500 Wilson Blvd, Rochester, NY

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Pierre Gourdain,  assistant professor of physics. "How to handle matter under extreme pressure".

Abstract: Quantum mechanical effects are usually perceived as small-scale phenomena, which most interesting aspects are lost to spatial decoherence and thermal noise.  To study basic quantum properties in the laboratory, thermal energy needs to drop well below the Fermi energy.  If the system is small enough to preserve spatial coherence, a Bose-Einstein condensate usually forms.  Materials under megabar pressures achieve high electron degeneracy not by decreasing the electron temperature but by increasing the electron density.  For all practical purposes such materials are also condensates, but of a very different nature.  Since their temperatures and densities are high (1024 cm-3, 1eV), the macroscopic properties of these systems emerge from both collisional and quantum interactions.  We will discuss how this coupling calls for new theories, capable of integrating quantum mechanical effects into macroscopic conservation laws, and new experiments, where transport coefficients can be measured precisely and at macroscopic scales.

Tea:  3:30 pm, Bausch & Lomb Lobby
The talk begins at 3:45 p.m. 

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