Physics Department Colloquium

Extreme Plasma Astrophysics: A Shining New Frontier

Many spectacular phenomena in the high-energy Universe, including bright, rapid gamma-ray flares, are powered by complex collective processes in plasmas around relativistic objects: neutron stars (NSs) and black holes (BHs). While our understanding of such processes has benefitted from knowledge obtained in traditional (e.g., space or magnetic fusion) plasma research, the physical conditions in plasmas around BHs and NSs are so extreme that conventional plasma-physical intuition often fails there and a richer physical framework is required.

Quantum Communications and Correlations

Sending and receiving quantum signals can boost the performance of communication systems and even let you do things that are impossible with classical signals. For example, a quantum communication channel can be used to transmit quantum information or establish entanglement between distant parties.  Even if the channel is noisy, quantum error correcting codes can allow information to be transmitted essentially perfectly. In this talk, I’ll discuss several questions about the theory of quantum communication: How much noiseless information can a noisy channel transmit?