The Landau levels of a two-dimensional electron system support a plethora of fascinating many-body ground states and collective low-energy excitations, thanks to enhanced electron-electron interactions and the characteristics of the LL wave functions. The n=1 LL is particularly fascinating as it hosts even-denominator fractional quantum Hall…

I will introduce two new families of critical string theories in two dimensions and explain that, when viewed as two-dimensional quantum gravity on the worldsheet, each is equivalent to a matrix model. The first worldsheet string theory consists of Liouville CFT coupled to timelike Liouville CFT. Its dual double-scaled…

Groups of cells of all kinds work together as part of multicellular behaviors ranging from collective migration to development. These behaviors are coordinated at the level of single cells, where information about other cells and the environment are encoded in intracellular signaling dynamics that then drive cellular-level behaviors. We face…

In 2022, the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration revealed the first images of the shadow of our Milky Way supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). Since its detection in the mid-70s, this bright radio source in the Galactic center has been shrouded in a veil of mystery. The Nobel-awarded stellar orbits…

Lévy matrices are symmetric random matrices whose entry distributions have power law tails and infinite variance. They are predicted to exhibit an Anderson-type phase transition separating a region of delocalized eigenvectors from one with localized eigenvectors. We will discuss the context for this conjecture, and describe a result…

Stellar streams, the tidal remnants of globular clusters and dwarf galaxies orbiting throughout the Milky Way’s halo, are some of the most powerful tools in the study of near-field cosmology. In particular, they are sensitive probes of the distribution and properties of dark matter across multiple scales, from the smallest subhalos, to the…

In this talk, I will review a simple derivation of an integral kernel formula for the partition function of T Tbar deformed CFT based on the holographic single trace T Tbar deformation and its generalization to J Tbar and J Jbar deformations. I will then describe the application of this formalism to…

Growth is central to life, shaping physiology, ecology, and evolution. In this talk, I discuss our efforts to elucidate the causes and consequences of bacterial growth across scales. Starting from resource allocation models and the molecular and energetic demands of protein synthesis, I first introduce how bacterial cells adjust their…

The gravitational perturbations of a rotating Kerr black hole are notoriously complicated, even at the linear level. In 1973, Teukolsky showed that their physical degrees of freedom are encoded in two gauge-invariant Weyl curvature scalars that obey a separable wave equation. Determining these scalars is sufficient for…

Holographic tensor networks model AdS/CFT, but so far they have been limited by involving only systems that are very different from gravity. Unfortunately, we cannot straightforwardly discretize gravity to incorporate it, because that would break diffeomorphism invariance. In this talk I will present a resolution,…

The Phi^4, and generally Phi^p measures, which are extensively studied in quantum field theory, also occur naturally as invariant Gibbs measures for certain (dispersive) Hamiltonian PDEs and parabolic SPDEs. A fundamental question is to rigorously justify the invariance of such measures under said dynamics, which leads to deep questions in the…

A perturbed black hole rings down by producing radiation at certain fixed (complex) frequencies - the quasinormal frequencies. These frequencies can be identified with the spectrum of a non-self adjoint operator derived from the evolution equation of the particular field of interest. Thanks to accurate measurements of…

In gauge theories with fundamental matter, such as QCD, there is typically no sharp way to distinguish confining and Higgs regimes because there are no suitable order parameters. It is standard lore that these two regimes are continuously connected. In this talk I will discuss simple examples in which…

Understanding how to characterize quantum chaotic dynamics is a longstanding question.

In this colloquium, I will discuss recent developments that identify Free Probability -- a generalization of probability theory to non-commuting objects --

as the unifying mathematical…

Animal behaviors are complex and hierarchical spatiotemporal patterns. In the popular model organism *Caenorhabditis elegans*, behavioral sequences on a slower timescale emerge from ordered and flexible transitions between different motor states, such as forward movement, reversal, and turn. On a faster timescale, intricate head…

Current gravitational-wave detectors are being upgraded, and plans are developing for future detectors with greater sensitivity over broader frequency bands. As instruments improve and develop, more cycles of sources’ gravitational waveforms will be measured with greater signal to noise ratio. Such higher…

Recently, a class of many-body Hamiltonians have been found to show exact periodic dynamics in the continuum of the energy spectrum where thermalization and chaos is expected. This phenomenon is known as the (exact) quantum many-body scar (QMBS) dynamics. We show that a wide range of QMBS models, plus many new ones, can be unified and…

A striking feature of non-Hermitian systems is the presence of two types of topology. One generalizes Hermitian topological phases, and another is intrinsic to non-Hermitian systems, called line-gap topology and point-gap topology. Whereas the bulk-boundary correspondence is a fundamental principle in the former topology, its role in the latter…

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