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Type of Event

Event Calendar

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Tue, Feb 11, 2020

David Hall ’91, Amherst College: “Tying Knots in a Quantum Fluid”

Knots are familiar entities that appear at a captivating nexus of art, technology, mathematics and science. They have recently attracted significant experimental interest in contexts ranging from knotted DNA and nanostructures to nontrivial vortex knots in classical fluids. In this talk, I will discuss the first controlled
experimental creation and detection of knot solitons, which are particle-like topological excitations possessing a knotted field character. The superfluid medium within which they exist is a Bose-Einstein condensate with a temperature some tens of billionths of a degree above absolute zero. In addition to enabling future experimental studies of their properties and dynamics, these knot solitons provide a striking demonstration of the celebrated Hopf fibration, which mathematically tie together many seemingly unrelated physical phenomena.

Black-and-white print by Albrecht Durer; depicts the Combat of Virtue and Pleasure in the Presence of Hercules

Spring Opening Reception at the Mead

Celebrate the opening of the Mead’s spring exhibitions at this evening reception, featuring “The Best Impressions: Inside the Edward C. Crossett Collection of Prints,” along with new rotations of works in “Starting Something New: Recent Contemporary Acquisitions and Gifts and Ten Years of Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisitions.” Join us for curatorial remarks, live music and refreshments in the galleries.
Free and open to all!