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We meet every other Thursday at 3:00PM in the grad lounge, room D129.

Previous year's GRADTALKS are available here:
- 2016-2017 School Year
- 2017-2018 School Year
- 2018-2019 School Year

Date Speaker Presentation Abstract
September 13 2018 Niv Ramasubramanian What the hell is this QGP and how do we know about it by colliding heavy Ions? The physics of Quantum Chromodynamics is very different compared to Quantum electrodynamics which leads to interesting effects like anti-screening, asymptotic freedom and the formation of Quark Gluon Plasma(QGP). In this talk, I will focus on two experimental probes which are used in understanding QGP and its evolution into Hadroinc states. Time Projection Chamber (TPC) The sequential melting of Upsilon states gives information about the Debye length of the QGP and in an effort to understand this better, the sPHENIX is building a TPC so that we can resolves the three upsilon states - Y(1S, 2S, 3S). This section of the talk will be about the design and construction of the detector that is needed to satisfy our physics requirement. This section will also include details of the prototype TPC that we recently built and took it for test beam at Fermilab. Analysis on Flow Flow studies of QGP is another important probe to understanding its evolution into hadronic states. This section will talk about experimental results as it stands today and how the MPC-EX detector at PHENIX can help further these findings. I will discuss the work I did in calibration of MPC-EX detector and my most recent work on charged particle identification using EMCal
October 4 2018 Dongwon Han Constraining cosmological parameters with the Cosmic Microwave Background Since the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background (Penzias & Wilson 1965), CMB has been a powerful probe to study the origin and the evolution of the universe. Weak lensing of CMB by the intermediate matter distribution smooths out the acoustic features in CMB power spectra, and convert CMB E-mode to B-mode. In this talk, we discuss how to internally reconstruct the underlying matter distribution from CMB. Furthermore, we will talk about how removing the lensing distortions on CMB can improve the cosmological parameter constraints.Since the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background (Penzias & Wilson 1965), CMB has been a powerful probe to study the origin and the evolution of the universe. Weak lensing of CMB by the intermediate matter distribution smooths out the acoustic features in CMB power spectra, and convert CMB E-mode to B-mode. In this talk, we discuss how to internally reconstruct the underlying matter distribution from CMB. Furthermore, we will talk about how removing the lensing distortions on CMB can improve the cosmological parameter constraints.
October 18 2018 Julio Virrueta Holography, Entanglement and Dynamics Entanglement is by now understood as a basic property of quantum mechanical systems and as such it's study has several applications in very diverse areas of physics, from quantum information to high energy physics. One of this applications is the study of thermalization in quantum many-body systems via the calculation of the entanglement entropy as a time dependent quantity. In this talk I will introduce the basic concept of entanglement and how to characterize it's time evolution using tools from the AdS/CFT correspondence.
November 29 2018 Gaurang Parkar Critical phenomena, conformal invariance, tensor networks and the MERA I will start of with introducing the concept of critical phenomena using the example of the Ising model on a hypercubic lattice. I will then make the analogy between critical spin chains and conformal field theory and give a brief introduction to conformal field theory. Finally, I will introduce tensor networks and the Multiscale Entanglement Renormalization Ansatz (MERA) and discuss extraction of conformal data using the MERA and present some results that I (and some other people) have obtained using the MERA.
February 7 and 21 2019 Farid Salazar Wong Color Glass Condensate: what is the high energy limit of strong interactions? A major discovery in nuclear physics has been the observation that gluons dominate the description of nuclear matter when examined by a high energy probe. In this talk I will introduce an effective theory for high energy QCD processes known as Color Glass Condensate (CGC), which describes the non-linear dynamics of gluons in this regime. I will start with a review of the parton model and the linear evolution equations. Then, I will describe the theoretical and phenomenological motivation for the CGC description of nuclear matter, and I will provide applications that can be tested in the future Electron-Ion Collider. If time allows, I will describe recent progress that could allow us to access the geometry of the color charge distribution of nuclear matter using diffractive di-jet production in deeply inelastic scattering.
February 28 2019 Batu Baserdem Connectome Cloning Using DNA Barcodes


and


Odor Navigation with Reinforcement Learning
Using DNA barcodes is a currently developed method to investigate connectivity within the brain. In our paper, we lay the theoretical groundwork to show that the reverse is possible; a network can be made to copy the connectivity of another by using a barcode representation, using only local interactions.

Navigation of odor plumes is a complex task seen in many animals. In my thesis, I attempt to model this behaviour using machine learning methods, to find and extract what sensory cues are most important in this task.
February 28 2019 Batu Baserdem Connectome Cloning Using DNA Barcodes


and


Odor Navigation with Reinforcement Learning
Using DNA barcodes is a currently developed method to investigate connectivity within the brain. In our paper, we lay the theoretical groundwork to show that the reverse is possible; a network can be made to copy the connectivity of another by using a barcode representation, using only local interactions.

Navigation of odor plumes is a complex task seen in many animals. In my thesis, I attempt to model this behaviour using machine learning methods, to find and extract what sensory cues are most important in this task.
March 13 2019 Kevin Wood The Single Phase ProtoDUNE Detector The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) is a next generation long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment that will determine CP (non)conservation in the neutrino sector, resolve the neutrino mass ordering, look to measure time-resolved supernova neutrino spectra, and explore physics beyond the standard model (including searching for proton decay). Precision measurements of neutrino oscillation parameters require a very large, very capable far detector. The collaboration has decided to employ a liquid argon time projection chamber of unprecedented size to this end. The ProtoDUNE-SP detector is a prototype of the single phase version of this technology and tests the implementation of the full-scale components that will be used to build up the final detector. This talk will describe its design, construction, and operation for a test beam run that took place at CERN at the end of 2018.
April 3 2019 Gabriel Cardoso The Physics of the Laughlin Droplet In this talk, I will share some of what I have learned about the physics of electrons confined to a plane in a strong perpendicular magnetic field. Being a problem of a macroscopic number of strongly interacting quantum particles, it is clearly hard. But big progress was made by Laughlin in 1983 when he came up with a good guess for the wavefunction. Laughlin’s wavefunction provided an explanation to such physical phenomena as the Fractional Quantum Hall Effect (FQHE) and the existence of fractionally charged quasiparticle excitations, besides connecting the problem to a number of other problems in physics, like the 2D one-component plasma, superfluid He, random matrix ensembles and, more recently, to topological order, 2D quantum gravity and conformal field theory. I will make a general discussion of some parts of this story and comment on what I am trying to calculate (and why?!).
April 8 2019 Cameron Clarke Crex: Parity Violation as a model independent probe of Nuclear Matter The Calcium Radius EXperiment (CREX) will measure the parity violating asymmetry of electrons scattering in Calcium 48 at low momentum transfer. This will provide a measure of the weak nuclear form factor and consequently the neutron form factor and distributions. This information is valuable for nuclear models which until now have primarily dealt with experimental data from the electric charge form factor and proton distributions, or neutron distributions obtained through nuclear interactions. The power of the electroweak interaction comes from it's origins in particle physics, rather than the strong force, and trades theoretical uncertainty for the difficulty of measurement. I will go over the theoretical backgrounds and potential advances, as well as the experimental technique and analysis, leaving room for questions and discussion of the impacts of CREX on other fields of experiment and nuclear theory.
April 18 2019 Daniel Gift Dark Matter: What is it and How Can We Learn More About It? While we have much evidence for the existence of dark matter, there are a huge number of unanswered questions about the specific nature of dark matter, such as how it interacts and how massive its constituent particles are. In this talk, I will briefly introduce what was once considered the most attractive dark matter model, the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle; I will then explain why physicists are now turning theoretical and experimental focuses towards a variety of other models. The main focus of the talk will be on SENSEI, a relatively new direct-detection experiment designed to explore the dark matter parameter space in the MeV mass range. I will discuss the methodology, progress so far, and future of the SENSEI experiment. Finally, I will briefly outline a different dark matter model, which hypothesizes a dark matter cooling that mimics that of baryons.
May 2 2019 Cheng Zhen Direct Detection of Light Dark Matter through Dark Matter-Electron Scattering Identifying the nature of dark matter (DM) remains one of the primary open questions in physics. Significant experimental efforts have been made to search for Weakly-Interacting-Massive-Particles (WIMPs) for the past few decades, but no evidence has been discovered so far. We’re motivated to investigate other theoretically motivated models for Dark Matter, and one of the compelling candidate is Light Dark Matter (LDM) with mass in MeV-GeV range. Direct detection of LDM uses the signal produced by Dark Matter-electron scattering, and we are going to apply numerical methods to accurately calculate the event rate in liquid Xenon and liquid Argon detectors.