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Tuesday, February 21 2017

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To understand the compositions and formation process of giant exoplanets, we first need to understand the dynamics and structure of their atmospheres. I will discuss the results of some recent ground- and space-based observations of a transiting brown dwarf and a hot Jupiter, which indicate a transition in atmospheric structure as a function of planetary surface gravity. This transition agrees with predictions from certain atmospheric theories, and its exploration should allow us to arrive at a better physical understanding of the temperature structure and cloud properties of these planets.

Universality is a key characteristic of quantum halo states, bound states of few-particle systems which extend far into the classically forbidden region. I will discuss the prediction of new realistic three and four body quantum halos using accurate diffusion Monte Carlo simulations, as well as the scaling of their sizes and energies. Helium adsorbed in nanopores provides opportunity for the study of many-body universality. In the case of very narrow nanopores, universal low energy Luttinger liquid description is expected.