Degree Date: December, 2016
Filip Kos's picture
Filip Kos
David Poland

UC Berkeley

Bootstrapping 3D CFTs
We use the method of conformal bootstrap to systematically study the space of allowed conformal field theories (CFT) in three spacetime dimensions. We consider the crossing symmetry equations coming from the correlators of several lowest dimension operators in a given CFT and show how to setup the semidefinite program to explore the constraints implied by the equations. Constraints lead to general bounds on dimensions and 3-point functions of the operators in CFT. Three classes of CFTs... more
Tomomi Sunayama's picture
Tomomi Sunayama
Nikhil Padamanabhan
Postdoctoral Fellow

Kavli Institute of Physics and Mathematics of the Universe

Using galaxy surveys as a precision tool to measure dark energy
Future surveys will provide a deeper understanding of dark energy, dark matter, and early universe physics through the measurements of large scale structure. In particular, the baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) method and the redshift-space distortion (RSD) method aim to achieve sub-percent precision on cosmological parameters. Understanding and reducing the systematics caused by the non-linear evolution of gravitational structures and galaxy formation and evolution is crucial for future galaxy... more
Mitchell Underwood's picture
Mitchell Underwood
Jack Harris

Cryogenic Optomechanics with a Silicon Nitride Membrane
The field of optomechanics involves the study of the interaction between light and matter via the radiation pressure force. Though the radiation pressure force is quite weak compared with forces we normally experience in the macroscopic world, modern optical and microwave resonators are able to enhance the radiation pressure force so that it can be used to both measure and control the motion of macroscopic mechanical oscillators. Recently, optomechanical systems have reached a regime where the... more
Degree Date: May, 2016
Rostislav Boltyanskiy's picture
Rostislav Boltyanskiy
Eric Dufresne
Senior Scientist


Mechanical Response of Single Cells to Stretch
A living cell is a complex soft matter system far from equilibrium. While it consists of components with definite mechanical properties such as stiffness, viscosity, and surface tension, the mechanics of a cell as a whole are more elusive. We explore cell mechanics by stretching single fibroblast cells and simultaneously measuring their traction stresses. Upon stretch there is a sudden, drastic increase in traction stresses, often followed by a relaxation over a time scale of ~1min. Upon... more
Diego Caballero Orduna's picture
Diego Caballero Orduna
Corey O'Hern
Financial Risk Expert

European Central Bank

Computational Studies of Protein Structure
Despite the abundance of crystallographic and structural data and many recent advances in computational methods for protein design, we still lack a quantitative and predictive understanding of the driving forces that control protein folding and stability.   For example,  we do not know the  relative  magnitudes  of the  side-chain entropy, van der Waals contact interactions, and other enthalpic contributions to the free energy of folded proteins. The... more
Jane Cummings's picture
Jane Cummings
Sarah Demers

Tau Polarization at a Hadron Collider: W to tau,nu and Z to tau,tau decays at ATLAS
In this thesis, the first measurement of tau polarization at a hadron collider, and the first measurement of tau polarization in W boson decays to a tau and neutrino altogether, is presented.  The measurement of tau polarization is a test of the structure of the vector (V) and axial vector (A) couplings of the W boson to the third generation leptons.  Such a test is not possible with first and second generation leptons for which the helicity state is not accessible in a collider... more
Arvin Kakekhani's picture
Arvin Kakekhani
Sohrab Ismail-Beigi
Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Pennsylvania

Ferroelectrics to Tackle Fundamental Challenges in Catalysis
Surface catalysis based on transition metals and their alloys has been one of the most important research fields in theoretical and experimental catalysis and chemistry. Recently, the development of a microscopic theoretical framework combined with the computational capability and accuracy of first principles calculations has changed the nature of this field from a largely trial and error approach to a predictive and controlled design process. In addition to deepening our knowledge of catalysis... more
Nicole Larsen's picture
Nicole Larsen
Daniel McKinsey

An Effective Field Theory Analysis of The First LUX Dark Matter Search
A wealth of astrophysical research supports the existence of dark matter in the universe, yet the exact nature of this unknown particle remains elusive. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is a 370-kg dual-phase xenon-based time projection chamber (TPC) that seeks to detect dark matter candidates such as Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) through the light and ionization signals generated by their collisions with xenon nuclei. The first part of this talk details the design of... more
Manuel Mai's picture
Manuel Mai
Corey O'Hern

Outcome Prediction and Reconstruction for Systems of Ordinary Differential Equations
I will present two related analyses of systems of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The first one investigates outcome prediction in several systems of ODEs for the immune response to infection. We show that patient-to-patient variability sets a fundamental limit on the outcome prediction accuracy. However, accuracy can be increased at the expense of delayed prognosis. In the second study, I develop a method to build, general nonlinear ODE models from time series data using machine... more
Eric Norrgard's picture
Eric Norrgard
David DeMille

Magneto-optical trapping of diatomic molecules
Laser cooling in a magneto-optical trap (MOT) is the workhorse technique for atomic physics in the ultracold regime, serving as the starting point in applications from optical clocks to quantum-degenerate gases. It was recently shown that optical cycling, and thus laser cooling, should be possible for a class of at least 40 molecular species, using just three (or fewer) lasers. In this work, we demonstrate the first laser slowing and first magneto-optical trapping of a molecule, strontium... more
Katrina Sliwa's picture
Katrina Sliwa
Michel Devoret

Minimizing Effects Detrimental to the Heisenberg Back-Action of Qubit Measurements with Parametric Amplifiers
The quantum back-action of the measurement apparatus arising from the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is both a fascinating phenomenon and a powerful manipulation tool. Unfortunately, there are other effects which may overwhelm the Heisenberg back-action. This thesis focuses on two effects arising in the dispersive measurement of superconducting qubits made with two commonly used ultra-low-noise parametric amplifiers, the Josephson bifurcation amplifier (JBA) and the Josephson parametric... more
William Smith's picture
William Smith
Corey O'Hern
Senior Software Engineer


Modeling Diffusion and Motion in Cells at the Molecular Level
Due to the complexity inherent in biological systems, many particles involved exhibit complicated spatiotemporal dynamics that go beyond the standard models of diffusion of molecules and dynamics of polymers. Here, we investigate two examples of this: the dynamics of intrinsically disordered proteins, and the diffusion of a probe particle in a bacterial cell. Intrinsically  disordered proteins (IDPs) are a class of proteins that do not possess well-defined three-dimensional  ... more
Degree Date: December, 2015
Jeffrey Ammon's picture
Jeffrey Ammon
David DeMille

Progress towards a measurement of nuclear-spin-dependent parity violation in diatomic molecules
Nuclear-spin-dependent parity violation (NSD-PV) effects arise from exchange of the Z boson between electrons and the nucleus, and from interaction of electrons with the nuclear anapole moment (a parity-odd magnetic moment induced by electroweak interactions within the nucleus).  These effects cause a mixing of opposite-parity levels in atoms and molecules, where the size of the mixing is inversely proportional to the energy difference of the mixed levels.  We study NSD-PV effects... more
Camille Avestruz's picture
Camille Avestruz
Daisuke Nagai
KICP Fellow

Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago

Modeling Galaxy Cluster Outskirts with Cosmological Simulations
The observational study of galaxy cluster outskirts is a new territory to probe the thermodynamic and chemical structure of the X-ray emitting intracluster medium (ICM) and the intergalactic medium (IGM). Cluster outskirts are particularly important for modeling the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect, which is sensitive to hot electrons at all radii and has been used to detect hundreds of galaxy clusters to high-redshift (z<1) with recent microwave cluster surveys such as ACT, Planck, and SPT.... more
Barry Bradlyn's picture
Barry Bradlyn
Nicholas Read
Assistant Professor

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Linear response and Berry curvature in two-dimensional topological phases
              In this thesis we examine the viscous and thermal transport properties of chiral topological phases, and their relationship to topological invariants. We start by developing a Kubo formalism for calculating the frequency dependent viscosity tensor of a general quantum system, both with and without a uniform external magnetic field. The importance of contact terms is emphasized. We apply this formalism to the study of... more