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Colloquium Schedule Spring 2023

17 May 2023

This article details the full list of Colloquia scheduled for the Spring 2023 season, with all the relevant information for each session included.

The following are the remaining colloquia of the season:

  • March 13th - Irene D'Amico (University of York): "Many-body effects in quantum thermodynamics"
  • April 24th - Derek Richardson,  (University of Maryland): "DART: Successful Deflection of an Asteroid by a Kinetic Impactor"
  • May 22ndJulia Yeomans (Clarendon Laboratoy, Oxford): "Active Matter: 'Evading the Decay to Equilibrium'" 

Irene D'Amico's lecture, "Many-body effects in quantum thermodynamics" will take place at 3PM in the Berry Lecture Theatre. Below is the abstract:

Quantum thermodynamics takes advantage of thermal – and quantum –fluctuations to create engines and refrigerators of sizes well below the thermodynamic limit and properties still under discussion. Indeed, quantum thermodynamics extends concepts, such as heat, work, and entropy to few-particle quantum systems. Here thermodynamic probability distributions contain information about the possible transitions between eigenstates, as well as on thermal and quantum fluctuations. Identification of nonclassical features in work and heat distributions of interacting quantum systems is a topic under investigation. In this talk, we consider microscopic models for strongly correlated systems undergoing non-equilibrium finite-time and/or sudden-quench processes at finite temperatures. First, we will discuss the effect of many-body interactions and quantum phase transitions on thermodynamic probability distributions. Here we will be observing nonhomogeneous one-dimensional Hubbard chains driven across different quantum phase transitions [1]. Later we will describe how quantum coherences generated via many-body interactions can influence the performance of few-particle quantum engines, and in particular how it can be used to boost their efficiency [2]. 

Derek Richardson's lecture, "DART: Successful deflection of an Asteroid by a Kinetic Impactor", will take place at 4PM in the Mott Lecture Theatre. Below is the abstract:

On September 26, 2022, the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft successfully impacted Dimorphos, a 150 m diameter asteroid in orbit around its larger companion, Didymos, reducing the orbit period by 33 minutes (about 5%). This was the first demonstration of the use of a kinetic impactor to alter the orbit of a celestial body as a test of mitigation strategies for protecting Earth from impact. Results indicate that ejecta from the impact were an important contributor to the overall deflection. The follow-up ESA Hera spacecraft is scheduled to rendezvous with the Didymos system in early 2027 to further assess the DART result and fully characterize the asteroids. I will give an overview of the motivation for DART, provide highlights from the mission, and discuss some of the interesting dynamics that arose in preparation for the mission and in the aftermath of the impact. 

Julia Yeoman's lecture, "Active Matter: 'Evading the Decay to Equilibrium'" will take place at 3PM in the Berry Lecture Theatre. Below is the abstract:

Active materials such as bacteria, molecular motors and self-propelled colloids are Nature’s engines. They extract energy from their surroundings at a single particle level and use this to do work. Active matter is becoming an increasingly popular area of research because it provides a testing ground for the ideas of non-equilibrium statistical physics, because of its relevance to the collective behaviour of living creatures, from cells to starlings, and because of its potential in designing nanomachines. 

Dense active matter shows mesoscale turbulence, the emergence of chaotic flow structures characterised by high vorticity and self-propelled topological defects. I will discuss the physics of defects in active materials and describe examples where the concepts of active matter are being used to describe cell motility and morphogenesis. 

Further information

[1] K. Zawadzki et al., Phys. Rev. Research 2,033167 (2020); G. A. Canella et al., preprint 

[2] Marcela Herrera et al., arXiv:2211.11449 

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