“All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” –Ernest Rutherford

2016 Winter Conferences

* Denotes physicist in charge of diversity

Biophysics I
January 3 - 9, 2016

Sunday evening reception
Meetings Monday morning through Friday Evening

Populations, Evolution, and Physics

Edo Kussell, New York University
Jeff Gore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
*Oskar Hallatschek, MPI Dynamics and Self-Org.

What are the general principles that govern biological evolution? Is evolution predictable in any sense? Can a theoretical framework be developed for systems whose basic rules and constraints change over time? These are some of the fundamental questions that motivate physicists working on biological evolution.

Physicists are uniquely positioned to make a lasting impact on the understanding of evolution, however this will require a concerted effort in the community. On the one hand, the theoretical tools that were successful in other physical systems that involve collective dynamics need to be fundamentally reformulated to address the unique aspects of evolution. On the other hand, since the basic theoretical structures are still extremely new and ‘evolving’, experimental tests of theoretical predictions demand very close working relationships between theorists and experimentalists. The main goal of the conference is to enhance these relationships while driving the field towards a new, unifying theory that describes evolving systems.

The conference will aim to achieve these larger goals by focusing on three focal themes – Viral Evolution, Rapid Adaptation, and Ecological Dynamics. These themes were chosen as areas where we believe physicists will be able to have the largest impact over the next five years, due to the high quality and availability of experimental data. The viral evolution theme is particularly timely given the recent Ebola outbreak, which has propelled a

Deadline to apply is October 15, 2015.

Particle Physics
January 10 - 16, 2016

Sunday evening reception
Meetings Monday morning through Friday noon

Particle Physics at the Verge of another Discovery?

Marcela Carena, University of Chicago & Fermilab
*Greg Landsberg, Brown University
Matthias Neubert, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Giulia Zanderighi, University of Oxford

Deadline to apply is October 15, 2015.

Astro Physics I
February 6 - 12, 2016

Saturday evening reception
Meetings Sunday morning through Thursday Evening

Dynamics and Accretion at the Galactic Center

*Avery Broderick, University of Toronto
Andrea Ghez, University of California, Los Angeles
Smadar Naoz, Harvard University

The proximity of the Galactic Center provides a unique opportunity to study the variety of physical processes operating in the dense environment surrounding a Massive Black Hole, with immediate impacts for many other galactic nuclei. This has been enabled by a number of recent technological and observational advances, opening a new window on black hole physics. The time is now ripe collect the broader community of experts on galactic nuclei generally and the Galactic Center specifically to share and build upon this recent progress in our understanding of the role played by and dynamical processes near Massive Black Holes.

Deadline to apply is November 15, 2015.

Condensed Matter Physics I
February 15 - 21, 2016

Monday evening reception
Meetings Tuesday morning through Sunday noon

Topological Quantum Matter: Progress and Applications

Jason Alicea, Caltech
*Kirill Shtengel, University of California, Riverside
Amir Yacoby, Harvard University

Explorations of topological quantum matter–for which topological properties emerge from purely geometric laws–have expanded dramatically in recent years. On the theoretical end, researchers are unraveling the rich interplay between symmetry, disorder, and topology; attempting a complete classification of topological phases; and developing practical routes for their laboratory realization. Experimental tests of several of these predictions are underway and have, not surprisingly, delivered numerous challenges to theory. The conference will assemble experts from diverse backgrounds to (1) advance formal understanding of topological quantum matter, (2) further bridge the divide between theory and experiment, (3) confront existing experimental puzzles, and (4) chart a roadmap towards applications.

Deadline to apply is November 15, 2015.

Astro Physics II
March 6 - 12, 2016

Sunday evening reception
Meetings Monday morning through Saturday noon

The Re-ionization Epoch: New Insights and Future Prospects

Garth Illingworth, University of California, Santa Cruz
*Pascal A. Oesch, Yale University
Benedetta Ciardi, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Stuart Wyithe, University of Melbourne
Jacqueline N. Hewitt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jennifer Lotz, Space Telescope Science Institute
Rychard Bouwens, Leiden Observatory
Guinevere Kauffmann, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Fabian Walter, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

The past few years have seen enormous progress in our ability to observe and characterize the very early universe before the end of cosmic reionization within the first one billion years of cosmic history. The first generations of galaxies can now be studied in unprecedented detail using large multi-wavelength datasets from the Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra Space Telescopes, as well as 8-10 m-class ground-based telescopes. Additionally, ALMA is starting to probe completely new parameter space at millimeter wavelengths, promising revolutionary insights into molecular gas, dust, and dynamics at high redshift. Early galaxy and quasar searches are being pushed into new territory with upcoming deep near-infrared surveys covering several square degrees. New advances in computational astronomy have led to a new generation of early universe simulations reaching unprecedented mass resolution over large volumes. Future capabilities (JWST; SKA precursors; etc), combined with current ground and space observatories, will greatly enhance our ability to explore the reionization epoch in even greater detail. The goal of our proposed meeting is to bring together a wide community of observers and theorists to discuss both recent progress as well as future perspectives for galaxy studies within the first billion years and for cosmic reionization..

Deadline to apply is December 15, 2015.
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Quantum Information
March 20 - 26, 2016

Sunday evening reception
Meetings Monday morning through Saturday noon

Advances in Quantum Algorithms and Computation

Aram Harrow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
*Krysta Svore, Microsoft
Matthias Troyer, ETH Zurich

Deadline to apply is December 15, 2015.

Biophysics II
March 27 - April 2, 2015

Sunday evening reception
Meetings Monday morning through Friday evening

Physics of Development and Disease

Josef A. Kaes, University of Leipzig
Wolfgang Losert, University of Maryland
*M. Lisa Manning, Syracuse University

Physics is key to a wide range of biological processes in development and disease, including cancer tumorgenesis, embryonic development, and wound healing. Many cellular processes that are essential elements in embryonic deployment such as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition are reactivated in cancer cells and drive tumor progression. Thus on the cellular scale development and disease are closely related. In these processes, the physical characteristics of cells are quintessential as cells must move, rearrange, change shape, and support stresses and strains. This workshop will aim to bring together a group of experts to discuss new developments in the physics of tissue reorganization during development and disease. Topics covered will include mechanical properties of individual cells and tissues, cell migration, wound healing, interaction of cells with substrates and polymer networks, liquid-to-solid phase transitions in tissues, artificial tissues, and pattern formation and morphogenesis of tissues and related cellular structures. The aim of the meeting is to identify open questions where joint research work may be successful within the next two or three years and better organize our nascent community to support this research..

Deadline to apply is December 15, 2015.