April 30, 2019
Shanahan Center, B460
320 E. Foothill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711
Vedika Khemani, Junior Fellow at Harvard University
"Quantum Matter Out of Equilibrium"
Statistical mechanics is one of the foundational pillars of modern physics. At its core is the idea of thermal equilibrium, which allows for a simple description of a many-particle system in terms of a few macroscopic, equilibrium properties like temperature or pressure. Although many of the fundamentals of quantum statistical mechanics were formulated almost a century ago, recent developments have motivated a rebirth of this subject.
In this talk, I will discuss some recent advances in our understanding of quantum statistical mechanics, focusing in particular on settings in which systems fail to reach thermal equilibrium. This out-of-equilibrium setting can allow for novel phases of matter which are disallowed by the usual rules of statistical mechanics. This includes the recent discovery oftime-crystals as a new out-of-equilibrium phase of matter, and I'll describe our work in predicting and creating these time-crystalline phases.
Junior and senior physics majors are encouraged to attend our biweekly colloquium series. The talks are open to all students and to the public, and are frequently attended by scientists from the other Claremont Colleges, Cal Poly Pomona and others. The series features speakers from a broad range of institutions and fields of physics.