abstracts

Don Fahey, Joint Quantum Institute

Bose-Einstein condensates possessing a spin degree of freedom that can evolve freely serve both as a testbed for many-body entanglement and for extending our understanding of out-of-equilibrium dynamics in degenerate gases. Well isolated from the environment in an optical dipole trap, collisions are the dominant mechanism for thermalization and pre-thermalization… Continue reading »

David Poland, Yale

From critical phenomena to quantum gravity, conformal field theories describe the universal scale-invariant structures that lie at the heart of theoretical physics. The conformal bootstrap is the powerful idea, dating back to the 70’s, that one can use fundamental consistency conditions to constrain, solve, and map out the… Continue reading »

Kelsey Thiem, University of Massachusetts Amherst

The stereotypes of most science, technology, engineering, and math fields is that “STEM is for men.” Additionally, men are over-represented at almost every level of STEM participation, both inside and outside of academia. Together, this gender imbalance in scientific environments and the gendered nature of science stereotypes signal to women… Continue reading »

Ian Eisenman ’99, UCSD

The retreat of Arctic sea ice is one of the most dramatic signals of recent climate change in the observational record. It involves an amplifying factor associated with changes in the surface albedo (i.e., reflectiveness) called the ice-albedo feedback. If the ice-albedo feedback becomes dominant in the Arctic as the… Continue reading »

Jaime Cardenas, University of Rochester

Integration of quantum optical devices with other quantum technologies onto a compact and scalable platform is critical for widespread applications of quantum information science.  An integrated quantum optoelectronic circuit would bring these technologies together on a single chip and enable mass-producible, robust, and low cost devices for “real world” applications. Continue reading »

Kimberly Ward-Duong, Amherst College

Unlike the Sun, the vast majority of the nearest stars are known as M-dwarf stars: small, dim, red stars that make up over 70% of the stars in our galaxy. Given their great abundance and the relative ease of detecting their planets, M-dwarfs form ideal targets for large upcoming exoplanet… Continue reading »

Moumita Das, RIT

Living cells and tissues are highly mechanically sensitive and active. Mechanical forces and stimuli influence the shape, motility, and functions of cells, modulate the behavior of tissues, and play a key role in diseases as different as osteoarthritis and cancer metastasis. In this talk, I will discuss the mechanical structure… Continue reading »

Samantha Weiss, MIT Lincoln Lab

Meandering river channels evolve as a result of fluid mechanic and sedimentary processes.  Their evolution can be described by differential equations that dictate how channel curvature gives rise to local perturbations in fluid velocity, prompting preferential erosion and sediment deposition–which is exactly the process of meandering. Here we extend standard… Continue reading »

Thomas Weinacht, Stony Brook

Time resolved spectroscopy aims to follow molecular dynamics in real time and make ‘molecular movies’, with the aim of understanding fundamental processes in nature, such as photosynthesis, vision, and the photoprotection of DNA.  I will describe a series of experiments which follow the flow of energy and changing structure of… Continue reading »

Nathan Schine ’13, University of Chicago

Can a material be made of light? To answer this, we first ask what is necessary for a material to form, and then how to go about engineering each of these properties for photons. We trap photons inside of a curved-mirror optical resonator, which harmonically traps the transverse motion of… Continue reading »

Candice Etson, Wesleyan

Proteins and DNA constantly interact with one another and are inextricably linked by both the central dogma of molecular biology and the critical need for maintenance and faithful transfer of genomic information from mother to daughter cells. However, many important protein-DNA interactions are transient and dynamic, which makes them particularly… Continue reading »

Jared Strait ’07, NIST

Light has momentum. But over a century after the experimental confirmation of radiation pressure, and on the heels of Ashkin’s Nobel Prize for exploiting this effect in optical tweezers, we may still not have a detailed understanding of how it works. How, exactly, does a simple metal feel radiation pressure?… Continue reading »

Jenny Ross, UMass Amherst

The cell is a complex autonomous machine taking in information, performing computations, and responding to the environment. Many of the internal structures and architecture is transient and created through active processes. Recent advances in active matter physics with biological elements are opening new insights into the physics behind how cellular… Continue reading »

Marcelo Terra Cunha, University of Campinas, Brazil

Contextuality and nonlocality are two fundamental but surprising properties of nature.  Some years ago, Lucien Hardy provided a proof of nonlocality that is widely considered the simplest such proof.  After first explaining the meanings of the terms “contextuality” and “nonlocality,” I show in this talk that there is a simple,… Continue reading »

Michael Murrell, Yale

Living cells generate and transmit mechanical forces over diverse time-scales and length-scales to determine the dynamics of cell and tissue shape during both homeostatic and pathological processes, from early embryonic development to cancer metastasis.  These forces arise from the cell cytoskeleton, a scaffolding network of entangled protein polymers driven out-of-equilibrium by… Continue reading »

Michael G. Littman, Princeton

Modern digital software tools of CAD (computer-aided design), CAE (computer-aided engineering analysis), and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) are transforming the scientific and technical world.  The emergence of new hardware such as 3D extrusion and photo-polymerization printers, multi-axis Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) mills and lathes, and high-power laser cutters are giving scientists… Continue reading »

John Hearnshaw, Canterbury U, New Zealand

In this talk I discuss the origins of stellar spectroscopy in the 19thcentury. The story starts with Joseph Fraunhofer in 1814, who was the first person to describe the line spectra of bright stars. Surprisingly forty years followed before any major studies of stellar spectra were undertaken after Fraunhofer. The… Continue reading »

Seth Fraden, Brandeis

We present an experimental system of networks of coupled non-linear nanoliter-scale chemical reactors containing the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction, which we theoretically model within a reaction-diffusion framework. Microfluidic fabrication techniques are developed that provide the ability to vary the network topology, the reactor coupling strength and offer the freedom to choose whether an… Continue reading »

Crystal Noel, UC Berkeley

A quantum computer, constructed with quantum bits, or qubits, would have capabilities beyond what is possible for conventional, classical computers. Trapped ions are a promising platform for this type of system and the path forward involves designing traps that can be micro-fabricated and customized. While traps are becoming more complex,… Continue reading »

Ivan Deutsch, University of New Mexico

The quantum information revolution has taught us that quantum mechanics is not a paler version of its classical counterpart, hindered by intrinsic uncertainty and random measurement outcomes.  Au contraire!  A machine whose operation takes full advantage of the laws of quantum mechanics has information processing capabilities well beyond those that… Continue reading »

Sara Hashmi, Yale University

Complex fluids are everywhere: they include suspensions, emulsions, dispersions, and foams.  A few examples in daily life include cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cleaning supplies, and most biological materials.  A common theme among these everyday materials: characteristics and dynamic properties on the macroscopic scale arise from microstructure and… Continue reading »

Brian Keating, UC San Diego

Over the half-century since its discovery, the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) has been a cosmological goldmine, yielding measurements of the properties of the early universe that are unrivaled in both precision and accuracy. The Simons Observatory is a new cosmic microwave background experiment being built on Cerro Toco in Chile,… Continue reading »

Christina Knapp ’13, UC Santa Barbara

The field of condensed matter physics studies how systems containing many electrons and atoms organize into phases of matter.  Familiar phases of matter, such as liquids and solids, can be identified by looking at a local region of the system and determining what symmetries the system has.  For instance, a… Continue reading »

Marty Baylor, Carleton College

Have you ever been at a noisy party and still been able to pick out what the person in front of you is saying? If so, then you are intimately aware of the fact that your brain is able to solve the cocktail party problem. How does your brain separate one… Continue reading »

Susannah Dickerson, Draper Laboratory

Atoms are an incredibly versitile tool for both studies of fundamental physics and for the development of sensitive sensors. In this talk, I will discuss two experiments with very different end goals, but which are both based on very similar experimental techniques. First, I will discuss progress in the construction… Continue reading »

Daniel Grin, Haverford College

The dark matter holding together galaxies and the dark energy driving today’s cosmic acceleration are persistent mysteries. In contrast to the prevailing paradigm, I will examine the possibility that dark matter is composed of a hypothetical ultra-light particle, called an axion. I’ll begin by summarizing the particle physics that first… Continue reading »

Darby Dyar, Mt. Holyoke

Venus is the “exoplanet next door,” a key to understanding whether “Earth-sized” means “Earth-like” elsewhere in the Universe. Recent evidence of possibly current volcanism, and the suggestion of nascent plate tectonics on its surface, have raised questions about the geological evolution of its surface that wait to be answered by… Continue reading »

Frederik Brasz ’09, Boston University

Interfacial fluid flows like splashing raindrops and rising bubbles are familiar from everyday life, but also relevant to many processes in the environment and industry. The bursting of bubbles entrained by breaking waves in the oceans ejects jets of aerosol droplets that affect cloud formation and climate, and can also… Continue reading »

Chad Topaz, Williams

Biological aggregations such as bird flocks, fish schools, and insect swarms are striking examples of collective motion, and serve as the inspiration for algorithms in robotics, computer science, applied mathematics, and other fields. Aggregations give rise to massive amounts of data, for instance, the position and velocity of each group… Continue reading »

Seongjun Park and Alex Senko, MIT

To understand the mechanism underlying the function and dynamics of the nervous system, it is essential to develop the techniques capable of modulating and recording a diversity of signals employed by neurons. However, current approaches are limited in terms of effectiveness, side effects, or mechanical invasiveness due to its bulky… Continue reading »

Gabriel Samach ’15, MIT Lincoln Lab

Over the past few years, quantum computers have captivated the popular imagination like never before, as tech giants such as Google, IBM, and Intel race to stake their claim on the first generation of programmable quantum computing hardware. However, while the long theorized quantum computer has indeed begun its transition… Continue reading »

Steven Olmschenk, Denison University

Quantum information has the potential to revolutionize both communication and computation by utilizing the features of quantum physics to store, process, and transmit information (quantum bits). Trapped atomic ions are one of the leading candidates for applications in quantum information, due to their long storage times… Continue reading »

Patrick Draper, UMass, Amherst

The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson during Run I of the Large Hadron Collider was a triumph for particle physics, validating the theory of the weak force and completing the Standard Model framework. Yet, for all the Standard Model can explain, there is much we don’t know about the… Continue reading »

Olufolajimi “Jimi” Oke ’10, MIT

“With the rise of new vehicle technologies, the rapid growth of major urban centers across the globe, and critical environmental concerns, innovative approaches are required to analyze the impacts on our transportation systems and quality of life. Gathering the most current land-use, economic, mobility, development and behavioral data for 330… Continue reading »

Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Carleton College

EuO1-x is a material of interest for its possible spintronics applications. It exhibits a semiconductor-to-metal transition associated with the onset of ferromagnetism and a large negative magnetoresistance response. Because the transport and magnetic properties of EuO1-x are similar to another class of materials, the perovskite manganites, and phase inhomogeneity is… Continue reading »

Kate Jensen, Williams

When you stretch a piece of rubber, elasticity makes it spring back to its original shape. When you disturb a drop of water, on the other hand, it’s surface tension that makes it round again. Solids have surface tension too, but usually it’s so weak compared to elastic effects that… Continue reading »

Nora Kling, University of Connecticut

Hydrogen atom migration in molecules can result in major structural changes, altering the molecule’s chemical properties. Using ‘ultrafast’ lasers and sophisticated ion imaging techniques, we explore the timescales for hydrogen migration reactions. We study acetylene, a small hydrocarbon, where a hydrogen can migrate to form its vinylidene isomer. We have… Continue reading »

Kate Follette, Amherst College

Of the thousands of known extrasolar planets, why are the dozen or so directly imaged exoplanets among the most important despite their apparently anomalous properties within the general exoplanet population (>10 astronomical units, >2x the mass of Jupiter)? What are the prospects for (and recent successes in) detecting younger, lower-mass… Continue reading »

Colin Bruzewicz ’05, MIT Lincoln Labs

Quantum information processors hold great promise for investigating classically intractable computations, with applications in fields such as quantum simulation, optimization and many others. Trapped atomic ions are leading candidates to serve as the fundamental quantum bits (qubits) in such quantum processors, due to the high-fidelity operations with which their internal… Continue reading »

Li Zeng, Harvard

Exoplanet is the current frontier of astronomy and planetary sciences. In this talk, I will present the evidence of abundant ocean planets and water worlds among exoplanets in our galaxy. Ocean planets are planets similar to our own Earth, on which water covers a significant surface area. Water worlds are… Continue reading »

Amy Banzaert, Wellesley College

The role of engineering in addressing some of humanity’s most pressing problems is critical. This talk will focus on a specific problem and technological solution — indoor air pollution from cooking in developing countries — and also discuss the educational activities the speaker is developing at Wellesley College to engage… Continue reading »

Lorenza Viola, Dartmouth College

Quantum information science studies the implications of quantum mechanics for information processing, communication and computation. Besides being one of the most thriving areas of contemporary research, quantum information science carries an unprecedented transformative potential for 21st century quantum technologies, while providing new tools and perspectives across a wide range of… Continue reading »

Leon Golub, Harvard

Leaving the Earth’s atmosphere was once thought of as entering “empty space”, implying a benign environment other than the absence of an atmosphere. The truth turns out to be entirely different, space being filled with high energy particles and radiation, much of it coming from the Sun, while our safety… Continue reading »

Larry Ruzzo, University of Washington

The biological sciences have been/are being revolutionized by high-throughput, quantative measurement technologies. RNA sequencing is a poster-child example. RNAseq data is now widely used for analysis of gene expression, and is widely viewed as simple and quantitatively accurate. “You just count reads. What could go wrong?” A closer look at… Continue reading »

Christopher Fuchs, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Quantum theory is the great foundation for nearly all of modern physics. Since its discovery in 1925, it has never met a single experimental failure, and without it we could kiss our technological society goodbye. Without quantum theory, there would be no transistors, no lasers, no smart phones — we… Continue reading »

Abi Singh, University of Delaware

Inside living cells, the inherent probabilistic nature of biochemical processes drives random fluctuations (noise) in the levels of biomolecules, such as RNAs and proteins. Modeling stochastic fluctuations in biomolecule levels is essential to understand how noise affects biological function and phenotype. I will introduce state-of-the-art computational tools for stochastic modeling,… Continue reading »

William Bialek, Princeton University

Some of Nature’s most beautiful phenomena can be seen in the development of an embryo, from a single cell to a complete organism. In fruit flies, this takes just one day. More surprisingly, one can read a blueprint for the body plan of the fully developed organism by measuring the… Continue reading »

Duffy Turner, NYU

Despite the many similarities between nanocrystals and atoms, it has remained unclear since the early 1990s why optical transitions in nanocrystals are so much broader than those of atoms. The spectral line width of an ensemble of nanocrystals arises from size and shape inhomogeneity and the single-nanocrystal spectrum itself. This… Continue reading »

Dave Kaiser, MIT

Albert Einstein once dubbed quantum entanglement “spooky actions at a distance,” and the concept remains one of the starkest examples of how quantum theory differs from our usual intutions about space, time, and matter. Physicists have tested quantum entanglement in laboratories for more than forty years, and have always found… Continue reading »

Joseph Silk, University of Oxford

We peer back through the mists of time and extract knowledge about the creation of the universe. One of the greatest mysteries in the cosmos is that it is mostly dark. Astronomers and particle physicists today are seeking to unravel the nature of the mysterious but pervasive dark matter which… Continue reading »

Jeff Linsky, University of Colorado

Exoplanets evolve in the radiation environment created by their host stars. Of particular interest is the UV and X-ray emission produced in the chromospheres and coronae of cooler stars such as M dwarfs. I will summarize the results of our HST MUSCLES Treasury Survey, consisting of… Continue reading »

Scott Olesen ’10, MIT

Bacteria and other microbes are essential to human life and industry, catalyzing key biogeochemical cycles, cleaning up toxic pollution, and causing or curing disease. Microbial ecology, the study of microbes’ relationships with one another and their environment, has benefited tremendously from new DNA sequencing technology. However, DNA sequencing data alone… Continue reading »

Amar Vutha, University of Toronto

Optical atomic clocks have made huge improvements in precision and accuracy in the last decade, and led to great advances in time & frequency metrology. However, clocks are good for more than just keeping time. In this talk, I will explain how optical clocks can be used to observe low-frequency… Continue reading »

Reina Maruyama, Yale University

Astrophysical observations give overwhelming evidence for the existence of dark matter. For over 15 years, the DAMA collaboration has asserted that they observe a dark matter-induced annual modulation signal but their observation has yet to be confirmed. I will describe DM-Ice a low-background NaI(Tl)-based dark matter experiment aimed at understanding… Continue reading »

Jonathan Petruccelli, SUNY Albany

In imaging applications using visible light and X-rays, information is obtained by measuring electromagnetic waves after they interact with a sample. The sample imparts information in both the wave’s amplitude (which changes due to absorption or scattering within the sample) and phase (a delay of the wave’s oscillation due to… Continue reading »

Robin Blume-Kohut, Sandia National Laboratory

Somewhere between 1980 and 1996, physics and computer science got together and had a baby called quantum computing. The point? That if you built a computer out of bits that obey quantum physics (“qubits”), it would change the ground rules of computing — i.e., logic. Quantum logic is different from… Continue reading »

Michael Goldman, Harvard University

The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center, an atom-like defect in diamond, has recently emerged as a promising platform for applications in quantum information science and quantum metrology. NV centers can be manipulated much like single trapped atoms. They can be isolated and addressed individually using optical microscopy; microwave radiation can be used… Continue reading »

Scott Tenenbaum, SUNY- Polytechnic Institute, Albany

sxRNA: A Trans-Regulated, miRNA Activated, Switch Technology   Francis Doyle, Zachary E. Wurz and Scott A. Tenenbaum*   Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Nanobioscience Constellation, SUNY-Polytechnic Institute, Albany, New York 12203, USA   The wide array of vital functions that RNA performs is dependent on… Continue reading »

Swati Singh, ITAMP, Harvard

The study of the interaction between quantum systems and their environment is central to the understanding of a broad range of problems. Important examples include the elusive quantum to classical transition, as illustrated most famously by the Schrödinger cat paradox, and non-equilibrium dynamics, as illustrated by the central spin problem. Continue reading »

Elizabeth Petrik, Harvard

The Standard Model of particle physics has reigned triumphant for nearly half a century, confirmed by observation upon observation. Nevertheless, it fails to explain significant aspects of the natural world, such as why our universe is composed of matter rather than antimatter – or equal amounts of… Continue reading »

Nathan Lundblad, Bates College

Notions of geometry, topology, and dimensionality have directed the historical development of quantum-gas physics, as has a relentless search for longer-lived matter-wave coherence and lower absolute temperature. With a toolbox of forces for confinement, guiding, and excitation, physicists have used quantum gases to test fundamental ideas in quantum theory, statistical… Continue reading »

Katherine Mesick, JLAB

In 2010, a precise measurement of the proton’s charge radius using muonic hydrogen found with high significance a 4% smaller value than expected from previous measurements using electrons.  The discrepancy is now greater than 7 standard deviations, and while many theories have been proposed to explain… Continue reading »

Guy Blaylock, UMass Amherst

Most physicists agree that the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Bell paradox exemplifies much of the strange behavior of quantum mechanics, but argument persists over what it really means in terms of an underlying reality. In this talk, I use a set of simple and well-known thought experiments involving two correlated photons to help… Continue reading »

Jared Strait, Cornell University

The next generation of electronic and optoelectronic devices will require new materials with new properties.  Low-dimensional and nanostructured materials have the unusual electronic, optical, mechanical, and plasmonic characteristics which hold the potential for unconventional device paradigms.  So it is crucial to investigate the physical properties,… Continue reading »

Nick Wilding, Georgia State University

Recent forgeries of early modern books using photopolymer plates have attained a high level of sophistication. This talk will examine the long history of book forgery, looking especially at efforts to create convincing artifacts, rather than merely forge texts.  The lecture is sponsored by the NASA Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium… Continue reading »

Daniel Lewis, Huntington Library

Amateurs and professionals studying birds at the end of the nineteenth century were a contentious, passionate group with goals that intersected, collided and occasionally merged in their writings and organizations. Driven by a desire to advance science, as well as by ego, pride, honor, insecurity, religion and other clashing sensibilities,… Continue reading »

Clark Semon

Rocket Stove Technology What started out as research to improve indoor air quality and reduce deforestation in developing countries, has become a growing worldwide realization that, in spite of burning wood since the dawn of civilization, humans are still learning how to build a better fire.  Using Rocket Stove technology… Continue reading »

Ana Maria Rey, JILA

Understanding the behavior of interacting electrons in solids or liquids is at the heart of modern quantum science and necessary for technological advances. However, the complexity of their interactions generally prevents us from coming up with an exact mathematical description of their behavior. Precisely engineered ultracold gases are emerging as… Continue reading »

Anne Goodsell

The resonant interaction between light and individual atoms in a gas can make those atoms heat up, cool down, or come to a nearly-complete stop in midair. With the technique of laser cooling, we can slow atoms from speeds of hundreds of meters per second to… Continue reading »

Abstract: Evan Couzo

Atmospheric models: Why you should never ever ever trust them, why some people do, and why you will, too. Dr. Evan Couzo (Williams Class of 2005) Postdoctoral Associate, MIT http://globalchange.mit.edu/about/our-people/personnel/staff_id/391 Since time immemorial, the modeling community has debated the… Continue reading »

Abstract: Kathy Aidala

Magnetic random access memory (MRAM) would combine the benefits of the hard drive (non-volatile, cheap, high density of bits) with the benefits of RAM (fast, mechanically robust).  One proposal for MRAM involves the vortex state of nanorings, a state in which the magnetic moments align circumferentially in the clockwise or… Continue reading »

Abstract: Paul Hess ’08

Many theories that patch holes in the Standard Model of particle physics, such as Supersymmetry, also happen to predict that the electron is asymmetric in shape, giving rise to a permanent electric dipole moment. I’ll describe the ACME collaboration’s recent measurement of this asymmetry using a beam of thorium monoxide… Continue reading »

Abstract: Shelby Kimmel

I will discuss quantum and classical algorithms to search for a hidden item. As aids, the algorithms can access black boxes that give information about the hidden item. The more information a box gives, the higher its cost, so the goal is to create algorithms that find the item cheaply. Continue reading »

Abstract: Brian Anderson

Quantum systems with a Hilbert space dimension greater than two (qudits) provide an alternative to qubits as carriers of quantum information, and may prove advantageous for quantum information tasks if good laboratory tools for qudit manipulation and readout can be developed. We have implemented a protocol for arbitrary… Continue reading »

Abstract: Matthew LaHaye

The field of mechanical quantum systems has made great strides in recent years developing the technology to begin eliciting and studying quantum behavior of structures that are normally well- described by classical laws of physics. While the full potential of the field is yet unknown, it’s thought that these mechanical… Continue reading »

Abstract: Alexi Arango

Analysts predict that within two to four years electricity generated from photovoltaics will cost less than grid electricity, making it the cleanest, cheapest, and most abundant form of energy generation.  The rise of solar energy, however, could fail to materialize if current photovoltaic technologies cannot meet the staggering manufacturing volumes… Continue reading »

Public Talk Abstract: Jennifer Yee

We now know of over 1,000 planets orbiting other stars. These extraordinary systems come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, like planets as big as Jupiter that orbit their stars in just 3 days or an entire solar system worth of planets squeezed inside Mercury’s orbit! Each planet… Continue reading »

Abstract: Jennifer Yee

Microlensing uses the gravitational bending of light to detect exoplanets. Because the typical timescale of the events is ~20 days and the individual events are not repeated, microlensing is generally thought of as giving only an instantaneous snapshot of the planetary system. In the context of recent microlensing discoveries, I will… Continue reading »

Abstract: Kamen Kozarev ’05

Recent advances in space-based solar observing have enabled unprecedented access to high-cadence, high-resolution observations of the coronal dynamics. This is extremely important, since transient phenomena in the corona usually cover multiple scales – from the current spatial resolution limit in the case of magnetic reconnection during solar flares, to several… Continue reading »

Abstract: Catherine Crouch

Many critical cellular functions, such as cell division and internal transport in vesicles (“vesicular trafficking”) require cell membranes to change shape. In a viral infection, the virus also must cause previously flat portions of the membrane to form small pouches (“buds”) filled with virus that then detach from the membrane… Continue reading »

Abstract: Dava Sobel

Although Copernicus had the courage to imagine an alternate universe in which the Earth rotated and revolved, it took him decades — and lots of encouragement from unexpected quarters — to promulgate his idea for a Sun-centered system of planets. His great work, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, published… Continue reading »

Abstract: Eric Heller

Quantum mechanics and acoustics are both wave theories, but the problems encountered, the boundary conditions, and the applications (for example to hearing, voice, and musical instruments) make them deliciously different. This talk will focus on some acoustical phenomena (with demonstrations) which have important lessons for resonance, power, diffraction, interference, and… Continue reading »

Abstract: Catherine McGeoch

I will describe experiments to evaluate the performance of a quantum computing system (hardware plus software), for solving combinatorial optimization problems. This unusual computing platform is manufactured by D-Wave Systems, Burnaby, Canada. It comprises a Linux front end together with an analog hardware chip containing qubits that are capable of… Continue reading »

Abstract: Ashley Carter

Every animal, plant, bacteria, and virus on the planet contains DNA. DNA is the molecule that ties us all together and the molecule that encodes our differentiation. One of the most important scientific discoveries in the future will be how to harness the genetic code within DNA to fight disease… Continue reading »

Abstract: Joshua Spitz

More than 80 years after its proposed existence, the neutrino remains largely mysterious and elusive. Despite this fact, we are closing in on answers to some of the big questions surrounding the “little neutral one”. After an introduction to the neutrino and neutrino mass, I will… Continue reading »

Abstract: Paul Schechter

Many gravitationally lensed quasars exhibit flux ratio “anomalies” that cannot be explained under the hypothesis that the lensing potential is smooth on subgalactic scales.  Micro-lensing by stars is a natural source of granularity in the lens potential.  The character of the expected fluctuations due to micro-lensing… Continue reading »

Abstract: Sebastian Will

Dipolar molecules:  a new player in the world of ultracold quantum matter In the past years, studies with atoms at nanokelvin temperatures have led to some of the most exciting results in experimental physics. Relying on the exquisite control and accuracy that is unique to atomic physics, ultracold atoms have… Continue reading »

Abstract: Elizabeth Freeland

“Searching for New Physics:  Neutral B-mixing and Lattice Quantum   Chromodynamics” A main goal of particle physics is the search for new particles and interactions.  This can be done by combining theory calculations, based on the Standard Model, with precision measurements and looking for inconsistencies.  A very active research area,… Continue reading »

Abstract: Lily Yang

“Building a quantum network from self-assembled quantum dots and photonic crystals” Quantum computing offers the potential to speed up information processing as well as completely secure data transfer.  Our research effort aims to create a quantum network consisting of site-controlled cavity-coupled QDs interconnected by waveguides in photonic crystals.  The spin of… Continue reading »

Abstract: Andrew Speck ’00

”Downhole Fluid Analysis at Schlumberger:  Current Status and Future Prospects” Schlumberger Limited is the world’s leading oilfield services company supplying technology, information solutions and integrated project management that optimize reservoir performance for customers working in the oil and gas industry. Founded in 1926, today the company employs more than 118,000… Continue reading »

Abstract: Angel Garcia, RPI

Molecular Dynamics Simulations of RNA tetra loops We report the unbiased folding of hyper-stable RNA tetraloops to less than 1 Å RMSD from their experimentally determined structures using molecular dynamics simulations started from the unfolded state. RNA tetraloops with loop sequences UUCG, GCAA, or CUUG are hyper-stable due to the… Continue reading »

Abstract: Michael Person, MIT

The MIT-Williams Program of Occultation Studies:  Pluto and Other Objects in the Outer Solar System A joint MIT-Williams effort has, for over a decade, jointly explored the outer solar system through observing occultations of distant stars by Pluto and objects beyond it. We have monitored changes in Pluto’s atmosphere, which… Continue reading »

Abstract: David Hanneke

 A Programmable Quantum Information Processor Quantum information processing promises significant gains for some important computational tasks as well as the potential to simulate interesting physical systems. All the basic techniques required for QIP have been demonstrated using the internal states of trapped atomic ions as a storage medium for… Continue reading »

Abstract: Tom Allison

High Brightness Extreme Ultraviolet Frequency Combs via Intracavity High-Order Harmonic Generation A coherent XUV and soft x-ray light source can be realized through high-order harmonic generation (HHG). HHG transfers the spatial and temporal coherence of laser light to the soft x-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) and is now being used… Continue reading »

Abstract: Lawrence Krauss, Cosmologist and Best Selling Author

A Universe from Nothing “The question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” has been asked for millenia by people who speculate on the need for a creator of our Universe.  Today, exciting scientific advances provide new insight into this cosmological mystery: Not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from… Continue reading »

Abstract: Robert Schoelkopf

Quantum Optics with Superconducting Circuits:  From Single Photons to Schrodinger Cats Over the last decade and a half, superconducting circuits have advanced to the point where we can generate and detect highly-entangled states, and perform universal quantum gates. Meanwhile, the coherence properties of these systems have improved more than 10,000-fold. Continue reading »

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