Aldo Antognini, Max Planck Institut fur Quantenoptik and ETH,"The proton radius puzzle"
Thu, Oct 28, 2010, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
At the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, we have recently measured the 2S-2P transition frequency (Lamb shift) in muonic hydrogen with 15 ppm precision by means of laser spectroscopy. From this measurement we have determined the rms charge radius of the proton. The new proton radius value rp = 0.84184(67) fm is 10 times more precise than…
Marc Mezard, CNRS - Université Paris Sud-"Glassy phase transitions in hard computer science problems"
Thu, Oct 21, 2010, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Given a large set of discrete variables, and some constraints between them, is there a way to choose the variables so that all constraints are satisfied?This "satisfiability" problem is one of the most fundamental complex optimization problems. It also has very concrete applications, for instance in computer chip testing or in error correcting…
Marcelo Magnasco, Rockefeller University "Learning to be critical"
Thu, Oct 14, 2010, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
We hypothesize that many large-scale biological networks organize themselves to operate in a dynamical regime where extensively many (in the thermodynamic sense) degrees of freedom ``poise themselves'' at the edge of a dynamical instability; we further hypothesize such dynamical criticality underlies the ability of the system to propagate…
Vladimir Falko, Lancaster University, Lancaster UK "Electronic properties of bilayer graphene, from 'high' to 'low' energies"
Thu, Oct 7, 2010, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
I shall describe rich physics peculiar for elctrons in bilayer graphene at various scales of excitation energies. Using tight binding model for electrons in bilayers, I'll show that electrons in bilayer graphene (BLG) are Berry phase 2pi quasiparticles, with peculiar Landau level spectrum manifested in charactersitic sequencing of quantum Hall…
Boris Altshuler, Columbia University "Anderson localization: looking forward"
Thu, Sep 30, 2010, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Localization of the eigenfunctions of quantum particles in a random potential was discovered by P.W. Anderson more than 50 years ago. In spite of its respectable maturity and rather intensive theoretical and experimental studies this field is by far not exhausted. Anderson localization was originally discovered in connection with spin relaxation…
Scott Tremaine, IAS "2020 Vision: the Decade Survey in Astronomy and Astrophysics"
Thu, Sep 23, 2010, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Last month the National Research Council completed a massive two-year project to prioritize major projects and other activities in astronomy and astrophysics for the next decade. I will review the process and results, and how they were influenced by the scientific and political landscape and by the successes and failures of past decade surveys. I…
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