This series covers all areas of research at Perimeter Institute, as well as those outside of PI's scope.
What factors drive the growth and decay of a pandemic? Can a study of community differences (in demographics, settlement, mobility, weather, and epidemic history) allow these factors to be identified? Has “herd immunity” to COVID-19 been reached anywhere? What are the best steps to manage/avoid future outbreaks in each community? We analyzed the entire set of local COVID-19 epidemics in the United States; a broad selection of demographic, population density, climate factors, and local mobility data, in order to address these questions. What we found will surprise you!
There is a rich interplay between higher algebra (category theory, algebraic topology) and condensed matter. I will describe recent mathematical results in the classification of gapped topological phases of matter. These results allow powerful techniques from stable homotopy theory and higher categories to be employed in the classification. In one direction, these techniques allow for complete a priori classifications in spacetime dimensions ≤6. In the other direction, they suggest fascinating and surprising statements in mathematics.
MIP* denotes the class of problems that admit interactive proofs with quantum entangled provers. It has been an outstanding question to characterize the complexity of this class. Most notably, there was no known computable upper bound on MIP*.
Cooling atomic gases to ultracold temperatures revolutionized the field of atomic physics, connecting with and impacting many other areas in physics. Advances in producing ultracold molecules suggest similarly dramatic discoveries are on the horizon. First, I will review the physics of ultracold molecules, including our work bringing a new class of molecules to nanokelvin temperatures. Chemistry at these temperatures has a very different character than at room temperature. One striking effect is our recent result using spin states of reactants to control chemical reaction pathways.
While it is considered to be one of the most promising hints of new physics beyond the Standard Model, dark matter is as-yet known only through its gravitational influence on astronomical and cosmological observables. I will discuss our current best evidence for dark matter's existence as well as the constraints that astrophysical probes can place on its properties, while highlighting some tantalizing anomalies that could indicate non-gravitational dark matter interactions.
There has been tremendous progress in the many layers needed to realize large-scale quantum computing, from the hardware layers to the high level software. There has also been vastly increased exploration into the potentially useful applications of quantum computers, which will drive the desire to build quantum computers and make them available to users. I will describe some of my research in quantum algorithmics and quantum compiling.
As of late March 2020, Covid-19 has already secured its status among the most expansive pandemics of the last century. Covid-19 is caused by a coronavirus--SARS-CoV-2--that causes a severe respiratory disease in a fraction of those infected, and is typified by several important features: ability to infect cells of various kinds, contagiousness prior to the onset of symptoms, and a widely varying experience with disease across patient demographics.
In our four-dimensional world supersymmetry is the only extension of the classical Poincaré invariance which laid the foundation of modern physics in the beginning of the 20th century. Supersymmetry, a new geometric symmetry extending Poincaré, was discovered in 1970 –– it was overlooked for decades because of its quantum nature. In the next 10 years or so supersymmetry