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This Week at Physics

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Events on Thursday, November 29th, 2018

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Modern Quantum Computing on Near Term Hardware. … over the cloud
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Dr. Raphael Pooser, Oak Ridge National Lab
Abstract: In this talk I will outline recent advances in the field of computing enabled by quantum mechanics. Quantum computing is poised to enter into an era where computational power surpasses what classical machines can do. In this near-term era, when devices are not yet fault tolerant, but still out of reach of classical computers, the challenge is to harness them for useful computation despite the presence of significant noise in these systems. In particular, error mitigation is required to obtain useful results from these systems. We will outline several error mitigation techniques and show how they can be used in combination. One of the immediate applications on near term hardware include optimization of sampling from unknown probability distributions, which have applications in a broad array of quantum simulations, from chemistry to nuclear physics to field theory problems. After a brief review of the field, we will discuss several current architectures and applications of quantum computing.
Host: Saffman
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Supernova Cosmology Results from the Dark Energy Survey
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Richard Kessler, University of Chicago
Abstract: Roughly 9 months after the end of the 5-year transient search in the Dark Energy Survey (DES), DES submitted a series of papers describing its first cosmology results based on measuring cosmic distances for a small fraction of the Type Ia Supernova sample. I will give an overview of DES, our first results, and the analysis, highlighting where we have made improvements necessary to reduce uncertainties. I will also briefly describe future prospects for SN Ia cosmology with DES (full sample) and the WFIRST space mission.
Host: Keith Bechtol
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Astronomy Colloquium
"Surveying the Galactic Bulge for Transients and Compact Binaries"
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and Cookies 3:30 PM, Talk begins at 3:45 PM
Speaker: Tom Maccarone, Texas Tech University
Abstract: Understanding the evolution of binary stars is vital for almost all of the key problems in astrophysics today. For example, gravitational wave sources and Type Ia supernovae are fundamentally binary processes. From a theoretical point of view, binary stellar evolution is extremely complicated, with many poorly understood processes contributing. To build up an understanding of binary evolution, it is thus necessary to build a set of observational constraints. Here, I will present the results from several projects aimed at understanding the binary and transient populations of the Milky Way's Galactic Bulge. Some key highlights will include new understanding of cataclysmic variables, accreting black holes and neutron stars, and the discovery of a low mass protostar that appears to have formed in isolation.
Host: Sebastian Heinz, Chair Astronomy Department
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