We are interested in how physics at the colloidal scale instantiate life in biological cells. While principles from physics have driven recent paradigm shifts in how collective biomolecular behaviors orchestrate life, many mechanistic aspects of e.g. transcription, translation, and condensation remain mysterious because…

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Gravitational waves provide a unique observational handle on the properties of strong, dynamical gravity. Black hole ringdowns, in particular, cleanly encode information about the structure of black holes, allowing us to test fundamental principles like the no-hair theorem and the area law. In this talk, I will review the status of this effort,…

I will discuss the worldsheet sigma-model whose target space is the d+1 dimensional Euclidean Schwarzschild black hole. I will argue that in the limit where the Hawking temperature of the black hole, T, approaches the Hagedorn temperature, TH, it can be described in terms of a generalized version of the Horowitz-Polchinski effective theory. For…

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Quantum error correction has given us a natural language for the emergence of spacetime, but the black hole interior poses a challenge for this framework: at late times the apparent number of interior degrees of freedom in effective field theory can vastly exceed the true number of fundamental degrees of freedom, so there can be no isometric (i…

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Are black holes stable? This question, which has played a central role in General Relativity ever since the discoveries of the Schwarzschild (1916) and Kerr (1963) solutions, can be formulated as a remarkably simple-to-state mathematical conjecture:

"Vacuum, asymptotically flat, initial data sets, sufficiently close to Kerr(a,m)…

Radiation emitted from evaporating black holes is highly mixed, at least for times prior to the so-called "Page time." Usually, the quantum state of the radiation is then treated as void of information. I will discuss two ways in which this early time radiation contains non-trivial quantum information. First, I will characterize (in simple…

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Distribution is a ubiquitous data type in high energy physics (HEP), many other sciences, and our daily life. When the space of distributions is equipped with a suitable metric, previously ad-hoc notions of similarity can now be formulated in a precise way, opening up many new applications with profound theoretical implications. Optimal…

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In contrast to symmetry breaking phases of matter, unconventional phases like spin liquids feature long-range quantum entanglement and relate to the deconfined phases of gauge theories. However, the realization of these states in materials has proved challenging. New avenues to create and probe such phases have arisen with the rapid…

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I will discuss some exotic QFTs with *dipole* symmetries which exhibit several peculiar features such as strange ground state degeneracy (GSD), defects with restricted mobility (a.k.a. *fractons*), and UV/IR mixing. I will focus on simple examples in 1+1d, including a compact version of the Lifshitz field theory. To…

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Quantitative reasoning tasks which can involve mathematics, science, and programming are often challenging for machine learning models in general and for language models in particular. We show that transformer-based language models obtain significantly better performance on math and science questions when trained in an unsupervised way on a…

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Although lattice Yang-Mills theory is easy to rigorously define, the construction of a satisfactory continuum theory is a major open problem in dimension d ≥ 3. Such a theory should assign a Wilson loop expectation to each suitable collection L of loops in d-dimensional space. One classical approach is to try to represent this expectation as a…

We study aspects of chaos and thermodynamics at strong coupling in a 1+1d QFT using numerical Hamiltonian truncation methods. We find that our eigenstate spectrum satisfies Wigner-Dyson statistics and that the coefficients describing eigenstates in our basis satisfy Random Matrix statistics both at weak and strong…

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My lab studies the brains of larval fruit flies as models of neural computation. We are interested in the rules by which the larval brain transforms sensory input into motor output to navigate an uncertain environment, how the larva’s brain changes these rules as it learns new information, and how these rules and changes are encoded in the…

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The AdS/CFT conjecture in physics posits the existence of a

correspondence between gravitational theories in asymptotically Anti-de

Sitter (aAdS) spacetimes and field theories on their conformal boundary.

In this presentation, we prove a rigorous mathematical statement toward

this conjecture…

In low-dimensional systems, the combination of reduced dimensionality, strong interactions, and topology has led to a growing number of many-body quantum phenomena. Thermal transport, which is sensitive to all energy-carrying degrees of freedom, provides a discriminating probe of emergent excitations in quantum materials. However, thermal…

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Abstract: "TBA"

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Finding unconventional superconductors in proximity to various strongly correlated electronic phases has been a recurring theme in materials as diverse as heavy fermion compounds, cuprates, pnictides, and twisted bilayer graphene. The recent discovery of superconductivity in layered nickelates1 was motivated by looking for an analog of the…

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We show that if a massive body is put in a quantum superposition of spatially separated states, the mere presence of a black hole in the vicinity of the body will eventually destroy the coherence of the superposition. This occurs because, in effect, the black hole acquires "which path" information…

Galaxy-galaxy strong lensing involves a foreground galaxy producing multiple distorted and highly magnified images of a background galaxy. Smaller perturbers, which can be either subhalos orbiting the foreground galaxy or halos along the line-of-sight, cause slight deviations in these bright arcs. For this reason, strong gravitational lenses…

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