Academics

Upcoming Seminars

UMass Boston Physics Colloquia

 

Talks are on Thursdays, 1:00 pm, at S(cience)-3-126, unless stated otherwise

 

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Thursday, January 26, 1:00pm

 

Efi Shahmoon
Harvard U

 

Cooperative resonances in light scattering from atomic metasurfaces

 

We consider light scattering off a two-dimensional (2D) dipolar array and show how it can be tailored by properly choosing the lattice constant of the order of the incident wavelength. In particular, we demonstrate that such arrays can operate as a nearly perfect mirror for a wide range of incident angles and frequencies, and shape the emission pattern from an emitter into a well-defined, collimated beam. These results can be understood in terms of the cooperative resonances of the surface modes supported by the 2D array. Experimental realizations are discussed, using ultracold arrays of trapped atoms and excitons in 2D semiconductor materials, as well as potential applications ranging from atomically thin metasurfaces to single photon nonlinear optics and nanomechanics.

 

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Thursday, Feb 2, 1:00pm

 

NO SEMINAR
 

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Thursday, Feb 9, 1:00pm

 

NO SEMINAR
 

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Thursday, February 16, 1:00pm

 

Tigran Sedrakyan
UMass Amherst

 

Quantum spin-liquid with ulrtacold bosons: the smoking gun of statistical transmutation

 

Optical lattices are remarkable for their capacity to host rich physics. Examples include lattices having moat-like band structures, i.e., a band with infinitely degenerate energy minima attained along a closed line in the Brillouin zone. It is entirely the effect of competing correlations which lifts this degeneracy and leads to an amazing variety of completely new quantum many-body states. If such a lattice is populated with bosons, the degeneracy prevents their condensation. Such degeneracy of the kinetic energy favors fermionic quasiparticles, leading to statistical transmutation. At hard-core repulsion, the system is equivalent to the spin-1/2 XY model, while the absence of condensation translates into the absence of magnetic order in the XY plane. In this talk I will show that the frustration in such lattices stabilizes a variety of novel quantum spin liquid phases including a composite fermion state and a chiral spin liquid. These are topologically ordered states, which may be viewed as states of fermions subject to Chern-Simons gauge fields. They have a bulk gap and chiral gapless edge excitations. The talk includes a suggestion for the chiral spin liquid realizations in experiments with cold atoms. The velocity distribution of the released bosons is a sensitive probe of the statistical transmutation and a chiral spin-liquid state.

 

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Thursday, February 23, 1:00pm

 

Adolfo del Campo
UMass Boston

 

Engineering Quantum Thermal Machines

 

Quantum thermodynamics has emerged as am interdisciplinary research field in quantum science and technology with widespread applications. Yet, the identification of scenarios characterized by quantum supremacy -a performance without match in the classical world- remains challenging. In this talk I shall review recent advances in the engineering and optimization of quantum thermal machines. I will show that nonadiabatic many-particle effects can give rise to quantum supremacy in finite-time thermodynamics [1]. Tailoring such nonadiabatic effects by making use of shortcuts to adiabaticity, quantum heat engines can be operated at maximum efficiency and arbitrarily high output power [2]. A thermodynamic cost of these shortcuts will be elucidated by analyzing the full work distribution function and introducing a novel kind of work-energy uncertainty relation [3]. I shall close by discussing the identification of scenarios with a quantum-enhanced performance in thermal machines run over many cycles [4].
Bibliography: [1] J. Jaramillo, M. Beau, A. del Campo, New J. Phys. 18, 075019 (2016).
[2] M. Beau, J. Jaramillo, A. del Campo, Entropy 18, 168 (2016).
[3] K. Funo, J.-N. Zhang, C. Chatou, K. Kim, M. Ueda and A. del Campo, Phys. Rev. Lett. (accepted); arXiv:1609.08889 (2016).
[4] G. Watanabe, B. P. Venkatesh, P. Talkner and A. del Campo, Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 050601 (2017).

 

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Thursday, March 2, 1:00pm

 

TBA
TBA

 

TBA

 

TBA

 

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Thursday, March 9, 1:00pm
joint QST Seminar + Physics colloquium event

 

Eric Lutz
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

 

A single atom heat engine

 

We review the miniaturization of heat engines towards the nanoscale. We discuss in detail the experimental realization of a single atom engine using an ultracold trapped ion coupled to engineered reservoirs. We further address the question of how to enter the quantum regime and exploit quantum effects to enhance the performance of the machine.

 

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Thursday, March 16, 1:00pm

 

NO SEMINAR, SPRING BREAK
 

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Thursday, March 23, 1:00pm

 

Unai Alvarez
University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain

 

Quantum Biomimetics

 

In this talk I will cover the main ideas in Quantum Biomimetics, a research line oriented to the design of quantum protocols that emulate processes or properties of living systems. In particular we have directed our work towards two main goals, the replication of a natural selection scenario (Quantum Artificial Life) and the creation of a quantum learning environment (Quantum Artificial Intelligence). In parallel, we have developed simulation techniques for introducing memory in the dynamics, defined as an explicit nonlocal time dependence in the evolution equations. This feature is an important ingredient in the design of more autonomous and useful Quantum Biomimetic protocols.

 

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Thursday, March 23, 1:00pm

 

Unai Alvarez
University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain

 

Quantum Biomimetics

 

In this talk I will cover the main ideas in Quantum Biomimetics, a research line oriented to the design of quantum protocols that emulate processes or properties of living systems. In particular we have directed our work towards two main goals, the replication of a natural selection scenario (Quantum Artificial Life) and the creation of a quantum learning environment (Quantum Artificial Intelligence). In parallel, we have developed simulation techniques for introducing memory in the dynamics, defined as an explicit nonlocal time dependence in the evolution equations. This feature is an important ingredient in the design of more autonomous and useful Quantum Biomimetic protocols.

 

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Wednesday, March 29, 3:00pm, ISC-1200 (UNUSUAL DAT/TIME/LOCATION)

 

Giuseppe Pucci
MIT

 

Hydrodynamic Analogs

 

In the last decade, a number of new hydrodynamic analogs of physical systems have come to light. I will first present an example of self-adaptation and self-propulsion that arises when surface waves are triggered on a liquid drop floating on a vibrating bath [1] (a). The system behaviour is rationalized in terms of competition between the wave radiation pressure and the capillary response of the drop boundary, and the role of radiation pressure is similar to that in optical cavities.

Droplets may bounce on the surface of a vibrating liquid bath, self-propelling through a resonant interaction with their own wave fields [2] (b). These “walkers” represent a macroscopic realization of de Broglie’s early pilot-wave system and exhibit several features reminiscent of quantum particles [3], including quantized orbits and orbital-level splitting, tunneling and wavelike statistics. Early experi-ments suggested that walkers exhibit behaviour akin to single-particle diffraction and interference [4]. I revisit these single- and double-slit experiments with a refined setup, showing the importance of experimental precision in walker-boundary interactions [5] (c). I explore the non-specular reflection of walkers from a planar wall [6] and their refraction across a discrete change in fluid depth, in which case they obey a form of Snell’s law.

Future directions will be addressed, including hydrodynamic analogs of Kapitza-Dirac diffraction, spin lattices, electron bubbles and trapping with the Talbot effect.

[1] Pucci, G., Fort, E., Ben Amar, M., and Couder, Y. Phys. Rev. Lett. 106(2), 024503 (2011).
[2] Couder, Y., Protière, S., Fort, E., and Boudaoud, A. Nature 437, 208 (2005).
[3] Bush, J. W. M. Phys. Today 68(8), 47 (2015).
[4] Couder, Y. and Fort, E. Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 154101 (2006).
[5] Pucci, G., Harris, D. M., Faria, L. M., and Bush, J. W. M. submitted to the J. Fluid Mech. (2017).
[6] Pucci, G., Sáenz, P. J., Faria, L. M., and Bush, J. W. M. J. Fluid Mech. 804, R3 (2016).

 

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Thursday, March 30, 1:00pm

 

Alexey Tonyushkin
UMass Boston

 

Magnetic Particle Imaging: Introduction to Imaging and Instrumentation

 

Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) is a new tomographic imaging modality that offers high spatial and temporal resolution. Compared to the other imaging modalities such as MRI/CT/PET, MPI is non-toxic, more sensitive, and fully quantitative technique. To date a few small-bore MPI systems were developed, however, human-size MPI scanner has yet to be built. The major challenge of scaling up of MPI is in high power consumption that is associated with the traditional approach to designing the scanner. MPI signal relies on the nonlinear magnetization response from the presence of the injected tracer of iron oxide nanoparticles. Apart from biomedical imaging, MPI-based spectrometer or relaxometer is also a very useful tool for the material property studies such as the size, distribution, and magnetic properties of superparamagnetic nanoparticles. In my talk, I will start from the basics of MPI, specifically, the physics and instrumentation that includes two fundamental types of MPI topologies: field-free-point and field-free-line. Then I will talk about my approach to designing MPI scanner and also will show how traditional MPI can be blended with AMO physics to incorporate an atomic magnetometer as a very sensitive way to detect the signal.

 

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Thursday, April 6, 1:00pm

 

Olga Goulko
UMass Amherst

 

Controlled results in quantum many-body physics: from a dream to reality

 

Many interesting systems in modern condensed matter physics, such as strongly correlated fermions, are too complex to be dealt with by purely analytical methods because of the lack of small parameters. In this talk, I will discuss the power of the diagrammatic technique, which allows us to address problems in many-body physics (and indeed many other areas of physics!) directly from first principles. I will show how physical quantities can be obtained from the diagrammatic expansion in a controlled and systematically improvable manner using numerical algorithms, such as quantum Monte Carlo. In this sense, simulations can be viewed as "numerical experiments" probing the system and making quantitative predictions about its properties. In combination with analytical methods they also offer an exciting new way to address fundamental questions. We can test previously uncontrolled assumptions and explicitly check which properties of a model are necessary to produce certain features, and which are irrelevant. I will illustrate the successes and challenges of diagrammatic Quantum Monte Carlo on several examples from atomic physics.

 

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Thursday, April 13, 1:00pm

 

Boris A. Malomed
Tel Aviv U, Israel

 

Stable two-dimensional solitons in spin-orbit-coupled Bose-Einstein condensates and optical waveguides in bosonic gases

 

The quantum-mechanical collapse (alias "fall onto the center" of particles attracted by potential ~ -V/r^2, with V > 0) is a well-known issue in the quantum theory. This work demonstrates that, in a rarefied gas of quantum particles attracted by the above-mentioned potential, the repulsive nonlinearity induced by collisions between the particles prevents the collapse, recreating the missing ground state, in the framework of the mean-field approximation [1]. Further, a phase transition in the ground state is found at a critical value of V. The setting may be realized in the 3D gas of dipolar bosons attracted by a central charge, including the case of the binary gas [2]. The addition of the harmonic-oscillator trapping potential gives rise to a tristability, in the case when the Schroedinger equation still does not lead to the collapse. In the 2D setting, the cubic nonlinearity is not strong enough to prevent the collapse; however, the quintic term does it. The analysis was also extended to the 3D anisotropic setting, with the dipoles polarized by an external uniform field [3].

Finally, an exact numerical analysis of the same model in the framework of the multi-body quantum theory [4] demonstrates that, although the complete suppression of the quantum collapse does not occur, the ground state predicted by the mean-field approximation corresponds to a metastable state which emerges in the framework of the multi-body system.

[1] H. Sakaguchi and B. A. Malomed, Suppression of the quantum-mechanical collapse by repulsive interactions in a quantum gas, Phys. Rev. A 83, 013907 (2011).
[2] H. Sakaguchi and B. A. Malomed, Suppression of the quantum collapse in binary bosonic gases, Phys. Rev. A 88, 043638 (2013).
[3] H. Sakaguchi and B. A. Malomed, Suppression of the quantum collapse in an anisotropic gas of dipolar bosons, Phys. Rev. A 84, 033616 (2011).
[4] G. E. Astrakharchik and B. A. Malomed, Quantum versus mean-field collapse in a many-body system, Phys. Rev. A 92, 043632 (2015).

 

 

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Thursday, April 20, 1:00pm

 

Partha Chowdhury
UMass Lowell

 

TBA

 

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Thursday, April 27, 1:00pm

 

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Thursday, May 4, 1:00pm

 

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