From Quantum Mechanics to Force Fields

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 22 November 2017

Ken Jordan and his colleague are invited to write a special topic issue in the journal of chemical physics (JCP). This work is dedicated to the ongoing efforts of the theoretical chemistry community to develop a new generation of accurate force fields based on data from high-level electronic structure calculations and to develop faster electronic structure methods for testing and designing force fields as well as for carrying out simulations. 

Science2017 Poster Award Winners

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 15 November 2017

Congratulations to the Science2017 Poster Award Winners!

Jierui Liang (Fullerton group, SSOE Chemical and Petroleum Engineering) won the grand prize award ($1,000 travel award plus an iPad).

Minh Nguyen Vo (Johnson Group, SSOE Chemical and Petroleum Engineering), Olivia Lanes (Hatridge Group, Pitt Physics), Scott Crawford (Millstone Group, Pitt Chemistry), Maxwell Li (Sokalski Group CMU Materials Science and Engineering), Zeeshan Ahmad (Viswanathan Group, CMU Mechanical Engineering) won the poster awards ($1,000 travel award plus Echo Dot).

Megan Kirkendall Briggeman (Levy Lab, Pitt Physics), Amy Carlson (Evanseck Group, Duquesne Chemistry and Biochemistry), David Myers (Snoke Group, Pitt Physics) won the veteran awards (choice of Amazon Echo Spot/Echo or Google Home mini).

PQI undergraduate students Jessica Montone (Levy Lab) and Joe Albro (Levy Lab) presented a poster at the undergraduate session of Science2017.

Also, special thanks to the poster judges for participating in this event. 

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.

W. Vincent Liu Named a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS)

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 16 October 2017

Congratulations to W. Vincent Liu for being named a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) by the Division of Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics.

Vincent was elected for elucidating Landau damping of collective excitations in Bose-Einstein condensates, advancing the study of spin-polarized Fermi gases by introducing the concept of breached pair superfluidity, pioneering the theory of higher orbital bands in optical lattices, and working with experimentalists to confirm the theory.


Assistant Professor Tevis Jacobs Receives $305,000 from the National Science Foundation

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 16 October 2017

Tevis Jacobs, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and material science at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to observe and measure nanoscale contact inside of an electron microscope-enabling for the first time visualization of the atomic structure of the component materials while they are in contact. The team's project will measure surface roughness of tiny particles and characterize the fundamental relationship between adhesion and roughness at small sizes.

Assistant Professor Benjamin Hunt wins DOE’s Early Career Award

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 16 October 2017

Benjamin Hunt, assistant professor of physics and member of the Quantum Electronics Group at Carnegie Mellon University was awarded a prestigious $750,000 Early Career Grant from the Department of Energy to study how layering different two-dimensional crystals (such as graphene and the magnetic insulator CrSiTe3) can lead to new, emergent properties in the composite layered structure.

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”.


USTC Day 2017 at PQI

  • By Barbara Delraso
  • 28 September 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017, 9:30 AM. One dozen physics students, who are both undergraduate and graduate level, arrive at the PQI office for the kickoff of the second annual PQI & USTC Day, where they are greeted by PQI co-Excutive Director, Burcu Ozden.

The University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), which is located in Heifei, is one of China’s leading universities. USTC recently made international headlines due to the work of physics professor Jianwei Pan, the chief scientist on the project that culminated with China’s recent launch of the first quantum satellite.

Over the last several years, USTC and PQI have been establishing strong ties and collaborations. In recent years a number of USTC graduates have joined the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) physics departments to work in the groups and labs of PQI faculty. Some PQI faculty are themselves USTC alumni, and other PQI groups often welcome USTC undergraduate students for summer internships or research projects.

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.