The Institute for Theoretical Physics offers the following seminars:
Since its discovery in the second half of the 20th century, the lattice of corner-sharing triangles called kagome has become one of the paradigmatic models for exotic quantum electronic states of matter. The Hubbard model on the kagome lattice exhibits many fascinating phases subject of contemporary condensed matter physics, ranging from topological spin liquids over correlated Dirac metals and unconventional superconductivity to spin-type and charge-type Peierls phases. I will discuss recent fundamental progress in theory and experiment to understand and endeavor these scenarios of correlated electron systems on the kagome lattice.
ETH Science City HPV G 4 - Wed 21.05.2014 16:45
The time-honored conventional lecture (“teaching by telling”) has been shown to be an ineffective mode of instruction for science classes. For the enhancement of critical thinking skills and the development of problem-solving abilities, collaborative group learning environments have proven to be far more effective. In the SCALE-UP approach, students sit at large round tables in three groups of three — in this configuration, they carry out a variety of pencil/paper exercises (ponderables) using small whiteboards and perform hands-on activities like demos and labs (tangibles) throughout the class period. Formal lecture is reduced to a minimal level and the instructor serves more as a “coach” to facilitate the academic “drills” that the students perform. In this talk, I will present an overview of the SCALE-UP concept and I will outline the details of its implementation at George Washington University over the past 5 years. I will also discuss empirical data from assessments given to the SCALE-UP collaborative classes and the regular lecture classes at GWU in order to make a comparative study of the effectiveness of the two methodologies.
ETH Science City HPV G 4 - Wed 14.05.2014 16:45
The discovery of the Higgs boson at the CERN Large Hadron Collider marks the beginning of new journeys to understand the mechanisms by which energy is stored as mass, the quantum nature of the vacuum, and the origins of matter and dark matter in our universe. Properties of the Higgs boson may point the way to breakthroughs on these and other mysteries.
ETH Science City HPV G 4 - Wed 7.05.2014 16:45
Using multi-wavelength surveys like GOODS, COSMOS, and Stripe 82X, we measure the growth of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies over the last 10 billion years. Most actively growing black holes are heavily obscured and thus are not seen in large area optical surveys like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey; furthermore, obscuration is more common in the young Universe and in lower luminosity AGN. Most black holes grow in moderate luminosity AGN, rather than in their higher luminosity counterparts (“quasars”), and these AGN dominate the famous “X-ray background” radiation. Theorists have suggested that mergers trigger Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), whose radiation and/or outflows may quench star formation and strongly affect galaxy evolution (a process called “feedback”). We show that mergers are common only in high luminosity quasars; in contrast, most AGN are hosted in galaxies with significant disks and thus cannot have undergone a recent major merger. Indeed, using morphological classifications from Galaxy Zoo, we identified two distinct modes of galaxy evolution, with AGN feedback affecting only the rare, major-merger-driven mode.
ETH Science City HPV G 4 - Wed 16.04.2014 16:45
In classical physics waves and particles are entirely distinct types of things. In contrast, at microscopic scale the elementary objects are simultaneously wave-like and particle-like. This wave-particle duality is a quantum behaviour usually assumed to have no possible counterpart in classical physics. We revisited this question when we found that a droplet bouncing on a vibrated bath could become self-propelled by its coupling to the surface waves it excites. A dynamical wave-particle association is thus formed at a macroscopic scale. Surprisingly it exhibits several quantum-like behaviors: a form of uncertainty and a form of quantization are observed. I will show that they only exist in situations where information is stored in the wave-field and serves as a memory that pilots the particle.
ETH Science City HPV G 4 - Wed 9.04.2014 16:45