A computational phase transition in a classical or quantum system is a non-analytic change in behavior of an order parameter which can only be observed with the assistance of a nontrivial classical computation. Such phase transitions, and the computational observables which detect them, play a crucial role in the optimal decoding of quantum error-correcting codes and in the scalable detection of measurement-induced phenomena. We show that computational phase transitions and observables can also provide important physical insight on the phase diagram of a classical statistical physics system, specifically in the context of the dislocation-mediated melting of a two-dimensional antiferromagnetic (AF) crystal. In the solid phase, elementary dislocations disrupt the bipartiteness of the underlying square lattice, and as a result, pairs of dislocations are linearly confined by string-like AF domain walls. It has previously been argued that a novel AF tetratic phase can arise when double dislocations proliferate while elementary dislocations remain bound. We will argue that, although there is no thermodynamic phase transition separating the AF and paramagnetic (PM) tetratic phases, it is possible to algorithmically construct a nonlocal order parameter which distinguishes the AF and PM tetratic regimes and undergoes a continuous computational phase transition. We discuss both algorithm-dependent and "intrinsic" algorithm-independent computational phase transitions in this setting, the latter of which includes a transition in one's ability to consistently sort atoms into two sublattices to construct a well-defined staggered magnetization.

In this talk I will do three things. First, I will outline the conditions under which the interaction rate of inelastic processes with a system consisting of N targets scales as N^2. Second, I will present computations of interaction rates for several weakly interacting particles, including the Cosmic Neutrino Background and QCD axion dark matter, and will explain the underlying physics. Third, I will introduce new quantum observables that do not rely on net energy transfer, but can still extract these N^2 effects. This talk will not address a concrete experimental proposal, but the effects presented may point to a new class of table-top and ultra-low threshold particle detectors.

In this seminar, I will discuss recent progress towards developing robust methods to constrain PNG in the non-linear regime based on the LSS consistency relations — non-perturbative statements about the structure of LSS correlation functions derived from symmetries of the LSS equations of motion. Specifically, I will present non-perturbative models for the squeezed matter bispectrum and collapsed matter trispectrum in the presence of local PNG, as well as in the presence of a more general “Cosmological Collider” signal sourced by inflationary massive particle exchange. Using N-body simulations with modified initial conditions, I will demonstrate that these models yield unbiased constraints on the amplitude of PNG deep into the non-linear regime (k~2 h/Mpc at z=0). Finally, I will discuss how these non-perturbative methods can provide insight into the scale-dependent bias signature associated with the Cosmological Collider scenario.

Causality is a core concept in both General Relativity (GR) and Quantum Information Theory (QIT), yet it manifests differently in each domain. In GR, causal cones appear as a defining property of spacetime. Conversely, in QIT, causality relates to the abstract flow of information in quantum processes, independent of spacetime. This raises a crucial question: under what conditions can an abstract quantum process be realised within spacetime? The question is especially intriguing for quantum processes with indefinite causal structure, like the Quantum Switch, which resist classical causal descriptions. In this talk, I will present no-go theorems that reveal fundamental limitations on the realisability of such processes in spacetime and, thus, more generally, on the interplay between GR and QIT. This is based on joint work with V. Vilasini (Physical Review Letters, 133 080201, 2024).