De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Second week Aspen

This is an overdue report about the activities in Aspen.  As to the talks I attended and liked they were as follows:

Fiona Burnell from Oxford told us about universal phase transitions in topological lattice models. While I guess I understood the main idea and appeal of the topics, there was a clear inverse perspective effect: the more details and more explanations Fiona gave the lesser my understanding got. Partly this was due to the specifics of the workshop talk: you want not only be comphrehensive in general, you wish to demonstrate that you belong to a specific community… Short way to do so is to use a specific slang without explanation,

Felix von Oppen told us about energy relaxation and thermalization of hot electrons in quantum wires. There was a tedious calculation meant to illustrate electron-hole asymmetry of energy relaxation in 1d geometry and explain thereby recent experimental findings of Amir Yacoby. The theory is all fine while I am not sure about the answer upon substituting the numbers: looked too big of an effect…

Chetan Nayak from Microsoft Station Q gave a talk about recent developments with Ising anyons and nearly Ising anyons. This reported an attempt to expand possibilities of topological quantum computation beyond its known limits, beyond braiding. While I appreciate vigour, determinance and beyond-the-road inventiveness of the authors, I could not accept the stream of the research. As to me, if you formulate a problem, you’d bring an answer at some stage. Reformulating the problem again and again just because the the answer does not look interesting not satisfying topologically-ideological constrains that lay beyond the subject itself must be an interesting educational game.

Colloquium by Joerg Schmalian, Iowa State, on the physics of Fe-pnictides was pleasantly reminiscent of my solid state youth. Was all as in good old days: new physical system, simple phenomenological approach, intriguing new symmetry revealed…

Our exercises with Leonid Glazman were about density of states in SNS systems in specific limits. Each day brought a new fancy answer that provided a fascinating picture and at the same time could make an exemplary problem in mathematical analysis: at the second-third year level. If we were ph.d. students we would know how to fill our thesises: unfortunately, the happy times have passed and, by the end of the week, we’ve decided to think of more serious stuff.

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