Santa Clara University

Physics department
Winter 2015 Colloquium

Monday, January 26, 4-5 pm Daly Science 206

Amyloid-beta & Alzheimer's Disease: Using Physics to Reveal a Toxic Protein's Elusive Structure

K. Aurelia Ball

University of California, San Francisco
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Alzheimer's Disease is characterized by large toxic fibrils and plaques in the brain. Amyloid-beta, a small, naturally occurring protein, is the major component of these fibrils and plaques. In order to understand the formation of the toxic forms of the protein, we would like to have a picture of Amyloid-beta in the free state, when not part of these fibrils or smaller aggregates. This is particularly difficult because unlike most proteins, which adopt a single, well-folded structure, Amyloid-beta is very flexible and constantly changes shape. However, we can use a combination of physics based computer simulations and biological NMR spectroscopy to understand Amyloid-beta structure and how this structure may influence toxicity and disease. 

If you have a disability and require a reasonable accommodation, please call Chris Weber at 408-554-7869 (voice) or 1-800-735-2929 (TTY-California Relay) at least 72 hours prior to the event.

 

Winter 2015 Colloquium

Monday, February 9, 4-5 PM, Daly Science 206

Transport Phenomena and the Chiral Anomaly in Weyl Semimetals

Pavan Hosur
Stanford University

Weyl semimetals (WSMs) are a new gapless topological phase of matter, in contrast to topological insulators, which are gapped. They are essentially 3D analogs of graphene; however, unlike graphene, they are a topologically stable phase and cannot be destroyed by point group symmetry breaking perturbations. The Weyl nodes are endowed with a handedness or "chirality", and exhibit a violation of chiral charge conservation in an E.B electromagnetic field known as the Chiral Anomaly. In this talk, I will discuss various transport properties of WSMs and describe a proposal to probe the chiral anomaly via optical transmission experiments. I will also touch upon surface transport in this phase. WSMs have exotic surface states known as Fermi arcs which are essentially disjoint segments of a 2D Fermi surface. A toy model to understand these states will be presented and predictions for Friedel oscillations due to a surface impurity in candidate WSMs will be made.

If you have a disability and require a reasonable accommodation, please call Chris Weber at 408-554-7869 (voice) or 1-800-735-2929 (TTY-California Relay) at least 72 hours prior to the event.
 

Winter 2015 Colloquium

Monday, February 23, 4-5 PM, Daly Science 206

Quantum Computing with Bose-Einstein Condensates and Effective Nonlinearities

Tom G. Wong
University of Latvia

physicsAlthough quantum mechanics is linear, there are nevertheless quantum systems with multiple interacting particles in which the effective evolution of a single particle is governed by a nonlinear Schrödinger equation. Bose-Einstein condensates, for example, can be described by the Gross-Pitaevskii Equation under certain conditions, which has a term proportional to the cube of the wavefunction. In this talk, I show that such realistic nonlinearities confer a significant, but not unreasonable, computational advantage when searching a "database."

If you have a disability and require a reasonable accommodation, please call Chris Weber at 408-554-7869 (voice) or 1-800-735-2929 (TTY-California Relay) at least 72 hours prior to the event.
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