singularities at the horizon.  In this talk, I will present new black hole solutions which have a nonsingular horizon and can potentially be matched to Yukawa asymptotics at large distances.  These solutions recover Schwarzschild black holes in the limit of zero graviton mass and are thus observationally viable.

  • Math-Bio seminar: " The mathematical foundation of a landscape theory for living matters and life"

    Carolyn Lynch Laboratory, 318

    Hong Qian (University of Washington)

    The physicists' notion of energy is derived from Newtonian mechanics. The theory of thermodynamics is developed based on that notion, and the realization of mechanical energy dissipation in terms of heat. Since the work of L. Boltzmann, who trusted that atoms were real as early as in 1884, the heat became intimately related to the stochastic motion of the invisible atoms and molecules.

  • High Energy Seminar: "Modular spacetime and Metastring theory"

    DRL 2N36

    Djordje Minic (Virginia Tech)

    In this talk we review our recent work on metastring theory and its habitat, a new form of quantum spacetime, called modular spacetime. We emphasize that the geometry underlying modular spacetime, i.e. the background geometry ofmetastring theory, is also the geometry underlying generic representations of quantum theory as formulated in terms of Aharonov's modular variables. Thus the metastring sheds light on the foundations of quantum theory, andit represents a new formulation of string theory and quantum gravity based on the principle of relative locality.
  • Dissertation Defense: "Supernova Cosmology and How to Talk About It: New Approaches to Cosmological Parameter Inference with Type Ia Supernovae and an Assessment of the Education and Public Outreach Program of The Dark Energy Survey"

    DRL 3W2

    Rachael Cane-Wolf (UPenn)

  • Condensed Matter Seminar: "Atomic Crystals with New Twists"

    David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A4

    Jiwoong Park, Cornell University

    Chiral materials possess left- and right-handed counterparts linked by mirror symmetry, with applications in physics, chemistry and biology. In atomic crystals such as graphene, chiral symmetry emerges naturally as a consequence of the honeycomb lattice. In this talk, I will discuss two recent studies where the interaction between graphene and another surface breaks this chiral symmetry. The first example is chiral twisted bilayer graphene, a two-atom-thick chiral film, with giant circular dicrhoism.