Physics Home


PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM SCHEDULE

FALL 2022

Colloquia begin at 3:00pm on Thursdays and are held in NPB 1002 unless otherwise noted.


Contact: Imre Bartos (imrebartos@ufl.edu)


Department of Physics Colloquium Committee: 

Imre Bartos (chair), Laura Blecha, Dominique Laroche, Konstantin Matchev, 

Guenakh Mitselmakher, Khander Muttalib, Tarek Saab, David Tanner, and BingKan Xue



September 1 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Yuxuan Wang 

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Higher-order topological superconductors and Majoranna quantum gates

 

Abstract

We will first review the idea of manipulating Majorana non-Abelian anyons for topological quantum computation, and then introduce the concept of higher-order topological superconductors. We show that higher-order topological superconductors naturally host Majorana modes at the corners and hinges of the sample. We discuss several possible realizations of higher-order topological superconductors, and in one setup, we show that the Majorana modes can be manipulated for braiding processes by tuning a Zeeman field. We show that such a setup can achieve full braiding, exchanging, and a long-saught-after Magic gate of the Majorana zero modes, providing a new route toward topological quantum computation. 

 

Host

Steve Hagen


September 8 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Paul Fulda

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Current highlights and future prospects of UF ground- and space-based gravitational wave detector research

 

Abstract

The last decade has been a revolutionary one for gravitational wave (GW) astronomy. In 2015 Advanced LIGO made the first detection of GWs from colliding black holes, leading to the 2017 Nobel Physics Prize, and revelations about the evolution of black holes and neutron stars, formation of heavy elements, and the nature of gravity in the strong field regime have been streaming in ever since. This stream is poised to become a flood in the next decade as a new generation of detectors, both on Earth and in space, come online. In this talk I will first give an overview of my research group's major activities in the areas of ground- and space-based gravitational wave detection, touching on highlights such as: (1) Delivery of low-optical loss Faraday isolators for the latest LIGO upgrade "A+". (2) Technology development for further LIGO sensitivity improvements. (3) Stability testing of the LISA telescope prototypes. (4) LISA instrument simulation and performance modeling. I'll then turn the focus towards the future and discuss the prospects for the next few decades of GW instrument science research at UF. On Earth this implies the next generation of observatory facilities, under the banner of the Cosmic Explorer project in the US. In space, despite LISA's launch being projected over a decade away, the wheels are already in motion for the next generation of detectors, with the goal of exploring still more of the as-yet unobserved GW spectrum. 

 

Host

Steve Hagen


September 15 (Thursday) 

 

Speaker

Sergey Klimenko (UF) 

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Einstein's Zoo: the hunt for new species 

 

Abstract

With the first direct observation of gravitational waves (GW) on September 14, 2015, the advanced GW detectors opened new possibilities to explore our Universe. The first GW signal was not from a much-anticipated binary neutron stars (BNS), but from a quite unexpected merger of binary black holes (BBH), which challenged the existing BBH formation models and inspired new insights into the evolution of massive stars. Several years later, the GW detectors have recorded two BNS and more then 90 BBH signals, including a BBH merger on May 21, 2019 – a possible missing link between stellar mass black holes and supermassive black holes. That was another unexpected GW event, which has far-reaching astrophysical implications and marks the beginning of an active research on a new class of BBH sources. Future observations with improving LIGO detectors are likely to discover anticipated or possibly new GW sources - we should be ready for unexpected. I will talk about LIGO observations, detection of transient (burst) GW signals from a wide range of potential astrophysical sources, detection challenges for signals with poorly known or uncertain models and discuss astrophysical implications of the burst analysis. 

 

Host

Steve Hagen


September 22 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Sergey Frolov

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Superconductors and Semiconductors, Nanowires and Majorana, Research and Integrity

 

Abstract

This talk will be on three topics, but in a way it is one. My research focus and passion is the proximity effect. It is when superconducting correlations are induced in a non-superconducting material. Because superconductivity is always tied to a spin order, proximity effects get especially rich when the non-superconductor is magnetic, or has strong spin-orbit coupling for electrons. Superconductivity induced by proximity must take into account these interactions in the new host, and can evolve into exotic phases such as triplet or topological superconductivity. This is where Majorana modes come in, they are edge states of a topological superconductor with unusual properties such as predicted non-Abelian exchange. For the past decade I was busy studying their possible manifestations in semiconductor nanowires, where superconductivity is subject to both spin-orbit and magnetic field effects at the same time. We got very excited at first when we found experimental signatures, zero-bias peaks, that behaved as expected for Majorana modes. We shortly learned that another effect, non-topological Andreev states, can exhibit all of the same signatures. Despite these dual interpretations, papers claiming new Majorana sightings kept appearing. After I and my colleague Vincent Mourik looked into extra data from those papers we found unjustified data selection that invalidated conclusions. Several papers are under investigation as a result of our work. In my talk I want to touch on the implications of this, and sketch a path forward for our topic and for the broader field of quantum and condensed matter physics.

 

Host

Dominique Laroche


September 29 (Thursday)

 

 

CANCELLED

due to Hurricane Ian

 


October 6 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Zack Slepian

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Is Nature Its Own Mirror? Parity-Violation with Galaxy Quartets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

 

Abstract

Recently we have shown that the galaxy 4-point correlation function, which measures an excess of quartets of galaxies over random, is sensitive to parity violation in our universe’s large-scale structure. It is fundamentally 3D and thus has a handedness even after averaging over orientations, in contrast to galaxy pair and triplet correlations. With this new observable we have detected parity violation at high statistical significance using the largest currently available sample, the SDSS Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey’s roughly 1 M galaxies. If confirmed by upcoming sky surveys such as DESI this would indicate new physics operant in the Universe’s earliest moments. In this talk I will discuss this result and the many systematics tests performed to test its robustness, as well as prospects for the future.

 

Host



October 13 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Abdelkader Kara (UCF)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

The APS Bridge Program: Physics at UCF experience

 

Abstract

“Enhancing Diversity in Physics Graduate Education” is the goal of the American Physical Society Bridge Program, which was initiated in 2013. It is a “A bridge between undergraduate and doctoral degrees” which assist underrepresented racial and ethnic minority students to pursue PhDs in physics [1]. Only 6 percent of physics PhDs awarded each year go to underrepresented minority groups, and the Bridge program has been working to promote institutional environments and mentoring to increase this number [2]. The Physics Department at UCF became the 6th Bridge site in 2015 “with a goal to recruit, mentor and prepare under-represented minority (URM) students for admission to a Physics PhD program of their choice.” Since 2015, the UCF-Physics BP reached 43 BP fellows. In 2019, the BP had its first PhD (Tommy Boykin) who was one of the two First PhDs of the APS Bridge Program [2]. In this talk, I will give details about the UCF-Physics BP, including some success stories and some statistics. I will also talk about our Graduate Admission process, which is based on a holistic approach. [1] Physics Today: V. 70, Issue2, Page 50, by Ted Hodapp and Kathryne Woodle. [2] May 2019 • Vol. 28, No. 5 aps.org/apsnews.

 

Host

Kathryn McGill


October 27 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Harrison Prosper

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

The Automated Physicist: Particle Physics in the Era of AI

 

Slides

link

 

Abstract

The development and application of artificial intelligence (AI) in particle physics, based on machine learning (ML), has evolved from a niche subject pursued by a handful of enthusiasts to a burgeoning industry that is developing at a frenetic pace. This talk provides a birds-eye view of some of this activity and where it might lead in the not-too-distant future. I begin with a broad survey of the history of AI and some recent notable developments in the broader AI community. After highlighting a few successful applications of ML in particle physics, I take a pause to explain why I think the description of current AI models as “black boxes” misses the point. To illustrate what the future might hold for AI in particle physics, I end with a description of one or two state-of-the-art projects in which I am currently involved.

 

Host

Konstantin Matchev


November 17 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Sebastian Will (Columbia)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Quantum Control of Atoms and Molecules for Quantum Science and Technology

 

Abstract

Quantum systems that are highly controllable, scalable, and preserve their quantum properties for extended periods of time are the key driver of the second quantum revolution. Atoms and molecules - pristine miniature quantum systems provided by Nature – have extremely promising properties in this regard. In this talk, I will discuss our recent success in synthesizing and controlling dipolar molecules of NaCs [1,2,3]. The dipolar interactions between NaCs have long-range character and are ideally suited for the preparation of strongly correlated and highly entangled quantum states. Most recently, we have demonstrated that molecular qubits in NaCs can be controlled via microwave pulses on the nanosecond-scale, rivaling control times achieved in superconducting qubits. In addition, we have demonstrated that microwave shielding can enhance the lifetime of NaCs quantum systems by a factor of 100. With system lifetimes on the second-scale, NaCs now provides us with an opportunity to realize a completely new type of quantum liquid. Finally, I will present our efforts on creating programmable arrays of individually-trapped strontium atoms, realizing a novel experimental platform for precision time-keeping, quantum simulation, and quantum computing [4]. [1] “Overlapping Bose-Einstein Condensates of Na and Cs,” C. Warner et al., Phys. Rev. A 104, 033302 (2021). [2] “A High Phase-Space Density Gas of NaCs Feshbach Molecules,” A. Lam et al., Phys. Rev. Research 4, L022019 (2022). [3] “Ultracold Gases of Dipolar NaCs Ground State Molecules,” I. Stevenson et al. arXiv:2206.00652 (2022). [4] “Metasurface Holographic Optical Traps for Ultracold Atoms,” X. Huang et al. arXiv:2210.07425 (2022).

 

Host

Imre Bartos


December 1 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

John Kasianowicz (NIST, USF, Columbia)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Measuring Molecules at the Single Molecule Limit: Sequencing DNA, Sizing Polymers, Identifying Proteins (& More) with Nanometer-Scale Pores

 

Abstract

Biological nanometer-scale protein pores are the basis of nerve and muscle activity. With the goal of providing low-cost measurements for health care applications, we have been adapting several types of nanopores for the detection, characterization, and identification of molecules. For example, when a single molecule enters a pore, its physical and chemical properties control both the degree by which it reduces the ionic current (that otherwise flows freely) and its dwell time there. Thus far, our work led to two novel DNA sequencing methods, the ability to discriminate between individual polymers based on their size, the means to quantitate protein concentration, and a technique for identifying subtly different species of metallo-nanoparticles. In addition, we demonstrated that a nanopore can also be used to identify proteins. This new method could markedly improve healthcare diagnostics and allow more blood analyses to be performed at point-of-care facilities. We are also investigating the possible use of nanopores as the read head in molecular-based memory storage devices and the role of ion channels in the competition between bacteria. This ongoing work is a collaborative effort with groups at Columbia University (Jingyue Ju), CY Cergy Paris Université (Abdelghani Oukhaled), Freiburg University (Jan Behrends), and the DoD (Sina Bavari, Rekha Panchal, Captain Rick Gussio, and Colonel Kelly Halverson).

 

Host

David Tanner


December 7 (Wednesday) -- joint Physics / IFT Colloquium

 

Speaker

Ilya Nemenman

 

Location

NPB 2205

 

Title

Statistical Physics and Biological Simplicity

 

Abstract

Modeling in biology has firmly established itself in cases where it’s been possible to reduce a system to a relatively small number of constitutive parts (think of population dynamics models with a few species, or biophysical neural models with a handful molecular species involved). In contrast, modern experiments often characterize “high-dimensional biology”, measuring activity of thousands of components, such as activities of hundreds of neurons, or frequency of hundreds of pathogenic genomes. Building detailed models that account for this biological complexity has proven to be difficult (and maybe not useful), and we lack intuition about how to interpret results of such experiments. I will argue that many recent experiments, in domains as different as ecology and neuroscience, hint that high-dimensional biological systems are much simpler than they could have been. I will show that simple models based on random interaction networks can explain these seemingly surprising results, and I will argue that success of these models signals emergence of simpler, collective descriptions of complex biological systems. The goal now is to develop systematic approaches to detect such collective degrees of freedom and to model their interactions.

 

Host

BingKan Xue


December 8 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Laura Reina (FSU)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

The Higgs after LHC: from the HL-LHC to future colliders

 

Abstract

Almost half a century after it was predicted, the LHC delivered the Higgs boson in spectacular style. Over the next 15-20 years, the machine and its high luminosity upgrade (HL-LHC) will continue to enable ATLAS and CMS to make great strides in understanding the Higgs-boson’s properties. But to fully explore the scalar sector and its possible connections with the standard model’s most mysterious features, and thus to fully exploit the discovery of the Higgs boson and its mysterious relation to new physics beyond the electroweak scale, the luminosities and energies of future colliders will be needed.

 

Host

Konstantin Matchev






SPRING 2023




February 16 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Jaebak Kim (UCSB)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Search for new physics using the Higgs boson in high energy physics collider experiments that utilize Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

 

Abstract

There are many interesting puzzles in our understanding of physics, where one way to investigate these puzzles is by colliding particles and observing how different particles, like the Higgs boson, interact with one another. Physicists have been able to build collider experiments and particle detectors, where billions of electronic signals from detectors have to be collected and analyzed. In order to collect the detector data at high rates, programmable digital circuits called FPGAs are highly utilized and to analyze the collected data effectively, AI algorithms are used. Then physics analyzes are performed with the data, where in this talk, a search for the Higgs boson decay to Z gamma and a search for two Higgs bosons and missing transverse momentum, where one Higgs decays via the process H to bb and other H to gamma gamma, will be presented.

 

Host

Andrey Korytov


February 21 (Tuesday)

 

Speaker

Yoav Afik (CERN)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Quantum Tops: Quantum Information meets High-Energy Physics

 

Abstract

The Standard Model of particle physics is a quantum field theory, based on quantum mechanics and special relativity. Therefore, it allows us to test fundamental properties of quantum mechanics. Top-quark pairs, which are generated at the LHC, are a unique high-energy system since their spin correlations can be measured. Thus, it is possible to study fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics such as entanglement and Bell inequality using top-quark pairs, represented as two qubits. The environment provided by the LHC makes these studies especially attractive: the qubits are entangled through exotic interactions and are genuinely relativistic, at energies which are many orders of magnitude above conventional condensed-matter and optical experiments. In addition to the fundamental and interdisciplinary nature of these studies, quantum information observables can be used to develop new strategies to search for physics beyond the Standard Model. I will discuss the recent developments, the ongoing measurements and the future prospect of the field.

 

Host

Andrey Korytov


February 23 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Hualin Mei (UCSB)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Higgs physics at the LHC after 10 years of discovery

 

Abstract

The Higgs boson has been discovered by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Over the last 10 years, its properties have been extensively measured, including its mass, spin-parity and coupling to massive gauge bosons (W, Z), most massive quarks and charged lepton (top, bottom, tau lepton), which are all consistent with the Standard Model (SM) predictions. Among other untested properties, the Higgs boson self-coupling is of special importance, as a measurement of this coupling would shed light on the shape of Higgs boson potential, which is a fundamental property of the Higgs boson that needs to be tested experimentally and its exact shape has a significant consequence on our understanding of nature. In this talk, I will briefly summarized current status and the future perspective of Higgs boson self-coupling measurements using the CMS experiment.

 

Host

Andrey Korytov


February 28 (Tuesday)

 

Speaker

Yuta Takahashi (University of Zurich)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title

Solving the puzzle of particle flavour using the CMS experiment

 

Abstract

One of the key conundrums in particle physics is the three-generation structure of the fermions and its vastly different mass spectrums. A currently unknown physics interaction at the beginning of the Universe, i.e. at a high energy scale, which acted differently depending on the fermion flavor, could have shaped the “flavor structure” we see today. The discovery of such an interaction is the ultimate goal of my research and is currently one of the top priorities in particle physics, given recent hints of Lepton Flavor Universality (LFU) violations reported by muon g-2 and B-physics experiments. In this colloquium, I will review my past/on-going/future research projects to tackle this conundrum uniquely at the CMS experiment. I have been using and will use the heavitest flavour of lepton, the tau, as a primary tool. I will also share my future prospects towards the next phase of LHC operation; particular focus is the development of a new scheme to select taus right at the first stage of the real-time selection of events. At the end of the colloquium, I will briefly share my vision towards future collider experiments.

 

Host

Andrey Korytov


March 9 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

RESERVED

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title


 

Abstract


 

Host



March 23 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Purushottam Dixit

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title


 

Abstract


 

Host

Steve Hagen


March 30 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Doninique Laroche (UF)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title


 

Abstract


 

Host

Steve Hagen


April 6 (Thursday)

 

Speaker


 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title


 

Abstract


 

Host



April 13 (Thursday)

 

Speaker

Bharat Ratra (KSU)

 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title


 

Abstract


 

Host

Laura Blecha


April 20 (Thursday)

 

Speaker


 

Location

NPB 1002

 

Title


 

Abstract


 

Host