"Perspective on the 2016 Nobel Prize: research at UCLA on the Kosterlitz-Thouless transition in superfluid helium" by Gary Williams (UCLA)

Date: 
Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Series: 
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Thursdays, 4:00-5:00 pm

1-434 Physics and Astronomy (map)
Reception from 3:30-4:00 p.m.
(unless otherwise posted)

 

Guest Speaker: Gary Williams (University of California, Los Angeles)

Talk Title:  “Perspective on the 2016 Nobel Prize: research at UCLA on the Kosterlitz-Thouless transition in superfluid helium”

Abstract:

This talk will be more of a historical survey of research at UCLA on the two-dimensional Kosterlitz-Thouless (KT) superfluid phase transition.  The seminal 1969 third-sound measurements of the late Professor Isadore (“Izzy”) Rudnick showed that the superfluid transition in very thin helium films was unusual, occurring while the 2D superfluid density was still finite.  The explanation of these results began with the first KT papers in 1972-73, which introduced vortex-antivortex pairs as the topological elementary excitations causing the transition.   After a brief review of the KT theory, further experimental and theoretical work in this area at UCLA will be discussed, including experiments on films in porous materials and carbon nanotubes, and an extension of the basic KT ideas to the superfluid transition in three dimensions and (more recently) to four dimensions.

For more information, contact Jay Hauser

We thank the following people for their contributions to the wine fund for the post-colloquium reception:
Prof. Dolores Bozovic, Prof. Mike Cornwall, Prof. Bob Cousins, Prof. Andrea Ghez, Prof. Karoly Holczer, Prof. Eric Hudson, Robert Huff, Prof. Alex Kusenko, Prof. Myank Mehta, Prof. John Miao, Prof. Roberto Peccei, Prof. Claudio Pellegrini, Prof. David Saltzberg, Prof. Jean Turner and Prof. Ben Zuckerman.

Location: 
1-434 PAB