Summer Student Seminar

Note: Pizza will be served at 11:50am.
Speaker: Brian Dawes (BIO) and David Long (CMT)

When: August 16, 2019 (Fri), 12:00PM to 01:00PM (add to my calendar)
Location: SCI 352
Hosted by: Eric Boyers

This event is part of the Graduate Student Council Events.

Brian Dawes (BIO)
An introduction to optical tweezers

Optical tweezers are an important technique in the biophysics toolkit. Their importance was recognized by the 2018 Nobel Prize, which was awarded to Arthur Ashkin for the invention of optical tweezers. In this talk, I will review the history of optical tweezers, how they work, and what they can be used for. I will also give a quick rundown of the optical tweezers setup being built in the Kamenetska lab.

David Long (CMT)
Floquet topological insulators

For several decades the role of topology in condensed matter physics has been a topic of intense study. A major result of this effort has been to characterize static, gapped systems of non-interacting fermions -- topological insulators -- in terms of their topology. While topological insulators are now well understood, in more recent years it has been realized that similar phenomena can occur in systems which are not static, but instead periodically driven. Periodically driven systems are called "Floquet". I will provide an introduction to the theory of Floquet topological insulators, and provide examples of the kinds of topological features these systems can exhibit. While some of these features are familiar from the case of static topological insulators, others are unique to the driven case.