Crystalline biominerals cost energy but provide the diverse organism making them with scaffolding, shielding, locomotion, mastication, gravity and magnetic field sensing, etc. How these crystals are formed reveals how living organisms harness the laws of physics and chemistry for their evolutionary advantage, but also because it can teach us…

Superstring theory is our best candidate for the ultimate unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics. Although predictions of the theory are typically at extremely high energy and out of reach of current experiments and observations, several non-trivial constraints on its low energy effective theory have been found. Because of the…

Massive black holes weighing from a few tens of thousands to tens of billions of solar masses inhabit the centers of today’s galaxies, including our own Milky Way. Massive black holes also shone as quasars in the past, with the earliest detected a mere billion years after the Big Bang. Along cosmic time, encounters between galaxies hosting…

Time-reversal symmetry is one of fundamental symmetries that can present in many quantum mechanical systems. It plays an important role in many-body quantum systems, as demonstrated, for example, in the physics of topological insulators. In this talk, I will discuss topology and quantum entanglement protected and detected by time-reversal…

Not long after the birth of quantum mechanics nearly a century ago, Erwin Schroedinger pointed out, in his famous "Cat" paper, the difficulty which arises if we assume that the theory gives a complete account of the world up to and including our observations of it. This difficulty, known as the measurement, or better realization, problem, has…

What are the problems we can solve using a computer? is one of the very fundamental question in science. We will describe how do we use statistical physics to address this question. We will discuss what insights does physics bring to the field of algorithmic hardness and how is this insight used to develop better algorithms. We will describe…

From "desperate remedies" to "missing energy", the three neutrinos, the tiniest building blocks of matter, have been elusive for most of their known lives. Only in the last 20 years have we convinced ourselves that neutrinos, like the other building blocks of matter, have mass. This evidence has raised more questions than it has answered and…

Microbial ecosystems and their metabolic activity play a fundamental but poorly understood role at multiple scales, from human health to biogeochemical cycles. In fact, metabolism, in addition to being the “engine” of every living cell, mediates competition and cross-feeding between different species, and dictates how cells interact with their…

One major open problem in quantum information theory is how to build a quantum hard drive, i.e. a quantum mechanical system that can store quantum information reliably for a very long time without active error correction. No completely satisfying solution to this problem has been found, but in the search for possibilities a whole new class of…

I will talk about recent experiments on the chiral anomaly in Dirac semimetals. In field theory, Dirac fermions of zero mass must segregate into left- and right-handed populations that do not ever mix. In this limit, chiral symmetry (handedness) is a global symmetry of the Lagrangian. However, quantum effects induced by coupling to a vector…

Quantum-critical strongly correlated systems feature universal collision-dominated collective transport. Viscous electronics is an emerging field dealing with systems in which strongly interacting electrons flow like a fluid. Such flows have some remarkable properties never seen before. I shall describe recent theoretical and experimental works…

**The talk will present some of the recent progress in mathematical studies of critical phenomena of classical statistical mechanical systems. Through the relation of quantum systems to classical systems in d+1 dimensions, some of these new results also yield new understanding of the ground states of a class of quantum spin chains with a…**

**1944 saw the height of the United States Manhattan Project efforts which was distributed between Los Alamos New Mexico, Oak Ridge Tennessee, and Hanford Washington. Since the Manhattan Project was spurred by the fear that Germany was building her own nuclear weapons, Allied anxiety continuously pondered the Nazi atomic progress. As…**

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 space of conformal…

**The Gaia mission is in the process of mapping nearly 1% of the Milky Way’s stars. This data set is unprecedented and provides a unique view into the formation history of our Galaxy and its associated dark matter halo. I will review results based on the most recent Gaia data release, which demonstrate that the inner Galaxy is dominated…**

Ultracold fermions in optical lattices provide a clean physical realization of the celebrated Fermi-Hubbard model of condensed matter, a minimal model believed to contain the essential ingredients for high-temperature superconductivity. Recent advances in the field of quantum gas microscopy have opened up the possibility to probe and manipulate…

The standard model of particle physics is approaching the half-century mark. I shall discuss what we have learned and where we might be headed.

David Gross is the Chancellor's Chair and Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC-Santa Barbara and a Nobel Laureate in Physics, 2004.

Why is the universe composed only of matter, with negligible anti-matter? Is the neutrino its own anti-particle? These two seemingly disparate questions may be linked through *leptogenesis*–a theory which postulates massive neutrinos that break matter-antimatter asymmetry and could yield the universe we observe, inhabit and explore today…

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