Seminars and Colloquia by Series

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 11:05 , Location: Skiles 005 , Rupert Frank , Dept. of Math, Princeton University , Organizer: Michael Loss
We describe the first rigorous derivation of the celebrated Ginzburg-Landau (GL) theory, starting from the microscopic Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) model. Close to the critical temperature, GL arises as an effective theory on the macroscopic scale. The relevant scaling limit is semiclassical in nature, and semiclassical analysis, with minimal regularity assumptions, plays an important part in our proof. The talk is based on joint work with C. Hainzl, R. Seiringer and J. P. Solovej.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 11:05 , Location: Skiles 005 , Rafael De la Llave , SoM Georgia Tech , Organizer: Michael Loss
 We consider several models from solid state Physics and consider the problem offinding quasi-periodic solutions. We present a KAM theorem that showsthat given an approximate solution with good condition numbers, onecan find a true solution close by. The method of proof leads tovery efficient algorithms. Also it provides a criterion for breakdown.We will present the proof, the algorithms and some conjectures obtainedby computing in some cases.  Much of the work was done with R. Calleja and X. Su. 
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 15:00 , Location: Marcus Nanotech Conference , Henriette Elvang , Physics Department, University of Michigan , Organizer: Stavros Garoufalidis

Hosted by Predrag Cvitanovic, School of Physics

Particle scattering processes at experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN are described by scattering amplitudes. In quantum field theory classes, students learn to calculate amplitudes using Feynman diagram methods. This is a wonderful method for a process like electron + positron -> muon^- + muon^+, but it is a highly challenging for a process like gluon+gluon -> 5 gluons, which requires 149 diagrams even at the leading order in perturbation theory. It turns out, however, that the result for such gluon scattering processes is remarkably simple, in some cases it is just a single term! This has lead to new methods for calculating scattering amplitudes, and it has revealed that amplitudes have a surprisingly rich mathematical structure. The applications of these new methods range from calculation of processes relevant for LHC physics to theoretical explorations of quantum gravity. I will give a pedagogical introduction to these new approaches to scattering theory and their applications, not assuming any prior knowledge of quantum field theory or Feynman rules.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 14:05 , Location: Skiles 005 , Jimmy Lamboley , Dauphine , , Organizer:
Shape optimization is the study of optimization problems whose unknown is a domain in R^d. The seminar is focused on the understanding of the case where admissible shapes are required to be convex. Such problems arises in various field of applied mathematics, but also in open questions of pure mathematics. We propose an analytical study of the problem. In the case of 2-dimensional shapes, we show some results for a large class of functionals, involving geometric functionals, as well as energies involving PDE. In particular, we give some conditions so that solutions are polygons. We also give results in higher dimension, concerned with the Mahler conjecture in convex geometry and the Polya-Szego conjecture in potential theory. We particularly make the link with the so-called Brunn-Minkowsky inequalities.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 16:30 , Location: Skiles 006 , Maria Westdickenberg , School of Math, Georgia Tech , Organizer: Michael Loss
The logarithmic Sobolev inequality (LSI) is a powerful tool for studying convergence to equilibrium in spin systems.  The Bakry-Emery criterion implies LSI in the case of a convex Hamiltonian.  What can be said in the nonconvex case?  We present two recent sufficient conditions for LSI.  The first is a Bakry-Emery-type criterion that requires only LSI (not convexity) for the single-site conditional measures. The second is a two-scale condition: An LSI on the microscopic scale (conditional measures) and an LSI on the macroscopic scale (marginal measure) are combined to prove a global LSI.  We extend the two-scale method to derive an abstract theorem for convergence to the hydrodynamic limit which we then apply to the example of Guo-Papanicolaou-Varadhan.  We also survey some new results.This work is joint with Grunewald, Otto, and Villani.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 16:30 , Location: Skiles 006 , Günter Stolz , Dept. of Math. University of Alabama at Birmingham , Organizer: Michael Loss
We will show that a quantum xy-spin chain which is exposed to a randomexterior magnetic field satisfies a zero-velocity Lieb-Robinson bound. Thiscan be interpreted as dynamical localization for the spin chain or asabsence of information transport. We will also discuss a general result,which says that zero velocity LR-bounds in a quantum spin system implyexponential decay of ground state correlations. This is joint work withRobert Sims and Eman Hamza and motivated by recent works of Burrell-Osborneas well as Hastings.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 15:00 , Location: Physics Howey L5 , John Bush , Department of Mathematics, MIT , Organizer:

Hosted by Predrag Cvitanović, School of Physics, Georgia Tech.

Yves Couder and coworkers have recently reported the results of a startling series of experiments in which droplets bouncing on a fluid surface exhibit wave-particle duality and, as a consequence, several dynamical features previously thought to be peculiar to the microscopic realm, including single-particle diffraction, interference, tunneling and quantized orbits. We explore this fluid system in light of the Madelung transformation, whereby Schrodinger's equation is recast in a hydrodynamic form. Doing so reveals a remarkable correspondence between bouncing droplets and subatomic particles, and provides rationale for the observed macroscopic quantum behaviour. New experiments are presented, and indicate the potential value of this hydrodynamic approach to both visualizing and understanding quantum mechanics.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 16:30 , Location: Skiles 006 , Yuri Bakhtin , Georgia Tech , Organizer: Michael Loss
I will talk about sequential decision making models based ondiffusion along heteroclinic networks of dynamical systems, i.e.,multiple saddle-type equilibrium points connected by heteroclinicorbits. The goal is to give a precise description of the asymptoticbehavior in the limit of vanishing noise.In particular, I will interpret exit times for stochastic dynamics asdecision making times and give a result on their asymptotic behavior.I will report on extensive data on decision making in no a priori biassetting obtained in a psychology experiment that I ran with JoshuaCorrell (University of Chicago),and compare the data with my theoretical results. I will also showthat the same kind of limiting distribution for exit times appears innonequilibrium models of statistical mechanics.
Monday, April 11, 2011 - 15:00 , Location: Howey W505 , Divarkar Viswanath , Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan , Organizer:

Host: Predrag Cvitanovic, School of Physics

Suppose that x(t) is a signal generated by a chaotic system and that the signal has been recorded in the interval [0,T]. We ask: What is the largest value t_f such that the signal can be predicted in the interval (T,T+t_f] using the history of the signal and nothing more? We show that the answer to this question is contained in a major result of modern information theory proved by Wyner, Ziv, Ornstein, and Weiss. All current algorithms for predicting chaotic series assume that if a pattern of events in some interval in the past is similar to the pattern of events leading up to the present moment, the pattern from the past can be used to predict the chaotic signal. Unfortunately, this intuitively reasonable idea is fundamentally deficient and all current predictors fall well short of the Wyner-Ziv bound. We explain why the current methods are deficient and develop some ideas for deriving an optimal predictor. [This talk is based on joint work with X. Liang and K. Serkh].  To view and/or participate in the webinar from wherever you are, click
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 16:30 , Location: Skiles 006 , Leander Geisinger , University of Stuttgart , Organizer: Michael Loss
We study the sum of the negative eigenvalues of the Dirichlet Laplace operatoron a bounded domain in the semiclassical limit. We give a new proof thatyields not only the Weyl term but also the second asymptotic term involvingthe surface area of the boundary of the domain.The proof is valid under weak smoothness assumptions on the boundary and theresult can be extended to non-local, non-smooth operators like fractionalpowers of the  Dirichlet Laplacian.(This is joint work with Rupert L. Frank.)