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Quantum Institute : 2010 Quantum Lunch Seminar Schedule


  • Coordinator
    Diego Dalvit
  • Quantum Lunch Location:
    T-Division Conference Room, TA-3,
    Building 123, Room 121

Quantum Institute: Visitor Schedule

The Quantum Lunch is regularly held on Thursdays in the Theoretical Division Conference Room, TA-3, Building 123, Room 121.
For more information, contact Diego Dalvit.
To add your name to the Quantum Lunch email list, contact Charlotte Lehman

Thursday, June 3, 2010
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Speaker: Duncan O'Dell (McMaster University)

Technical Host: Malcolm Boshier

TOPIC: Quantum Catastrophes

Caustics are singularities of the ray theory of light: places where the intensity diverges and the geometric theory fails. A well-known example is the rainbow; another is provided by the bright lines on the bottom of a swimming pool. Caustics are more generally known as “catastrophes” and can occur in quantum mechanics too, typically in semiclassical and mean-field theories. I will present some illustrative examples of catastrophes that have come up in my research in ultra-cold atoms, including atomic diffraction, atomic Josephson junctions and cavity QED. I hope to convince you that catastrophe theory is a useful tool for analyzing quantum systems in certain interesting limits.

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