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Events During the Week of October 27th through November 3rd, 2013

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Cosmology Journal Club
An Informal discussion about a broad variety of arXiv papers related to Cosmology
Time: 12:30 pm
Place: 5242 Chamberlin Hall
Abstract: Please visit the following link for more details:
Please feel free to bring your lunch!
If you have questions or comments about this journal club, would like to propose a topic or volunteer to introduce a paper, please email Le Zhang (
Host: Peter Timbie
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Condensed Matter Theory Group Seminar
Raman Scattering as an Effective Tool to Study the Low-Temperature Properties of Low-Dimensional Quantum Magnets. Theoretical Perspectives.
Time: 4:30 pm
Place: Chamberin 5310
Speaker: Natalia Perkins, Physics Department
Host: Natalia Perkins
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Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
DNA databasing for forensic use
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Rohaizah James, Promega Corp
Abstract: Genetic markers called Short Tandem Repeats (STR) is now routinely used in forensic DNA testing to identify the source of crime scene evidence. A DNA profile containing multiple STR's provides an extremely high probability of identity, leaving little doubt that a match between crime scene evidence and a suspect is not random. Because a large fraction of crimes are committed by repeat offenders, an offender database aids in generating leads and solving crimes. The national DNA database, established in 1998 after Congress passed the DNA Identification Act, now contains over 10 million offender DNA profiles. The ability to search this database has aided over 200,000 investigations. This database also includes over 1.5 million arrestee profiles. Arrestee DNA testing, currently allowed in 29 states, has been controversial. Does the potential benefit of improving public safety outweigh an arrestee's privacy interests? What about familial searching, where a database is searched to identify not the criminal but his/her biological relative? This search method was used successfully in solving the California Grim Sleeper case, where the presence of the criminalaEuroTMs son in the DNA database led investigators to the father. This presentation will include a discussion on the science behind STR analysis and the practical questions it brings in forensic use.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Atomic Physics Seminar
Steady-state switching and dispersion/absorption spectroscopy of multilevel atoms inside an optical ring cavity
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: to be reserved
Speaker: Jiteng Sheng, University of Arkansas
Abstract: Electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) is essential in coherent atomic physics, which has been extensively studied in the last two decades. The important properties of EIT are its steep normal linear dispersion and greatly enhanced nonlinearity with a negligible absorption near atomic resonance. When EIT medium is placed inside an optical cavity, many interesting effects can occur. In this talk, I will discuss several experiments in EIT-related atom-cavity systems. Particular attention will be given to nonlinear optical cavity transmission spectra and optical multistate switching with Doppler-broadened multilevel atoms inside an optical ring cavity. In addition, parity-time symmetry and optically induced lattice in EIT-related medium will be briefly discussed.
Host: Saffman
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
A second look at the string theory landscape
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: Chamberlin 5280
Speaker: Thomas Van Riet, University of Leuven
Abstract: I will review in a pedagogical manner the vanilla models (KKLT) that have lead to the conjecture of a string theory &amp;quot;landscape&amp;quot; of meta-stable de Sitter vacua. A central role is played by the so called uplifting anti-branes that break the supersymmetry of the AdS vacua and lift the cosmological constant to a positive value. In the last years it has become clear that the supergravity description of this process reveals problematic features such as unwanted singularities. Although this is a technical topic I will review it in a non technical fashion with an emphasis on the physics behind it. I will advocate the point of view that these singularities are easy to interpret and signal the instability of the vacuum. If correct this invalidates the original motivation for the landscape conjecture.&lt;br&gt;<br>
Host: Gary Shiu
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Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Department Meeting
Time: 12:15 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
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Thursday, October 31st, 2013

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Robust, self-consistent, closed-form tomography of quantum logic gates on a trapped ion qubit
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: John Gamble, Sandia National Laboratory
Abstract: We introduce and demonstrate experimentally: (1) a framework called "gate set tomography" (GST) for self-consistently characterizing an entire set of quantum logic gates on a black-box quantum device; (2) an explicit closed-form protocol for linear-inversion gate set tomography (LGST), whose reliability is independent of pathologies such as local maxima of the likelihood; and (3) a simple protocol for objectively scoring the accuracy of a tomographic estimate without reference to target gates, based on how well it predicts a set of testing experiments. We use gate set tomography to characterize a set of Clifford-generating gates on a single trapped-ion qubit, and compare the performance of (i) standard process tomography; (ii) linear gate set tomography; and (iii) maximum likelihood gate set tomography. arXiv:1310.4492
Host: Coppersmith
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Astronomy Colloquium
The E-Nova Project: A Multi -Wavelength Initiative to Prove the ejecta and Environments of Novae
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 am
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Laura Chomiuk, Michigan State
Abstract: When imagining a nuclear explosion, we often picture strong, spherical shock waves, like a bomb or supernova; however, nature's most common thermonuclear explosions look nothing like this, showing delayed and multiple phases of mass ejection that can last for months after the nuclear fuel is ignited. These most common explosions are novae---thermonuclear runaways on the surfaces of accreting white dwarfs---and their complexities are best revealed with an intensive multi-wavelength observational program highlighting radio and X-ray data---our E-Nova Project. I will discuss our recent results, featuring observations from the newly-upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, and spotlighting sources like the recurrent nova T Pyx (which is challenging our basic assumptions about accretion on white dwarfs) and the four novae that have been detected in gamma rays to date (an emission process that was not predicted and remains an intriguing mystery). The implications for Type Ia supernova progenitors will also be discussed.
Host: Professor Eric Wilcots
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Friday, November 1st, 2013

Physics Department Colloquium
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Mark Ratner, Northwestern University
Host: Coppersmith
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