Colloquium

This series covers all areas of research at Perimeter Institute, as well as those outside of PI's scope.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

 

Wednesday Oct 10, 2007
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The role of outflows in global star formation processes has become hotly debated even as fundamental questions about the nature of these outflows continues to receive attention. In this talk I discuss both problems and new approaches to their resolution. Astrophysical outflows have always been a subject at the forefront of the numerical technologies and in the first act of the talk I introduce AstroBEAR, a new Adaptive Mesh Refinement MHD tool developed at Rochester for the study of star formation outflow issues.

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Wednesday Oct 03, 2007
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One of the cool, frustrating things about quantum theory is how the once-innocuous concept of "measurement" gets really complicated. I'd like to understand how we find out about the universe around us, and how to reconcile (a) everyday experience, (b) experiments on quantum systems, and (c) our theory of quantum measurements. In this talk, I'll try to braid three [apparently] separate research projects into the beginnings of an answer.

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Wednesday Sep 19, 2007
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Quantum field theory in curved spacetime (QFTCS) is the theory of quantum fields propagating in a classical curved spacetime, as described by general relativity. QFTCS has been applied to describe such important and interesting phenomena as particle creation by black holes and perturbations in the early universe associated with inflation. However, by the mid-1970\'s, it became clear from phenomena such as the Unruh effect that \'particles\' cannot be a fundamental notion in QFTCS.

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Wednesday Sep 12, 2007
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I will discuss an alternative approach to simulating Hamiltonian flows with a quantum computer. A Hamiltonian system is a continuous time dynamical system represented as a flow of points in phase space. An
alternative dynamical system, first introduced by Poincare, is defined
in terms of an area preserving map. The dynamics is not continuous but discrete and successive dynamical states are labeled by integers rather than a continuous time variable. Discrete unitary maps are
naturally adapted to the quantum computing paradigm. Grover's

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Wednesday May 09, 2007
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Modern motivations for extra spacetime dimensions will be presented, in particular the surprising AdS/CFT connection to particle compositeness. It will be shown how highly curved, "warped", extra-dimensional geometries can naturally address several puzzles of fundamental physics, including the weakness of gravity, particle mass hierarchies, dark matter, and supersymmetry breaking. The possibility of direct discovery of warped dimensions at

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Wednesday May 02, 2007
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The progress in neutrino physics over the past ten years has been
tremendous: we have learned that neutrinos have mass and change flavor. I will pick out one of the threads of the story-- the measurement of flavor oscillation in neutrinos produced by cosmic ray showers in the atmosphere, and its confirmation in long distance beam experiments. I will present the history, the current state of knowledge, and how the next generation of high intensity beam experiments will address some of the remaining puzzles.

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Wednesday Apr 25, 2007
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Among the possible explanations for the observed acceleration of the universe, perhaps the boldest is the idea that new gravitational physics might be the culprit. In this colloquium I will discuss some of the challenges of constructing a sensible phenomenological extension of General Relativity, give examples of some candidate models of modified gravity and survey existing observational constraints on this approach.

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Wednesday Apr 11, 2007
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The theory of strong interactions is an elegant quantum field theory known as Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). QCD is deceptively simple to formulate, but notoriously difficult to solve. This simplicity belies the diverse set of physical phenomena that fall under its domain, from nuclear forces and bound hadrons, to high energy jets and gluon radiation.

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Wednesday Mar 28, 2007
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Shear viscosity is a transport coefficient in the hydrodynamic description of liquids, gases and plasmas. The ratio of the shear viscosity and the volume density of the entropy has the dimension of the ratio of two fundamental constants - the Planck constant and the Boltzmann constant - and characterizes how close a given fluid is to a perfect fluid. Transport coefficients are notoriously difficult to compute from first principles.

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