Chemical and physical processes such as reaction dynamics and the transport of molecular
excitations have been occurring on earth for the last few billions of years. In time, reactive
processes led to the appearance of life through the formation of amino acids, nucleic acids and
eventually, proteins, RNA and DNA. Photosynthetic bacteria, the first recorded forms of life on
earth, have evolved biologically over the last three billion years. During this evolution,
Artificial spin ice consists of arrays of lithographically fabricated single-domain ferromagnetic elements, arranged in different geometries such that the magnetostatic interactions between the moments are frustrated. Because we can both design the lattice geometries and probe the individual moments, these systems allow us to study the accommodation of frustration with exquisite detail and flexibility.
While theoretical methods designed to study molecules, such as density functional theory (DFT) are computationally cheap and have proven successful, their application to strongly correlated materials such as fascinating new substances that can be used for sensing, signal conversion, memory modules, and spintronics, often leads to qualitatively wrong results. In the first part of my talk, I will present a recently developed self-energy embedding theory (SEET), which is capable of describing a few strongly correlated electrons embedded in the field of delocalized electrons.
Biological macromolecules such as proteins, DNAs, and lipids, perform diverse functions in the cell that are the foundations of life processes. These complex mechanisms are a result of finely balanced thermodynamic forces governing both inter- and intramolecular interactions, as well as kinetic processes that occur over a vast range of time and length scales. Understanding the fundamental driving forces of biomolecular functions, and how they can be altered to tune cellular mechanisms, is therefore a central problem in modern biophysics research.