Lecture 1: "A Brief History of Computing and
Cryptography"

THURSDAY
1/20/11

Professor Gerd Bergmann Department of Physics, University of Southern California

"The Magnetic Spin of a d-Impurity, a Contortion Artist"

Abstract:Magnetic impurities are of essential importance in basic solid state physics as well as for technical applications. If one introduces a 3d impurity (for
example an Fe atom) into a simple host it often possesses a magnetic moment.
The formation of a moment depends on the interplay between the hybridization
of the d-electrons with the conduction electrons and the Coulomb (exchange)
repulsion between the d-electrons. A strong mixture between the d-and the
conduction electrons decreases the chances for a magnetic moment while a large Coulomb repulsion enhances the chances. However, even when under
optimal conditions a strong magnetic moment is expected the impurity behaves at low temperatures non-magnetically, because it forms a singlet state with
a conduction electron of the opposite spin. This talk gives a stroll through this multi-faceted behavior, discussing some experimental results and the intriguing physics behind it.

TUESDAY
1/25/11

Professor Kirill Shtengel
Department of Physics, UC Riverside

Lecture 2:
Is Quantum Mechanics a Friend or a Foe?
Photons, Spins & Computers

THURSDAY
2/3/11

No Colloquium Scheduled

THURSAY
2/10/11

Professor Paolo Zanardi Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California

Telling Quantum Phases of Matter Apart: The Fidelity Approach

Abstract: The fidelity approach to critical phenomena is based on differential geometry and information theory. Ground states corresponding to Hamiltonians with infinitesimally close parameters sets are analyzed by using their ground state quantum fidelity i.e., the modulus of the overlap of the corresponding ground states. The fidelity analysis is not based on the a priori identification of an order parameter, and hence does not require knowledge of symmetry breaking patterns or more generally the analysis of any distinguished observable. Instead, it is purely metric and can thus be formulated in terms of the singularities of a universal metric tensor on the Hamiltonian parameter space. In this talk, for the sake of broad interest and to avoid technicalities, I will limit myself to an introduction to the basic concepts of this field and some their very early applications.

TUESDAY
2/15/11

Professor Kirill Shtengel
Department of Physics, UC Riverside

Lecture 4: " Why Knot? Introduction to Topological Quantum Computing"

THURSDAY
3/3/11

Professor Oscar Bernal
Department of Physics and Astronomy, CSULA

"Selected Topics on the History of Condensed Matter Physics"

Abstract:
The talk describes some of the main developments in the field of condensed matter physics from before the advent of quantum mechanics in the late part of the 19th century to the 1960s. In particular, some of the main developments brought about by the quantum theory, starting with the electrons in metals in the 1920s to the birth of the semiconducting industry in the 1960s, as well as the events that led to the theory of superconductivity by Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer in 1957, will be presented. Some of the current fields of interest and techniques used in condensed matter physics will be outlined.

THURSDAY
3/10/11

Professor Jing Xia
California Institute of Technology

"Competition between topological and broken-symmetry orders"

Abstract: Topological order is a new kind of collective order beyond Landau's symmetry-breaking classification. Interesting in its own right, certain topologically ordered materials including the "non-Abelian" fractional quantum Hall (FQH) states and "chiral p-wave" superconductors may be used to realize fault-tolerant "topological" quantum computers. We have used both optical and electrical techniques to identify topological phases and to study their competition with broken symmetry orders. In this talk, I will discuss in 2D electrons at filling factor 5/2 the intriguing competition between the "non-Abelian" topological FQH state, an electronic liquid crystal phase and a newly discovered "reentrant isotropic compressible" state. I will also provide evidence for a novel rotational-symmetry-breaking FQH state as a consequence of this competition.