News from the ultra-high energy cosmic ray sky

After more than 12 years of continuous data taking, the Pierre Auger Observatory has collected the largest dataset of ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECR) to date.

The Fermion Bag Approach in the Hamiltonian Picture

Quantum Monte Carlo methods, when applicable, offer reliable ways to extract the nonperturbative physics of strongly-correlated many-body systems. However, there are some bottlenecks to the applicability of these methods including the sign problem and algorithmic update inefficiencies. Using the t-V model Hamiltonian as the example, I demonstrate how the Fermion Bag Approach--originally developed in the context of lattice field theories--has aided in solving the sign problem for this model as well as aided in developing a more efficient algorithm to study the model.

Constraining a Thin Dark Matter Disk with Gaia

If a component of the dark matter has dissipative interactions, it could collapse to form a thin dark disk in our Galaxy coincident with the baryonic disk. It has been suggested that dark disks could explain a variety of observed phenomena, including periodic comet impacts. Using the first data release from the Gaia mission, we search for a dark disk via its effect on stellar kinematics in the Milky Way. I will present new limits on the presence of a thin dark matter disk, as well as measurements on the matter density in the solar neighborhood.

The dynamics of entanglement in smooth quenches

Many researchers have been studying the time evolution of entanglement entropy in the sudden quenches where a characteristic mass scale suddenly changes. It is well-know that in these quenches, the change of entanglement entropy become thermal entropy which is proportional to a subsystem size in the late time. However, we do not know which quenches thermalize a subsystem. In our works, we have been studied the time evolution of quantum entanglement in the global quenches with finite quench rate (smooth quenches).

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

In his classic essay, “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge,” Abraham Flexner, the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the man who helped bring Albert Einstein to the United States, describes a great paradox of scientific research. The search for answers to deep questions, motivated solely by curiosity and without concern for applications, often leads not only to the greatest scientific discoveries  but also the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs. In short, no quantum mechanics, no computer chips.

Fully extended functorial field theories and dualizability in the higher Morita category

Atiyah and Segal's axiomatic approach to topological and conformal quantum field theories provided a beautiful link between the geometry of "spacetimes" (cobordisms) and algebraic structures. Combining this with the physical notion of "locality" led to the introduction of the language of higher categories into the topic.
Natural targets for extended topological field theories are higher Morita categories: generalizations of the bicategory of algebras, bimodules, and homomorphisms.

TBA - Emily Levesque

Abstract TBA

Floquet phases of matter: time crystals and beyond

Periodically driven (Floquet) systems can display entirely new many-body phases of matter that have no analog in stationary systems. One such phase is the Floquet time crystal, which spontaneously breaks a discrete time-translation symmetry. In this talk, I will survey the physics of these new phases of matter. I explain how they can be stabilized either through strong quenched disorder (many-body localization), or alternatively in clean systems in a "prethermal" regime which persists until a time that is exponentially long in a small parameter.

Fermion condensation and superconducting string-nets

A great deal of progress has been made toward a classification of bosonic topological orders whose microscopic constituents are bosons. Much less is known about the classification of their fermionic counterparts. In this talk I will describe a systematic way of producing fermionic topological orders using the technique of fermion condensation.