QUANTUM MECHANICS has laid the foundation for science and engineering in the 20th century. The properties of semiconductors, superconductors, magnetic materials, and the periodic table, are all firmly rooted in quantum mechanics. Our ability to understand the quantum nature of matter has led to the development of myriad inventions such as transistors, lasers, and MRI scanners, which have profoundly impacted humanity. Now, in the 21st century, researchers are exerting control over quantum mechanics at a more fundamental level. Quantum computers, once they are developed, will be able to perform calculations that no ordinary computer can perform. Quantum key distribution uses essential notions of quantum entanglement to provide the basis for a future quantum internet. Quantum sensors promise to push the limits of measurement sensitivity far beyond what is possible with today’s approaches. The Schrodinger equation itself--arguably the most important equation in physics--can be solved efficiently using quantum hardware.
The Pittsburgh Quantum Institute (PQI) was founded in 2012 with the mission “to help unify and promote quantum science and engineering in Pittsburgh”. With financial support from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, PQI provides leadership throughout Pittsburgh in areas that impact the “second quantum revolution”. PQI faculty members (currently more than 70) have appointments from Pitt, CMU and Duquesne University, in physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, and philosophy of science. PQI sponsors and organizes research seminars, panel discussions, public lectures, and outreach activities, and a signature event (PQI20XX in April) that brings in a dozen plenary speakers and a public lecture. PQI supports graduate students with research and travel awards, and sponsors two well-attended poster sessions per year. The PQI website (www.pqi.org) highlights research and researchers, hosts multiple videos, and provides a regular feed of information relevant to the PQI community. PQI also coordinates with other important centers and facilities (Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Petersen Institute for Nanscience and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University Nanofabrication Facility, and the Center for Research Computing).