Colloquia, Dept. Physics & Astronomy, Stony Brook University
Colloquium committee: Chris Jacobsen, Sasha Abanov, Aaron Evans, Tom Weinacht

Coffee & Tea served at 3:45 pm.  Talk begins at 4:15 pm.

Spring 2006 colloquia:
January 31, 2006
Robert Schoelkopf
Yale University
Circuit Quantum Electrodynamics: Doing Quantum Optics on a Superconducting Chip

I will describe experiments in which the strong coupling limit of cavity quantum electrodynamics has been realized for the first time using superconducting circuits. In our approach, we use a Cooper-pair box as an artificial atom, which is coupled to a one-dimensional cavity formed by a transmission line resonator. When the Cooper-pair box qubit is detuned from the cavity resonance frequency, we perform high-fidelity dispersive quantum non-demolition read-out of the qubit state. Using this read-out technique, we have characterized the qubit properties spectroscopically, performed Rabi and Ramsey experiments with the qubit, and attained coherence times greater than 500 ns and a visibility of >90%, indicating that this architecture is extremely attractive for quantum computing and control. In the case when the qubit is tuned into resonance with the cavity, we observe the vacuum Rabi splitting of the cavity mode, indicating that the strong coupling regime is attained, and coherent superpositions between the qubit and a single photon are generated.
February 7, 2006
Uwe Bergmann
Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory
Archimedes Manuscript under X-ray Vision

Archimedes (287 - 212 BC) is considered one of the most brilliant thinkers of all times. The 10th century parchment document known as the Archimedes Palimpsest is the unique source for two of the Greek's treatises - the Stomachion, and The Method of Mechanical Theorems. It is also the only source for On Floating Bodies in Greek. The privately owned palimpsest is the subject of an integrated campaign of conservation, imaging, and scholarship being undertaken at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Much of the text has been imaged by various optical techniques, but even today significant gaps remain in our knowledge of the text of Archimedes, while texts by other authors - potentially of major significance - remain yet unread. A breakthrough in uncovering the remaining unread text has recently been achieved. Using x-ray fluorescence imaging at the iron K-edge, it was possible to uncover text from faint traces of the partly erased iron gall ink. The x-ray image revealed Archimedes text hidden underneath 20th century gold forgeries and covered by 12th century biblical writings. Some of this text has not been read since more than a millennium. Please join me in a fascinating journey of a 1000 year old parchment from its origin in the Mediterranean city of Constantinople to an x-ray beamline at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory.
February 14, 2006
Steve Dierker
Brookhaven National Laboratory

February 21, 2006
Gerry Brown
Stony Brook University
Hans Bethe 100;  Evolution and Merging of Compact Binaries
February 28, 2006
Vladimir Shalaev
Purdue University

March 7, 2006
Hideo Mabuchi

March 14, 2006
Tamar Seideman

March 21, 2006
Paul Vanden Bout
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Imaging the Formation of Galaxies, Stars, and Planets with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array
March 28, 2006
Boris Shklovskii
University of Minnesota

April 4, 2006
Angela Olinto
University of Chicago

April 11, 2006
Spring break - no colloquium

April 18, 2006
Chris Monroe
University of Michigan

April 25, 2006
Tim Heckman
Johns Hopkins University
The Co-Evolution of Black Holes & Galaxies: The SDSS Perspective
May 2, 2006
Awards colloquium

For Fall 2005, go here.

Past colloquia:
September 13, 2005
(4:00 pm rather than 4:15 pm!!!)
Peter Koch
Department of Physics
Stony Brook University
Chair's colloquium
September 20, 2005
Stefan Vogt
Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory
Microprobe studies of the role of trace metals in cells (abstract)
September 27, 2005
Albert Libchaber
Detlev W. Bronk Professor
Rockefeller University
Towards the artificial cell: progress and difficulties
October 4, 2005
Rosh Hashanah - no colloquium

October 11, 2005
Robert Cess
Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres at the Marine Science Research Center
Stony Brook University
Models of global climate change
October 18, 2005
Bertrand Halperin
Harvard University
One-Dimensional Metals in Theory and Experiment

Theoretical analysis, dating back to Bethe's pioneering work of 1931, has shown that interacting one-dimensional electron systems differ in important ways from their three-dimensional counterparts. The low-temperature low-energy behavior of a conventional three-dimensional metal is described by Landau's Fermi-Liquid theory, which can be understood by treating the interaction as a weak perturbation to the non-interacting behavior. Predictions for one-dimensional metals, often described as "Luttinger Liquids", differ more radically from a non-interacting system.  In recent years,  experimental realizations of one-dimensional metals, including single-walled carbon nanotubes, the edges of quantized Hall systems, and "quantum wires" in GaAs heterostructures,  have led to direct experimental tests of some of the predictions of Luttinger liquid theory.  We shall discuss some of these results, with emphasis on electron-tunneling experiments, including recent work on tunneling between two parallel quantum wires, and evidence for the occurrence of "spin-charge" separation.
October 21, 2005
(Friday rather than Tuesday! Wang Center Theater, 4 pm!)
John Stachel
Center for Einstein Studies, Boston University
Einstein's Odyssey: From Special to General Relativity
Sir Run Run Shaw lecture, and Provost's Lecture Series
See also Geometry and the Universe: A Symposium on General Relativity (Oct. 20-21)
October 25, 2005
Uzi Landman
Georgia Tech
Small is Different: Emergent Physics and Chemistry in the Nonscalable Regime
Simons Lecture

Investigations of physical systems of small sizes and reduced dimensionalities, exhibiting discrete quantized energy level spectra and specific structures and morphologies, open avenues for systematic explorations of the physical factors and unifying principles that underlie the transition from the atomic and molecular domain to the cluster domain and ultimately the condensed phase regime. Such behavior, where the properties do not scale with the reduced physical size, but rather where Small is Different in an essential way that can not be deduced through extrapolation from knowledge of bulk behavior, is emergent in nature. Often, the new and different behavior at the nanoscale can be traced to the circumstance where one (or more) of the physical dimensions of the material aggregate approaches a length-scale characteristic to a physical phenomenon (with different phenomena being characterized by different length-scales).

Gaining insights into the nature of physical and chemical systems of highly reduced sizes, and developing experimental and theoretical methodologies aimed at probing, manipulating and controlling them on the atomic and molecular level, are among the major challenges of current basic interdisciplinary research. Computationally-based theoretical modeling and simulations play an increasingly important role in modern condensed matter physics, chemistry, materials science, and biology. In particular, such studies, that may be called “computational microscopies” allow explorations of complex phenomena with refined resolution in space and time [1]. The use of atomistic simulations as tools of discovery will be discussed and demonstrated through: simulations of formation and breakup of liquid jets of nanoscale dimensions leading to a stochastic formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations, thus extending continuum hydrodynamics to the nanoscale domain; investigations into the microscopic origins of frictional dissipation; explorations of the surprising nanocatalytic activity of small gold aggregates; studies of the properties of highly correlated electrons in quantum dots leading to formation of electron molecules and crystallites, and post-ionization hole transport in DNA culminating in the reaction of ionized DNA with water which underlies mutagenesis, ageing and disease.

[1] U. Landman, “Materials by Numbers: Computations as Tools of Discovery”, perspective article in Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) 102, 6671 (2005).

November 1, 2005
Barbara Jacak
Stony Brook University
The Quark Gluon Plasma at RHIC

Heating nuclear matter to high energy density recreates the conditions which existed a few microseconds after the Big Bang. This matter, with an energy density of multiple GeV/fm3, is expected to be a plasma of quarks and gluons not confined into hadrons. The matter undergoes an explosive expansion, developing stong collective motion as expected for a perfect liquid or a plasma in the strongly coupled regime. I will show results from experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, focussing upon transmission of color charged probes through the plasma, multi-particle correlations to measure collective flows, and the fate of heavy quarks produced early in the collision.
November 8, 2005
Karel Svoboda
Cold Spring Harbor lab
Imaging the dynamics of the brain with molecular resolution
November 15, 2005
Peter Johnson
Brookhaven National Laboratory
One Hundred Years of Photoemission:  From Einstein to the Modern Quantum World
November 22, 2005
Renata Wentzcovitch
University of Minnesota
(Currently visiting professsor of geosciences at Stony Brook)
Advances and challenges in theory of planetary materials
DFT-based first principles theory of planetary materials has emerged in the last decade as a powerful addition to experimental high-pressure techniques in mineral physics. Although experimental progress is steady, and today high pressure and temperature crystallography has reached conditions achieved at the Earth’s core mantle boundary, measurements of materials properties at similar conditions is extremely challenging.

In the early nineties, first principles calculations overcame the barrier posed by the structural complexity typical of silicate minerals, and new methods to perform molecular dynamics and lattice dynamics were invented. These have enabled us to address structural, thermodynamic, and thermoelastic properties of planet forming phases. This was unthinkable then. I will review some milestone studies in this field, as well as crucial recent ones, and point to the challenges ahead.

November 29, 2005
Sergei Maslov
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Detecting topological patterns in complex bio-molecular networks
December 6, 2005
Tom Weinacht
Stony Brook University
Controlling Molecular Dynamics with Shaped Laser Pulses
December 13, 2005
Chang-Kee Jung
Stony Brook University
The Henderson Deep Underground Science Laboratory

For Fall 2005, go here.