Alumni
Filip Kos David Poland 
Postdoc 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 3point functions of the operators in CFT. Three classes of CFTs... more 

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 redshiftspace distortion (RSD) method aim to achieve subpercent precision on cosmological parameters. Understanding and reducing the systematics caused by the nonlinear evolution of gravitational structures and galaxy formation and evolution is crucial for future galaxy... more 

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 
Rostislav Boltyanskiy Eric Dufresne 
Senior Scientist Spheryx 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 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 sidechain entropy, van der Waals contact interactions, and other enthalpic contributions to the free energy of folded proteins. The... more 

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 Sohrab IsmailBeigi 
Postdoctoral Researcher University of Pennsylvania Website 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 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 370kg dualphase xenonbased 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 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 patienttopatient 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 David DeMille 
Magnetooptical trapping of diatomic molecules Laser cooling in a magnetooptical trap (MOT) is the workhorse technique for atomic physics in the ultracold regime, serving as the starting point in applications from optical clocks to quantumdegenerate 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 magnetooptical trapping of a molecule, strontium... more 

Katrina Sliwa Michel Devoret 
Minimizing Effects Detrimental to the Heisenberg BackAction of Qubit Measurements with Parametric Amplifiers The quantum backaction 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 backaction. This thesis focuses on two effects arising in the dispersive measurement of superconducting qubits made with two commonly used ultralownoise parametric amplifiers, the Josephson bifurcation amplifier (JBA) and the Josephson parametric... more 

William Smith Corey O'Hern 
Senior Software Engineer Datadog 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 welldefined threedimensional ... more 
Jeffrey Ammon David DeMille 
Progress towards a measurement of nuclearspindependent parity violation in diatomic molecules Nuclearspindependent parity violation (NSDPV) effects arise from exchange of the Z boson between electrons and the nucleus, and from interaction of electrons with the nuclear anapole moment (a parityodd magnetic moment induced by electroweak interactions within the nucleus). These effects cause a mixing of oppositeparity levels in atoms and molecules, where the size of the mixing is inversely proportional to the energy difference of the mixed levels. We study NSDPV effects... more 

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 Xray emitting intracluster medium (ICM) and the intergalactic medium (IGM). Cluster outskirts are particularly important for modeling the SunyaevZel’dovich effect, which is sensitive to hot electrons at all radii and has been used to detect hundreds of galaxy clusters to highredshift (z<1) with recent microwave cluster surveys such as ACT, Planck, and SPT.... more 

Barry Bradlyn Nicholas Read 
Assistant Professor University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign Linear response and Berry curvature in twodimensional 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 