[PAST EVENT] Daniel Albert Salmon: Physics Dissertation Defense
Daniel Albert Salmon , Final Oral Examination for the Ph.D., Title: "Dynamics of Systems with Hamiltonian Monodromy."
Abstract: A system is said to have ?monodromy? if, when we carry the system around a closed circuit, it does not return to its initial state. The simplest example is the square-root function in the complex plane. A Hamiltonian system is said to have ?Hamiltonian monodromy? if its fundamental action-angle loops do not return to their initial topological state at the end of a closed circuit. These changes in topology of angle loops carry through to other aspects of these systems, including the classical dynamics of families of trajectories, quantum spectra and even wavefunctions. This topological change in the evolution of a loop of classical trajectories has been observed experimentally for the first time, using an apparatus consisting of a spherical pendulum subject to magnetic potentials and torques. Presented in this dissertation are the details of this experiment, as well as theoretical calculations on a novel system: a double welled Mexican-hat system with two monodromy points.
Bio: Daniel Salmon was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and raised in the nearby town of Apex. He began attending North Carolina State University in 2008, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physics in 2012. Upon completing his degree, Daniel chose to pursue a Ph.D in physics at William & Mary, where he has worked with Prof. John Delos on systems with Hamiltonian monodromy. After graduation, he will be moving to Anchorage, where he has accepted a teaching position at the University of Alaska.