“What is Quantum Entanglement?” Q&A

April 14, 2015

This is the Q&A portion of the evening.


Dr. David Snoke

Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Pittsburgh

 

"What is Quantum Entanglement?"

Dr. David Snoke, a local professor, will unpack the concept of "quantum entanglement." The concept is one of those things considered "spooky" about quantum mechanics. It leads to oddities, such as the famous thought experiment "Schrodinger's Cat," which is presumably in a state of being both dead and alive.

Dr. Snoke, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh, will describe quantum entanglement, using a minimum of math, and will discuss modern experiments which lead to macroscopic entanglement. He'll discuss what these concepts mean (and don't mean) for our view of reality.

Dr. David Snoke is the head of an experimental optics laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, which studies basic effects of quantum mechanics in semiconductor structures, funded by the National Science Foundation. He has more than 120 publications in journals such as Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He has published four scientific books, including two textbooks published by Pearson. In 2006, Dr. Snoke was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Prior to coming to the University of Pittsburgh in 1994, he worked in industry at the Aerospace Corporation in California and the Westinghouse labs in Pittsburgh, and he was an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany. His Ph.D. in physics is from the University of Illinois, and his bachelor's degree, also in physics, is from Cornell University.

Recorded on Monday, April 13, 2015 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

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“What is Quantum Entanglement?”

April 14, 2015

Dr. David Snoke

Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Pittsburgh

 

"What is Quantum Entanglement?"

Dr. David Snoke, a local professor, will unpack the concept of "quantum entanglement." The concept is one of those things considered "spooky" about quantum mechanics. It leads to oddities, such as the famous thought experiment "Schrodinger's Cat," which is presumably in a state of being both dead and alive.

Dr. Snoke, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh, will describe quantum entanglement, using a minimum of math, and will discuss modern experiments which lead to macroscopic entanglement. He'll discuss what these concepts mean (and don't mean) for our view of reality.

Dr. David Snoke is the head of an experimental optics laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, which studies basic effects of quantum mechanics in semiconductor structures, funded by the National Science Foundation. He has more than 120 publications in journals such as Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He has published four scientific books, including two textbooks published by Pearson. In 2006, Dr. Snoke was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Prior to coming to the University of Pittsburgh in 1994, he worked in industry at the Aerospace Corporation in California and the Westinghouse labs in Pittsburgh, and he was an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany. His Ph.D. in physics is from the University of Illinois, and his bachelor's degree, also in physics, is from Cornell University.

Recorded on Monday, April 13, 2015 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Cafe Sci: “Solid-State Lighting: Energy-Efficient Alternative?”

March 11, 2015
 

Solid-State Lighting: Energy-Efficient Alternative?

Professor Robert F. Davis

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Carnegie Mellon University

In the future, when we flip a light switch, could it turn on a solid-state light, rather than an incandescent or fluorescent bulb?

Incandescent and fuel-based lamps convert less than 5 perfect of the energy they consume into visible light; the remainder emerges as heat. Fluorescent lamps achieve a conversion efficiency of about 30 percent. Each is an engine for converting the earth’s energy resources mostly into waste heat, pollution, and greenhouse gases. The increasingly precious energy resources and the significant threat of climate change demand that we reduce the energy and environmental cost of artificial lighting.

Solid-state lighting is the direct conversion of electricity to visible white light using semiconductor materials and light emitting diodes. It has the potential to be the much-needed energy efficient technology of the future. Currently being tested in some environments, solid-state lighting needs more research, engineering, and technological development to increase efficiency, lower its heat generation, and achieve a light color that’s accurate and pleasing to the human eye.

Robert F. Davis is John and Clare Bertucci Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His research interests include: growth and characterization of wide band gap semiconductor thin films and devices; growth and characterization of chemical sensors; and atomic layer deposition of inorganic materials. He has edited or co-edited seven books, authored or co-authored more than 270 chapters in edited proceedings or in books, published more than 400 peer reviewed papers in archival Journals and given more than 170 invited presentations.

Recorded Monday, March 9th 2015 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA

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Cafe Scientifique: “Smart Traffic Signals”

February 3, 2015

Dr. Stephen F. Smith

Research professor in the Robotics Institute and Director of the Intelligent Coordination and Logistics Laboratory
Carnegie Mellon University

 

Smart Traffic Signals

Traffic congestion in United States metropolitan areas is an increasing problem, now estimated to cost travelers $121 billion annually in lost time and fuel consumption, and to release 56 billion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. In this talk, Dr. Stephen F. Smith will describe recent research aimed at addressing this problem through smart traffic signals. A smart traffic signal perceives approaching traffic in real time and dynamically allocates green light time to move all current traffic through the intersection as efficiently as possible. Signal plans are coordinated with neighboring smart signals. Smith will summarize how this technology works, present results obtained from an initial experimental deployment of smart traffic signals in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and discuss future opportunities for smart signal systems to exploit emerging connected vehicle technology (which will shortly enable direct communication between traffic signals and vehicles) to enhance the safety and mobility of urban travelers.

Smith is a research professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is director of the Intelligent Coordination and Logistics Laboratory. Smith's research focuses on the theory and practice of next-generation technologies for planning, scheduling, coordination, and optimization. For the past several years, he has directed the SURTRAC (Smart URban TRAffic Control) adaptive traffic signal control project, which has developed a decentralized system for real-time optimization of urban traffic flows. Current research with SURTRAC focuses on optimization of traffic flows involving passenger vehicles, buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and on integration of smart signal control with connected vehicle technology.

Recorded Monday, February 2, 2015 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA

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Cafe Scientifique: “Additive Manufacturing: What It Is, How It Works, and Why We Should Care”

December 2, 2014

Additive Manufacturing: What It Is, How It Works, and Why We Should Care

Follow along with the slideshow here.

Dr. Howard A. Kuhn

Adjunct Professor
University of Pittsburgh

Additive Manufacturing, or 3D Printing, is a hotbed of modern innovation and entrepreneurial activity that is beginning to affect nearly every facet of our lives. Dr. Howard A. Kuhn will trace the evolution of the technology and illustrate the seemingly infinite array of geometrical features this technology makes possible. Kuhn will describe and display a variety of current and emerging applications, with emphasis on uses of additive manufacturing in the biomedical field.

Dr. Howard A. Kuhn is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching courses in manufacturing, product realization, entrepreneurship, and additive manufacturing. He also conducts research on additive manufacturing of biomedical devices for tissue engineering at the university. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Kuhn serves as technical adviser for the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. He is also research consultant at The Ex One Company, developing materials, processes and equipment for additive manufacturing of metal and ceramic components by three-dimensional printing.

Recorded Monday, December 1st, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Cafe Scientifique Q&A: “Additive Manufacturing: What It Is, How It Works, and Why We Should Care”

December 2, 2014

*This is the Q&A portion of Dr. Kuhn's presentation.

Additive Manufacturing: What It Is, How It Works, and Why We Should Care

Dr. Howard A. Kuhn

Adjunct Professor
University of Pittsburgh

Additive Manufacturing, or 3D Printing, is a hotbed of modern innovation and entrepreneurial activity that is beginning to affect nearly every facet of our lives. Dr. Howard A. Kuhn will trace the evolution of the technology and illustrate the seemingly infinite array of geometrical features this technology makes possible. Kuhn will describe and display a variety of current and emerging applications, with emphasis on uses of additive manufacturing in the biomedical field.

Dr. Howard A. Kuhn is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching courses in manufacturing, product realization, entrepreneurship, and additive manufacturing. He also conducts research on additive manufacturing of biomedical devices for tissue engineering at the university. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Kuhn serves as technical adviser for the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. He is also research consultant at The Ex One Company, developing materials, processes and equipment for additive manufacturing of metal and ceramic components by three-dimensional printing.

Recorded Monday, December 1st, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Cafe Sci: “The Beginning of the Universe… and Dust in Our Galaxy”

November 12, 2014

Dr. Arthur Kosowsky

Professor of Physics and Astronomy
University of Pittsburgh

 

"The Beginning of the Universe... and Dust in Our Galaxy"

Arthur Kosowsky, a top expert in cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, will speak about a new discovery made using the BICEP telescope at the South Pole earlier this year. A team of physicists noticed a subtle change in the CMB, which is hypothesized to be the result of gravitational waves by a sudden cosmic expansion during the very earliest moments of the universe. Despite the buzz this discovery has generated, more analysis is needed to determine whether the signal is evidence of the first moments of the universe, or whether it has a much more local source – such as dust grains in our own galaxy, aligned by magnetic fields. More data will be required to determine the cause of the change. If the signal is indeed from the first moments of the universe, it opens a remarkable window into physics at a scale we will never be able to probe with experiments on Earth, and it can tell us what happened when the universe was a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second old.

Kosowsky will talk about the science behind these ideas, what kinds of observations need to be done to decide the source of what we are seeing in the microwave sky, what this might tell us about the universe, and what kinds of future physics experiments and theories it might prompt.

Arthur Kosowsky is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his PhD in physics from the University of Chicago in 1994 and has been on the faculty of Pitt since 2005. He is the author of many scientific papers about the universe, and particularly how the cosmic microwave background radiation tells us about the properties of the universe and about fundamental physics. He is also a member of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) project, which has built a custom-designed 6-meter microwave telescope with superconducting bolometric detectors to observe the microwave sky from the Atacama desert in the Chilean Andes.

Recorded on Monday, November 10th, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Cafe Scientifique: “Assuring Urban Forest Health and Sustainability via Tree Genetic Diversity”

October 7, 2014

Dr. Cynthia Morton

Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Curator of Botany

 

Assuring Urban Forest Health and Sustainability via Tree Genetic Diversity

Follow along with the slide show here!

As a botanist, Dr. Cynthia Morton, curator of botany at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, has worked locally and internationally to collect specimens for phylogenetic analysis of molecular and morphological data. The range of projects include redefining the citrus family, constructing genomic maps, cleaning ground water, and investigating park and nursery tree genetics.

Her work in 2008 compared the level of genetic variation in London Plane trees already existing in the Pittsburgh area with trees of the same species currently available from three commercial nurseries. The genetic diversity was far greater in the older urban tree samples compared to the nursery samples, indicating that the nursery industry has been selectively cloning to produce new trees. While cloning trees is in itself a benign practice, doing so on a mass scale without a proper understanding of the implications of drastically reducing the genetic diversity of urban forests is ill-advised. A greater understanding of urban tree genetic diversity will allow policy makers, city planners, environmental agencies, and the nursery industry to make informed decisions and recommendations to improve practices for maintaining a robust tree landscape for the future.

An urban environment rich with trees is highly valued for its aesthetic qualities as well as its environmental benefits, such as reducing summer cooling costs, carbon sequestration, intercepting airborne pollutants, and reducing storm water runoff. In the United States, urban forests are estimated to contain about 3.8 billion trees, with an estimated structural asset value of $2.4 trillion. Billions of federal, local and private dollars are spent annually on management, labor, and the trees themselves as part of tree revitalization projects, and millions more are spent by individual homeowners to improve their environment and property values. Despite this multi-billion dollar urban tree economy, little work has been done to understand urban tree genetic diversity as an issue of vulnerability, or to examine the long-term impacts of urban tree genetic diversity on the sustainability of the urban environment.

Morton's research has been featured in newspapers, videos, and in peer-reviewed scientific articles.

Recorded Monday, October 6, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Cafe Scientifique Q&A: “Assuring Urban Forest Health and Sustainability via Tree Genetic Diversity”

October 7, 2014

This is the Q&A portion of Dr. Morton's presentation.

Dr. Cynthia Morton

Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Curator of Botany

 

Assuring Urban Forest Health and Sustainability via Tree Genetic Diversity

As a botanist, Dr. Cynthia Morton, curator of botany at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, has worked locally and internationally to collect specimens for phylogenetic analysis of molecular and morphological data. The range of projects include redefining the citrus family, constructing genomic maps, cleaning ground water, and investigating park and nursery tree genetics.

Her work in 2008 compared the level of genetic variation in London Plane trees already existing in the Pittsburgh area with trees of the same species currently available from three commercial nurseries. The genetic diversity was far greater in the older urban tree samples compared to the nursery samples, indicating that the nursery industry has been selectively cloning to produce new trees. While cloning trees is in itself a benign practice, doing so on a mass scale without a proper understanding of the implications of drastically reducing the genetic diversity of urban forests is ill-advised. A greater understanding of urban tree genetic diversity will allow policy makers, city planners, environmental agencies, and the nursery industry to make informed decisions and recommendations to improve practices for maintaining a robust tree landscape for the future.

An urban environment rich with trees is highly valued for its aesthetic qualities as well as its environmental benefits, such as reducing summer cooling costs, carbon sequestration, intercepting airborne pollutants, and reducing storm water runoff. In the United States, urban forests are estimated to contain about 3.8 billion trees, with an estimated structural asset value of $2.4 trillion. Billions of federal, local and private dollars are spent annually on management, labor, and the trees themselves as part of tree revitalization projects, and millions more are spent by individual homeowners to improve their environment and property values. Despite this multi-billion dollar urban tree economy, little work has been done to understand urban tree genetic diversity as an issue of vulnerability, or to examine the long-term impacts of urban tree genetic diversity on the sustainability of the urban environment.

Morton's research has been featured in newspapers, videos, and in peer-reviewed scientific articles.

Recorded Monday, October 6, 2014 at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Cafe Scientifique: “The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter”

September 4, 2014

Dr. Katherine Freese

George E. Uhlenbeck Professor of Physics
University of Michigan

Author
The Cosmic Cocktail

 

Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter

Dr. Katherine Freese, a pioneer in the study of dark matter, discusses her book, "The Cosmic Cocktail," which documents the inside story of the epic quest to solve one of the most compelling mysteries of modern science – what is the universe made of?

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