News


Conserving a Valuable Resource: System Will Recover Helium for Physics Lab Use

  • By Workstudy User
  • 17 September 2014

Pitt’s new physics department helium recovery system will put the campus at the forefront of U.S. university efforts to conserve the finite supply of this increasingly expensive laboratory gas.

With U.S. helium reserves being sold off and prices rising, Pitt has used the National Institute of Standards and Technology-funded renovation of mid-campus physics buildings, undertaken over the past five years, as an opportunity to install a new helium recovery system. It should be able to reliquefy at least 90 percent of the gas currently used and allow for experiments that might not otherwise have been affordable, says Patrick Irvin, faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


Ken Jordan Featured in the Journal of Physical Chemistry

  • By Workstudy User
  • 11 September 2014

PQI faculty Ken Jordan was featured in the September 4th, 2014 issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 

This issue was dedicated to Ken Jordan on the occasion of his 66th birthday. The preface “From Quantum Mechanics to Molecular Mechanics: A Tribute to Kenneth D. Jordan” was written by his friend and fellow scientist Jack Simmons, former graduate student Feng Wang, and his longtime collaborator Mark Johnson. This special issue “The Kenneth D. Jordan Estschrift" includes his autobiography, a list of his colleagues and publications, and his Curriculum Vitae.


Hrvoje Petek Part of $20 Million Grant to Observe Molecules in Action

  • By Workstudy User
  • 28 August 2014

The UC Irvine Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit has received a $20 million renewal award from the National Science Foundation to continue its groundbreaking work in pushing the limits of interrogating chemistry on ultrafast and ultrasmall scales. Ultimately, the goal is capture chemistry in the act on the single-molecule level.

Headed by V. Ara Apkarian of UCI’s Department of Chemistry, CaSTL is one of eight NSF-funded “Centers for Chemical Innovation” that are designed to tackle grand challenges in the field. A team of 12 faculty members from five different universities and nearly 60 researchers have joined CaSTL to build the “Chemiscope” – the chemist’s microscope – designed to visualize chemical transformations on atomic scales and in real time.


New Photonic Device for Use in Harsh Environments

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 26 June 2014

By fusing together the concepts of active fiber sensors and high-temperature fiber sensors, a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh led by PQI faculty Kevin Chen has created an all-optical high-temperature sensor for gas flow measurements that operates at record-setting temperatures above 800 degrees Celsius. This technology is expected to find industrial sensing applications in harsh environments ranging from deep geothermal drill cores to the interiors of nuclear reactors to the cold vacuum of space missions, and it may eventually be extended to many others.

The team describes their all-optical approach in a paper published in Optics Letters.


First Detection of a Fundamental Particle of Light-Matter Interaction in Metals: the Exciton

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 1 June 2014

PQI faculty Hrvoje Petek and Sean Garrett-Roe have become the first to detect a fundamental particle of light-matter interaction in metals, the exciton. The team has published its work in the June 2014 online issue of Nature Physics.

Mankind has used reflection of light from a metal mirror on a daily basis for millennia, but the quantum mechanical magic behind this familiar phenomenon is only now being uncovered.


Sergey Frolov Lands ONR Grant to Study Majorana Fermions

  • By Workstudy User
  • 31 May 2014

PQI faculty Sergey Frolov has received a $3 million Office of Naval Research Basic Research Challenge grant to explore ways of transforming quantum computing through the use of an unusual particle. Frolov will be the primary investigator for the study on the Majorana fermion, a long-posited but elusive elementary particle that Frolov and colleagues discovered in 2012.

"First, this is of great fundamental interest to science," Frolov says. "We are greatly expanding the horizons of our knowledge, and we may be adding a new, third class of fundamental particles to fermions and bosons."


Quantum Engineering Research Paper on “Transparent Electrodes” One of Top 20 Downloads from the Journal Nano Letters

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 May 2014

A journal article by PQI researchers investigating the properties of copper nanomeshes to form transparent electrodes was one of the Top 20 articles downloaded from the journal Nano Letters web site in April 2014. 

The team is led by principle investigator and PQI faculty Paul W. Leu, PhD, and Co-PIs include PQI faculty Jung-Kun Lee, PhD, and research assistants Bo Ding, Tongchuan Gao, and Baomin Wang. The article, "Uniform and Ordered Copper Nanomeshes by Microsphere Lithography for Transparent Electrodes," was published in Nano Letters.


Sara Majetich Awarded Seed Grant from CMU's Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 12 February 2014

Sara Majetich has received a seed grant from CMU's Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation to explore ways to make small powerful permanent magnets without the use of rare earth or noble metals. This could be a breakthrough development because the rare earth elements used in the strongest of today's permanent magnets are becoming increasingly scarce and costly.  The institute, made possible by a lead gift from CMU alumni Sherman Scott (E'66), president and founder of Delmar systems, and his wife, university trustee Joyce Bowie Scott (A'65), is focused on improving energy efficiency and developing new, clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources.  A key mission of the Scott Institute, established in September 2012, is to stimulate new research initiatives and connections across the campus.


Patrick D. Gallagher Named Chancellor-Elect of Pitt

  • By Workstudy User
  • 11 February 2014

Patrick Gallagher, Acting Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Commerce and Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been named the next Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. Gallagher, who received his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Pittsburgh, will succeed Mark A. Nordenberg, who served as Chancellor for the last 19 years.

For more details, read the Pitt press release, and read here about the impact Gallagher had as Director of NIST.

Pages