News


New Technique for Measuring the Layer-Resolved Charge Density

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 25 October 2017

Recently Benjamin M. Hunt and his colleagues developed a new technique for measuring the layer-resolved charge density, from which they can map layer polarization of the valley or spin quantum numbers in bilayer graphine and other two dimensional materials. In this study, they demonstrated direct measurement of valley and orbital levels in bilayer graphite. They have detected that the four valley and orbital components have different weights on the two layers of the bilayer. By using Hunt’s technique one can probe layer, valley, and spin polarization quantitatively in other atomic layered materials, including twisted bilayer graphene and both homobilayer and heterobilayer of transition metal dichalcogenide

 


The new era of Polariton condensates

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 17 October 2017

In a recently published paper in Physics Today, David Snoke, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh and Jonathan Keeling who is a reader in theoretical condensed-matter physics at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, have shown the superfluidity of light where photon treats as a gas of interacting bosonic atoms. They have demonstrated that how to engineer a Bose–Einstein condensation from light.

 


W. Vincent Liu Named a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS)

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 16 October 2017

Congratulations to W. Vincent Liu for being named a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) by the Division of Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics.

Vincent was elected for elucidating Landau damping of collective excitations in Bose-Einstein condensates, advancing the study of spin-polarized Fermi gases by introducing the concept of breached pair superfluidity, pioneering the theory of higher orbital bands in optical lattices, and working with experimentalists to confirm the theory.

 


Assistant Professor Tevis Jacobs Receives $305,000 from the National Science Foundation

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 16 October 2017

Tevis Jacobs, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and material science at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to observe and measure nanoscale contact inside of an electron microscope-enabling for the first time visualization of the atomic structure of the component materials while they are in contact. The team's project will measure surface roughness of tiny particles and characterize the fundamental relationship between adhesion and roughness at small sizes.


Assistant Professor Benjamin Hunt wins DOE’s Early Career Award

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 16 October 2017

Benjamin Hunt, assistant professor of physics and member of the Quantum Electronics Group at Carnegie Mellon University was awarded a prestigious $750,000 Early Career Grant from the Department of Energy to study how layering different two-dimensional crystals (such as graphene and the magnetic insulator CrSiTe3) can lead to new, emergent properties in the composite layered structure.


Trapping of Polariton in Microcavities

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 9 October 2017

Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC) is a process which occurs at low temperature when an ensemble of bosons cools down and enters a single quantum state. In most of the experiments, this condensation process includes the atomic gases. But in solid-state systems, which has a long history of generating new types of particles and quasiparticles, BEC can occur in quasiparticles e.g. fermion-like excitations of Bose- condensed Cooper pairs in a superconductor.

One class of such quasiparticles is polaritons, which form from electronic excitations coupled to photons in a microcavity. Polaritons are not fundamentally different in character from elementary particles; they are just highly renormalized to have different properties. In particular, polaritons can be viewed as photons having an effective mass and much stronger interactions than photons in a vacuum.

“A carefully engineered coupling between light and matter could pave the way to a room-temperature Bose–Einstein condensate.”

 


The Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking at the Brookings Institute

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 9 October 2017

The Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking is a collaboration between the Brookings Institution and Project for Public Spaces to support a city-driven and place-led world. According to a new report from the Brookings Institute, “Pittsburgh’s innovation economy is strong and growing, but city leaders can do more with its existing assets to compete globally and capitalize on the region’s growing innovation clusters”.

 “Through targeted research and analytics, strategic advising and recommendations, and communications guidance, Brooking aims to help position Pittsburgh as one of the top 30 most innovative cities in the world”.

Recently at the inaugural Brookings Centennial Scholar, Bruce Katz brings a different type of integrated problem-solving to the issues arising from global urbanization and the challenges of a city-driven century. Bruce Katz Capturing the Next Economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city”.

 


USTC Day 2017 at PQI

  • By Barbara Delraso
  • 28 September 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017, 9:30 AM. One dozen physics students, who are both undergraduate and graduate level, arrive at the PQI office for the kickoff of the second annual PQI & USTC Day, where they are greeted by PQI co-Excutive Director, Burcu Ozden.

The University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), which is located in Heifei, is one of China’s leading universities. USTC recently made international headlines due to the work of physics professor Jianwei Pan, the chief scientist on the project that culminated with China’s recent launch of the first quantum satellite.

Over the last several years, USTC and PQI have been establishing strong ties and collaborations. In recent years a number of USTC graduates have joined the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) physics departments to work in the groups and labs of PQI faculty. Some PQI faculty are themselves USTC alumni, and other PQI groups often welcome USTC undergraduate students for summer internships or research projects.


Linda Peteanu Named Head of Department of Chemistry

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 6 September 2017

Linda A. Peteanu has been named head of Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Chemistry. She has served as acting head since January 2016 and succeeds Hyung Kim, who stepped down from the position in the fall of 2015 after serving 14 years as department head. A member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1993, Peteanu is well known for her expertise in applying fluorescence-based methods, including microscopy and electric-field effects, to condensed-phase systems. One focus of her research involves measuring the morphology and electronic properties of molecules used to make light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and photovoltaic cells. Peteanu also applies fluorescence-based methods to the study of nucleic acids as a member of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology.


PQI Members Receive $4.8M NSF Award

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 6 September 2017

National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a $4.8M award to the University of Pittsburgh under the Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) program. Sergey Frolov will be the Director of new PIRE.  Hrvoje Petek, Michael Hatridge and David Pekker are other PQI co-PIs for this project. The duration of the program is 5 years.

This PIRE will establish a multidisciplinary partnership between universities, research centers and corporations in the U.S. and France, led by the University of Pittsburgh. The aim of the partnership is the discovery and investigation of materials that hold exceptional promise for fundamental quantum physics and quantum device engineering. In particular, the focus will be on hybrid materials which combine disparate materials kinds, such as semiconductors and superconductors, in a single structure. 

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