BNL Physics Department Videos

Physics Colloquium of 7 March 2017
"Snapping pictures of the proton with heavy ions"
Bjoern Schenke, BNL

I will present an overview of recent theoretical developments related to the science program at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Beginning from heavy ion collisions and the creation of the quark gluon plasma, the most perfect and hottest fluid every created on earth, I will proceed to discuss smaller collision systems, like proton+lead collisions. The experimental data from these show strikingly similar features to heavy ion collisions and I will discuss their possible origins. If the physics in these small systems is also dominated by the fluid dynamic behavior of the created matter, experimental measurements combined with theoretical models give us unprecedented access to the fluctuating shape of the proton.

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Physics Colloquium of 28 February 2017
"The Experimental Challenge of 21 cm Cosmology"
Miguel Morales, University of Washington

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Physics Colloquium of 14 February 2017
"Thermalization and hydrodynamization in heavy-ion collisions at high energies"
Aleksi Kurkela, CERN and Univ. of Stavenger

Describing heavy-ion collisions as hydrodynamical explosions of liquid of quarks and gluons has been a tremendous phenomenological success. A major uncertainty in such modeling arises from what happens during the first 1fm/c of the evolution during which the system is far from local thermal equilibrium. I will describe how the postcollision debris start behaving hydrodynamically, and how the phenomenological modeling of the prehydrodynamical evolution can be improved.

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Physics Colloquium of 17 January 2017
"And yet they attract: superconductivity in the presence of strong repulsion"
Andre-Marie Tremblay, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Band theory and the BCS theory of superconductivity are two pillars of the quantum theory of solids. High-temperature superconductors belong to a family of materials where both of these, band theory and BCS, fail. Layered organic materials of the BEDT family are another example of materials that are hard to understand within conventional approaches. The root cause of these failures can be traced to strong electronic repulsion. I will start from the simplest model that takes into account the competition between kinetic and potential energy, the Hubbard model. I will show how cluster generalizations of dynamical mean-field theory for this model shed light on these problems. The interaction-induced metal-insulator transition (Mott transition) can serve as an organizing principle for the phase diagrams.

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Physics Colloquium of 10 January 2017
"Searches for Decays of Heavy Higgs Boson to Gauge Bosons with the ATLAS detector"
Scott Snyder, BNL

Following the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, the ATLAS experiment at the LHC has been searching for signs of new physics related to the Higgs boson. One promising area is the seach for new, heavy Higgs-like scalars decaying to a pair of vector gauge bosons. This talk will summarize recent ATLAS searches for a heavy scalar decaying to two Z bosons, using the sqrt(s)=13 TeV data from Run 2.

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Physics Colloquium of 29 November 2016
"Isolated quantum systems in extreme conditions: From heavy-ion collisions to ultracold quantum gases"
Juergen Berges, University of Heidelberg

Isolated quantum systems in extreme conditions can exhibit characteristic common properties despite dramatic differences in key parameters such as temperature, density, field strength and others. The existence of universal regimes, where even quantitative agreements between seemingly disparate physical systems can be observed, drives a remarkable convergence of research activities across traditional lines of specialization. I will describe the concerted research efforts by the recently established Heidelberg Collaborative Research Center ISOQUANT in collaboration with BNL and discuss recent developments concerning the thermalization dynamics of non-Abelian plasmas and ultracold atoms.

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Physics Colloquium of 15 November 2016
"Low-energy Precision Physics and the Role of Lattice QCD"
Harmut Wittig, University of Mainz

The particle content of the Standard Model has been completely established following the discovery of the Higgs boson. While the Standard Model describes all known phenomena in accelerator-based experiments, many important questions are left unanswered. In this talk I describe several attempts to detect signals for physics beyond the Standard Model using precision experiments at low energies. Special attention is given to the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon and the role of lattice QCD in quantifying the hadronic uncertainties in its theoretical prediction.

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Physics Colloquium of 8 November 2016
"Skyrmions and Nuclei"
Nick Manton,

Nuclear forces are mediated by pions. As pions are light compared to nucleons and other mesons, they are treated as approximate Goldstone bosons in an effective field theory (EFT) with spontaneously broken SO(4) chiral symmetry. Generically, the nonlinear field equations of EFT have topological soliton solutions called Skyrmions, which we identify as the intrinsic structures of nucleons or larger nuclei. The quantum states of the unit-winding, spherical Skyrmion represent protons and neutrons with spin half. Skyrmions of many higher winding numbers are also known, having beautiful symmetries, and sometimes showing alpha-particle or other clustering. The classical solutions have definite location, orientation, and pion field orientation, so we quantize the collective coordinates to obtain states with definite momentum, spin and isospin. A Skyrmion's symmetry restricts its allowed spin/isospin combinations (Finkelstein-Rubinstein constraints). The recent inclusion of vibrational degrees of freedom has helped to create a reasonable model for Oxygen-16 and its excited states.

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