Physics Colloquium - March 28
Dr. Steve Simon, Lucent Tech
"The Unexpected Physics of Modern Wireless Communication: Replicas, Diffusons, and Supersymmetry for Fun and Profit"
Abstract: In the modern information era, where the demand for higher bit-rate seems to be increasing without bound, it is essential to understand the physicallimits on communications. I will start by reviewing the concept of a Shannon limit or how many bits per second can be conveyed from a transmitter to a receiver. We then discover that in a disordered environment (in a city, for example) it becomes essential to understand wave interference in order to find this Shannon limit for modern communication systems. It becomes advantageous to make an analogy between radio waves in cities and electron waves in disordered metals. Using our understanding of mesoscopics we can under-stand more about how information capacity is limited. We find the question of information can be reduced to a random matrix problem which is attacked with traditional condensed matter field theory methods. Finally we bring the story full-circle by deducing new insights about mesoscopics from our results on wireless communications.