Past Department Colloquia

Thu, 2012-01-19 16:00 - 17:00
Alexandre Blais (Universite de Sherbrooke)
Coupling of superconducting qubits to quantized microwave fields stored in electrical circuits has opened new possibilities for quantum optics and quantum information processing in solid-state devices. With the steady improvements of the coherence time of superconducting qubits and with the large qubit-field coupling that can be achieved, these on-chip realizations of cavity QED, also known as circuit QED, can reach new parameter regimes currently unexplored in atomic based quantum optics.
Thu, 2012-01-12 16:00 - 17:00
Steve Giddings (UC Santa Barbara)
Reconciling quantum mechanics with gravity is perhaps the most conceptually profound unsolved problem from twentieth century physics. Gedanken experiments have a long tradition in unravelling difficult problems. One such experiment exposing a central issue in quantum gravity is that of scattering particles at energies above the Planck scale. Such collisions might even be realized at LHC, in certain theories of nature. In a classical description of this scattering, black holes form; Hawking showed quantum effects then cause their evaporation.
Thu, 2011-12-01 16:00 - 17:00
Nadya Mason (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)
Superconductors are materials that can have zero electrical resistance. They are thus of great interest for applications such as power transmission and energy storage. While the fundamental physics of standard superconductors has now been understood for over 50 years, questions remain about what happens when superconductors are coupled to other materials. For example, it was known that superconducting carriers could be transmitted through a normal metal, but the spectroscopy of the individual modes had not been measured.
Thu, 2011-11-17 16:00
Charles Kane (Penn State)
A topological insulator is a material that is an insulator on its interior,but has special conducting states on its surface. These surface states are unlike any other known two dimensional conductor. They are characterized by a unique Dirac type dispersion relation and are protected by a topological property of the material's underlying electronic band structure. Topological insulators have attracted considerable interest as a fundamentally new electronic phase with applications from spintronics to quantum computing.
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