In the news

NASA Workshop on Quantum Computing for Aeroscience and Engineering

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 15 November 2017

November 7-8, 2017, physics students and scientist from diffrent places were arrived at the NASA Langley research center for attending Quantum Computing workshop.

The objective of this workshop was to bring together experts on quantum information science and computation to understand the latest developments and current challenges in algorithms, hardware, and technology transition to engineering applications. The aims of workshop was to accelerate technology transition towards outstanding engineering problems that were expected to be achievable using quantum computations in the coming decade. The workshop’s goals were included developing a roadmap for success towards solution strategies for engineering applications. The interested stakeholders were presented or taken part in discussion on challenges to transition the current state-of-the-art to large scale engineering and data science related problems. 


Discussions were focused on the following four areas:

  • Quantum algorithms
  • Quantum computing hardware
  • Manufacturing and control of quantum systems
  • Engineering applications

American Leadership in Quantum Technology

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 10 November 2017

On October 24, 2017 house committee on science, space, and technology held hearings on “American Leadership in Quantum Technology QT.” The goal of the hearing was to provide audiences the view of United States’ (US) and other nations’ research and development efforts to develop quantum computing and related technologies, and to identify what more can be done to robust these efforts. For this regard, committee members made their opening statements on quantum technology and US leadership in this area.  Witnesses from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), IBM, National Photonic Initiative, and Argon National Lab were emphasized the importance of study and research in quantum information science and technology to sustain the leadership in this area.

Quantum materials: Where many paths meet

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 27 October 2017

In Nature, there exist materials with exotic properties that cannot be understood in the framework of classical theories. Such properties, however, are beautifully described by more sophisticated theoretical tools involving quantum mechanics.  Such materials are now known as the “quantum materials”. The range of exotic properties exhibited by the quantum materials is extremely broad and includes superconductivity, superfluidity, ferromagnetism, quantum hall effect, spin-liquidity, topological insulation, to name a few.

Superconductors, discovered by Kammerlingh Onnes, 1911, were first to emerge as quantum materials. In normal metals, the resistance arises due to inelastic scattering between the charge carriers (electrons) and defects in the periodic crystal lattice. The defects or scattering centres can be any distortion to the periodicity of the lattice like those due to presence of impurity or the thermal vibration of the lattice points. In superconductors, surprisingly, the resistance becomes zero despite the presence of a large number of impurities and at high temperatures where the lattice points can undergo vigorous thermal vibration. The question that how the charge carriers remained insensitive to such strong scattering centres could not be answered within any classical picture. A microscopic understanding of superconductivity was first provided by Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer (BCS) in 1951, only after substantial development of quantum mechanics and quantum field theories – the theories where quantum mechanics is combined with Einstein’s theory of relativity.

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”.


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.

Scott Dodelson Appointed Head of Department of Physics at CMU

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 30 August 2017

Renowned physicist Scott Dodelson has been named the head of the Department of Physics in Carnegie Mellon University’s Mellon College of Science.Dodelson conducts research at the interface between particle physics and cosmology, examining the phenomena of dark energy, dark matter, inflation and cosmological neutrinos.   
Under Dodelson’s leadership, the physics department will partner with other departments within the Mellon College of Science through a new theory center and continue to collaborate with colleagues in statistics, computer science, and engineering. Dodelson also hopes to increase the department’s partnerships with other universities and research initiatives worldwide and bring physics to the community through outreach programs.


Venkat Viswanathan Remains Skeptical of Tesla's Self-Driving Trucks

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 30 August 2017

When will we see electric trucks appear on major roadways? Potentially in September. Tesla is currently developing driverless, long-haul electric semi-trucks that can move in “platoons,” or closely knit packs. But some scientists, like Venkat Viswanathan, doubt that Tesla can fulfill its promises. According to Viswanathan, electric trucks are not economically feasible yet because they would require massive batteries to power their long distance road-trips across the country. “Your cargo [would] essentially become the battery,” he says in an article for the New York Times. And because of that, there would be little room to carry goods.


Chandralekha Singh Leads the US Team at the 6th International Conference on Women in Physics

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 August 2017

Chandralekha Singh was one of the two team leaders of the US delegation to the 6th International conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP) in Birmingham, UK, in July 2017. She is also a co-editor of the American Institute of Physics Proceedings for this ICWIP 2017 conference to be published in 2018. This picture of Dr. Singh is with Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel peace prize winner, who was a presenter at the conference and Shamima Choudhury, a Physicist from Bangladesh. 

The Center for Research Computing Acquires New, Powerful Computing Systems

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 19 July 2017

The new Center for Research Computing (CRC), formerly known as the Center for Simulation and Modeling (SaM), is among the first in the nation to have access to Intel’s powerful new computing systems. The system will dramatically increase the speed of computation available to researchers through Pitt’s Center for Research Computing, said Ralph Roskies, associate vice provost for research computing.

Di Xiao Publishes in Nature; Article Subject of “News & Views”

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 14 June 2017

In a joint experimental and theoretical study, Di Xiao and collaborators from several groups across the country and from China observed out-of-plane magnetism in a monolayer of chromium triiodide (CrI3). The study, entitled further described the dependence of the magnetic ordering on the number of layers in the material—bilayer CrI3 displays suppressed magnetization, whereas in trilayer CrI3 the interlayer ferromagnetism is restored. This thickness-dependent behavior is typical of van der Waals crystals. The findings are reported in an article entitled “Layer-dependent ferromagnetism in a van der Waals crystal down to the monolayer limit” that was published in this month’s issue of Nature.