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Beñat Mencia

 Beñat Mencia

Beñat Mencia

Member of Gonville and Caius College
PhD student in Dr Lamacraft's group

Office: 540 Mott Bld
Phone: +44(0)1223 3 37354
Email: bm485 @

TCM Group, Cavendish Laboratory
19 JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge, CB3 0HE UK.

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One of my research interests is to do with lattices of vortex-molecules. The response of a superfluid to mechanical rotation demonstrates one of the most remarkable features of these systems. Rather than rotate like a classical fluid, a superfluid will instead nucleate quantised vortices which carry angular momentum. In the limit of many vortices, a vortex lattice will form. Depending on the type of superfluid and the experimental parameters, different kinds of vortices can be found as the equilibrium configuration of the rotating superfluid: integer vortices and half vortices. An external field can give rise to vortex molecules: confined vortex pairs connected by a domain wall. These molecules can be made of integer or half vortices.

My second line of research is to do with using Statistical Physics to solve problems in Deep Learning and Bayesian Inference. We use Variational Inference (in PYRO) using models from Statistical Physics whose properties we know (e.g. phase transitions), to detect when this approach fails and try to find ways to fix it.

Finally, I am also looking into improving state of the art variational algorithms (e.g. DMRG) using TensorFlow.

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In Plain English

One my research interests is to do with swirls in some special fluids, called superfluids. If you take a glass of water and stir it with a spoon, you find that the water rotates creating a swirl in the middle. A superfluid is a fluid with some special properties. Among others, when you set it under rotation, it creates many swirls instead of just one. Furthermore, under certain experimental conditions that can be tuned in the lab, these vortices appear to be pulled together in pairs as if they were linked by strings. We study the behavior of these strings.

In my other line of research, we use techniques that have been invented to solve problems in Theoretical Physics, to solve problems in the theory Artificial Intelligence.

Finally, I am also interested in developing new techniques to solve computational problems in a more efficient way.