75 episodes

Members of the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics host a morning of Theoretical Physics roughly three times a year on a Saturday morning. The mornings consist of three talks pitched to explain an area of our research to an audience familiar with physics at about the second-year undergraduate level and are open to all Oxford Alumni. Topics include Quantum Mechanics, Black Holes, Dark Matter, Plasma, Particle Accelerators and The Large Hadron Collider.

Theoretical Physics - From Outer Space to Plasma Oxford University

    • Education
    • 4.4 • 34 Ratings

Members of the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics host a morning of Theoretical Physics roughly three times a year on a Saturday morning. The mornings consist of three talks pitched to explain an area of our research to an audience familiar with physics at about the second-year undergraduate level and are open to all Oxford Alumni. Topics include Quantum Mechanics, Black Holes, Dark Matter, Plasma, Particle Accelerators and The Large Hadron Collider.

    • video
    Axion Searches from Black Holes to the Basement

    Axion Searches from Black Holes to the Basement

    Professor John March-Russell talks about the search possibilities for axions including many current and near future ultra-precise quantum `table top' experiments in the Beecroft basement. The QCD-axion, and its `axion-like-particle' generalisations, lead to new physical effects in an extraordinarily diverse range of settings including cosmology, astrophysical objects like stars and black holes, electromagnetic systems, atoms, molecules, and nuclei. He outlines how this leads to a correspondingly huge range of search possibilities for axions (and even axion dark matter) varying from those involving observations of solar-mass and supermassive black holes and a form of `gravitational atom’, to many current and near future ultra-precise quantum `table top' experiments in the Beecroft basement and others worldwide.

    • 45 min
    • video
    Axion Electrodynamics in Solid-State Materials

    Axion Electrodynamics in Solid-State Materials

    Professor Siddharth Parameswaran gives the second talk on Axions. Over the past decade, topological ideas have played an increasingly important role in a surprising setting: the problem of understanding the properties of insulating crystals. This has led to the identification of “topological insulators”, bulk insulating materials which are characterised by unusual surface phenomena, unconventional responses to applied electric and magnetic fields, or both. In particular, the motion of electrons in some three-dimensional solids can generate axion-like electrodynamics in the solid state. He explains how the ideas leading to the prediction of this “axion insulator” flow naturally from a deeper understanding of the electrodynamics of dielectric media and their link to topological ideas, and survey some of their unusual consequences for experiment.

    • 42 min
    • video
    The Axion: How Angles Become Particles

    The Axion: How Angles Become Particles

    Professor Joseph Conlon introduces the general idea of axions: particles associated to fields which are valued on a circle rather than a real line. He describes the still unresolved strong CP problem of the Standard Model, for which the so-called QCD axion provides the most plausible solution. He explains the typical coupling of particle physics axions to electromagnetism and how this leads to axion-photon conversion in magnetic fields and potential search strategies for axions.

    • 48 min
    • video
    Fluid-gravity duality and hydrodynamics of black holes

    Fluid-gravity duality and hydrodynamics of black holes

    Holography explains why black hole horizons have thermodynamic and hydrodynamic properties and inspires researchers to re-visit foundations and explore limits of relativistic hydrodynamics Since the work of Bekenstein, Hawking and others in the early 1970s, it was known that the laws of black hole mechanics are closely related if not identical to the laws of thermodynamics. A natural question to ask, then, is whether this analogy or the correspondence extends beyond the equilibrium state. The affirmative answer, given by various authors during the 1980s and 90s, became known as the "black hole membrane paradigm". It was shown that black hole horizons can be viewed as being endowed with fluid-like properties such as viscosity, thermal conductivity and so on, whose values remained mysterious. The development of holography 15-20 years ago clarified many of these issues and has led to the quantitative correspondence between Navier-Stokes and Einstein equations. It became possible to study the long-standing problems such as thermalization and turbulence by re-casting them in the dual gravity language. We review those developments focusing, in particular, on the issue of the "unreasonable effectiveness" of hydrodynamic description in strongly interacting quantum systems.

    Final remarks, Prof Julia Yeomans FRS, Head of Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics

    • 43 min
    • video
    Hydrodynamics of Quantum Many-Body Systems Out of Equilibrium

    Hydrodynamics of Quantum Many-Body Systems Out of Equilibrium

    Can we apply hydrodynamics to systems with extensively many conservation laws Can we apply hydrodynamics to systems with extensively many conservation laws

    • 37 min
    • video
    Why Hydrodynamics?

    Why Hydrodynamics?

    What is hydrodynamics and why does it apply over 20 orders of magnitude in energy and length. Welcome, Prof Julia Yeomans FRS, Head of Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics

    Why Hydrodynamics? Prof Steve Simon

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

Crowbar Man ,

Technical improvements

I don’t know how large the uploaded file sizes are, but the content seems very demanding, with frequent pauses/ buffering, even on high speed WiFi. Some episodes simply don’t play at all. Some episodes get stuck in the middle, and just to the next episode halfway.
The content is outstanding, and the lecturers are brilliant. In the early lectures, the audio was sometimes bad and wanting for better technical attention to the recording quality. Also, some of the speakers were brilliant, but their accents were often incomprehensible. To some degree, I was accustomed to this from my undergraduate experience at Berkeley. However, when we had “recorded lectures” 25 years ago, it was out of educational necessity, using 25 year old technology. For science to become more competitive in today’s podcast market, it makes sense to make these well-produced radio programs to attract a wider audience; not just academics. Fortunately, later episodes feature better speakers who are easily understandable.

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