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David Pekker

University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007

David Pekker received his B.S. in Physics and B.A. in Mathematics from Rice University. During these years, he also carried out a research project at the Institute for Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin and spent a semester abroad at the University of Bristol in the U.K, where he wrote his senior thesis. He then received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. After a postdoc at Harvard then Caltech, he joined the Department of Physics of the University of Pittsburgh in 2014.


My research focuses on describing and controlling dynamics of quantum many-body systems. My goal is to address some of the fundamental problems of ultracold atom and condensed matter physics:
  1. What are the generic alternatives to thermalization?
  2. Interplay of pseudo gauge-fields, topology and dynamics
  3. Dynamics of mesoscopic systems and (with and without non-Abelian excitations)
Addressing these fundamental physics questions will have important implications for: (1) understanding the limitations and alternatives to thermodynamics, (2) generating non-Abelian excitations in static ultracold atom systems and building photonic crystals with broken time-reversal symmetry, (3) control over non-Abelian excitations will be useful for building quantum memory and quantum computers.


Title Position Email
Fan Gao Graduate Student
Xiaowu Sun Graduate Student
Binbin Tian Graduate Student
Most Cited Publications

"Majorana fermions in equilibrium and in driven cold-atom quantum wires." Liang Jiang, Takuya Kitagawa, Jason Alicea, AR Akhmerov, David Pekker, Gil Refael, J Ignacio Cirac, Eugene Demler, Mikhail D Lukin, Peter Zoller. Physical review letters.
"The ‘Higgs’ amplitude mode at the two-dimensional superfluid/Mott insulator transition." Manuel Endres, Takeshi Fukuhara, David Pekker, Marc Cheneau, Peter Schauβ, Christian Gross, Eugene Demler, Stefan Kuhr, Immanuel Bloch. Nature.
"Observation of elastic doublon decay in the Fermi-Hubbard model." Niels Strohmaier, Daniel Greif, Robert Jördens, Leticia Tarruell, Henning Moritz, Tilman Esslinger, Rajdeep Sensarma, David Pekker, Ehud Altman, Eugene Demler. Physical review letters.
"Hilbert-glass transition: New universality of temperature-tuned many-body dynamical quantum criticality." David Pekker, Gil Refael, Ehud Altman, Eugene Demler, Vadim Oganesyan. Physical review x.
"Amplitude/Higgs modes in condensed matter physics." David Pekker, CM Varma. Annu. Rev. Condens. Matter Phys..

Recent Publications

"Emergent mode and bound states in single-component one-dimensional lattice fermionic systems." Yuchi He, Binbin Tian, David Pekker, Roger SK Mong. Physical Review B.
"Parahydrophobicity and stick-slip wetting dynamics of vertically aligned carbon nanotube forests." Ziyu Zhou, Tongchuan Gao, Sean McCarthy, Andrew Kozbial, Susheng Tan, David Pekker, Lei Li, Paul W Leu. Carbon.
"Reservoir engineering of Cooper-pair-assisted transport with cold atoms." François Damanet, Eduardo Mascarenhas, David Pekker, Andrew Daley. New Journal of Physics.
"Bulk Geometry of the Many Body Localized Phase from Wilson-Wegner Flow." Xiongjie Yu, David Pekker, Bryan K Clark. arXiv preprint arXiv:1909.11097.
"Pascal conductance series in ballistic one-dimensional LaAlO/SrTiO channels." Megan Briggeman, Michelle Tomczyk, Binbin Tian, Hyungwoo Lee, Jung-Woo Lee, Yuchi He, Anthony Tylan-Tyler, Mengchen Huang, Chang-Beom Eom, David Pekker, Roger SK Mong, Patrick Irvin, Jeremy Levy. arXiv preprint arXiv:1909.05698.