Colloquium

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

Seminar Series Events/Videos

TBA
Dec 2 2020 - 2:00pm
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TBA
Dec 9 2020 - 2:00pm
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Dec 16 2020 - 2:00pm
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TBA
Jan 20 2021 - 2:00pm
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Wednesday Nov 11, 2020
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A dark matter candidate lighter than about 30 eV exhibits wave behavior in a typical galactic environment. Examples include the QCD axion as well as other axion-like-particles. We review the particle physics motivations, and discuss experimental and observational implications of the wave dynamics, including interference substructures, vortices, soliton condensation and black hole hair.

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Wednesday Nov 04, 2020
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Gravitational waves provide a unique way to study the universe. From the initial direct detection of coalescing black holes in 2015, to the ground-breaking multimessenger observations of coalescing neutron stars in 2017, and continuing with the now routine detection of merging stellar remnants, gravitational wave astronomy has quickly matured into a key aspect of modern physics.

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Wednesday Oct 28, 2020
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A standard account of the measurement chain in quantum mechanics involves a probe (itself a quantum system) coupled temporarily to the system of interest. Once the coupling is removed, the probe is measured and the results are interpreted as the measurement of a system observable. Measurement schemes of this type have been studied extensively in Quantum Measurement Theory, but they are rarely discussed in the context of quantum fields and still less on curved spacetimes. 

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Thursday Oct 22, 2020

We present a quantum architecture based on a linear chain of trapped 171Yb+ ions with individual laser beam addressing and readout. The collective modes of motion in the chain are used to efficiently produce entangling gates between any qubit pair. In combination with a classical software stack, this becomes in effect an arbitrarily programmable and fully connected quantum computer. The system compares favorably to commercially available alternatives [2].

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Wednesday Oct 14, 2020
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The idea that structure in the Universe was created from quantum mechanical vacuum fluctuations during inflation is very compelling, but unproven. Finding a test of this proposal has been challenging because the universe we observe is effectively classical. I will explain how quantum fluctuations can give rise to the density fluctuations we observe and will show that we can test this hypothesis using the statistical properties of maps of the universe.

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Wednesday Sep 30, 2020
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One of the major themes of the modern condensed matter physics is the study of materials with nontrivial electronic structure topology. Particularly significant progress in this field has happened within the last decade, due to the discovery of topologically nontrivial states of matter, that have a gap in their energy spectrum, namely Topological Insulators and Topological Superconductors.

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Wednesday Sep 23, 2020

In most materials, electrons fill bands, starting from the lowest kinetic energy states. The Fermi level is the boundary between filled states below and empty states above. This is the basis for our very successful understanding of how metals and semiconductors work. But what if all the electrons within a band had the same kinetic energy (this situation is called a "flat band")? Then electrons could arrange themselves so as to minimize their Coulomb repulsion, giving rise to a wide variety of possible states including superconductors and magnets.

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Wednesday Sep 09, 2020
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Across science, women continue to be underrepresented.  The gender gap is considerable in physics and persists at all levels, from students through to senior physicists.  Recent research analyzed physics publications from around the world, reporting that 13% of authors in the senior author position are women, and this is changing by only 0.1% per year.  Despite the glaring lack of gender diversity, this issue is often not openly discussed in the day-to-day life of a physics department.

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Wednesday Jul 29, 2020
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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!

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Monday Jun 01, 2020
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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.

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