Quantum Matter and Phenomena

Quantum Matter and Phenomena

In quantum states of matter, the interactions between the constituent particles cannot be treated in a classical or semi-classical manner. The phenomena emerging in these quantum materials are also intrinsically quantum in nature and can only be explained and described by quantum mechanical models.

For example, certain states of matter have shown to be perfect conducting channels that can conduct electricity without generating heat. Superconductivity arises in various materials, at various critical temperatures, and with various mechanisms. Superconductors are used to build Josephson junctions which are the building blocks of superconducting qubits (a quit is used in quantum computing, much like a regular bit is used in conventional computing). 

Majorana Physics
In some superconducting materials, Majorana fermions—particles that are their own antiparticles—can emerge as quasiparticles. Solid state Majorana fermions are studied in the context of quantum information processing, as the Majorana bound states formed on the edges of the semiconductor can be used as a building block for topological quantum computers.

At the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute

Condensed Matter Theory
PQI researchers work towards the prediction or characterization of quantum matter and quantum phenomena. They have expertise in the properties of ultracold atomic systems, the dynamics of quantum many-body systems, topological phenomena arising from spin-orbit coupling and many-body interactions, and the simulation of quantum systems.

Computational Physics
Statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and computer simulations are also used to investigate the structure, stability and properties of novel materials, such as high-entropy alloys, liquid metals, and quasicrystals. Methodological developments, for instance in relativistic multiple scattering theory and high performance computing, in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Quantum Phenomena
From an experimental perspective, PQI researchers study the quantum behavior of various systems such as superconductivity, fractionalization of charge, and crystallization in van der Waals heterostructures; the collective behavior of nanoparticle arrays in which superparamagnetic-to-ferromagnetic and insulator-to-metal phase transitions are expected to arise; the structural and electronic properties of semiconductor materials and devices via scanning tunneling microscope; and electrically-controlled ferromagnetism at the interface of complex oxides. They also aim at developping a tool box based on nuclear magnetic resonance, quantum optics, quantum information science, chemistry, and nanoscience for the quantum control of condensed matter systems. 

Related Members

  • Andrew Daley
  • Gurudev Dutt
  • Randy Feenstra
  • Sergey Frolov
  • Michael Hatridge
  • Ben Hunt
  • Jeremy Levy
  • Vincent Liu
  • Sara Majetich
  • Roger Mong
  • David Pekker
  • Yang Wang
  • Michael Widom
  • Di Xiao
  • Yang Wang