Events Daily

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Exoplanets in Polarized Light
Kimberly Bott, University of Washington
Event Type: Informal Astro Talk
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: 726 Broadway, 940, CCPP Seminar
Description: The creation of polarimeters with parts-per-million sensitivity in the last decade have made the reliable detection of exoplanets in polarized light possible. Observations with these polarimeters have provided upper limits to planetary albedos and, in combination with non-polarized photometry and spectroscopy, information about the nature of the clouds on at least one hot Jupiter. We review the measurements of hot Jupiters taken by these polarimeters and the information garnered from the HD 189733 and WASP-18 systems in particular. Furthermore, we examine the role polarimetry can play in astrobiology with new forward radiative transfer and surface models (VSTAR) in polarized light to distinguish between atmospheric archetypes and detect oceans.

Realizing Feynman’s Dream of a Quantum Simulator
Immanuel Bloch, Max Planck Institute
Event Type: Physics Dept Colloquium
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: 726 Broadway, 940, CCPP Seminar
Description: More than 30 years ago, Richard Feynman outlined his vision of a quantum simulator for carrying out complex calculations on physical problems. Today, his dream is a reality in laboratories around the world. This has become possible by using complex experimental setups of thousands of optical elements, which allow atoms to be cooled to Nanokelvin temperatures, where they almost come to rest. The atoms can then be trapped and manipulated in arrays of millions of microscopic light traps. Such light crystals allow an unprecedented view into the microscopic world of quantum materials and enable the currently most precise atomic clocks, fundamental to next-generation timing and navigation. In this public lecture, I will explain how such quantum simulators are realized at the lowest temperatures known, and highlight their applications, ranging from condensed-matter and statistical physics to ‘table-top’ high-energy physics.