Fall 2021

Thwarting Counterfeiting with Programmable Hardware

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 26 October 2021

Susan FullertonKe Xu, and their colleague, Eric Beckman, recently received a $553,482 NSF grant for their project titled “Ion-Locked Polymorphic Electronics for Hardware Security.” 

Hardware and intellectual property piracy costs the U.S. billions of dollars every year. One promising solution to this issue is polymorphic electronics, or circuits that can be reprogrammed on-the-fly, thereby obscuring their true functionality until they are ready to be used. However, current approaches involve . . . 

Strong Interactions, Color Confinement, and Strings

Igor Klebanov
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 3:30pm

A Pitt/CMU Colloquium 

Abstract: In the 1950s and 60s many strongly interacting particles were discovered. String theory was originally invented to describe them, but Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) emerged as the precise theory of the strong nuclear force. A quarter century later it was understood that string theory and certain gauge theories akin to QCD are different descriptions of the same physics. I will review the relations between gauge theories and strings. Their formation in QCD is a manifestation of the confinement of colored quarks and gluons. While...

Quantum Faculty Positions Open in Pittsburgh

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 19 October 2021

Looking for a faculty position in quantum science? We’ve got you covered! The University of Pittsburgh is looking for an Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and Carnegie Mellon University has openings for an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering (Electronic Materials), a faculty position in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, and a faculty position in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics. 

Nonvolatile light modulation in optoelectronic nanodevices

Carlos Ríos Ocampo
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 12:00pm

A Pitt ECE Seminar

Abstract: The active control of phase and amplitude of light enables programmable nanophotonic devices, enabling optical technologies such as switching networks, beam steering, sensing, computing, and quantum processing with photons. Phase modulation is often achieved with carrier injection or depletion in semiconductors, thermo-optic effect, and mechanical actuators, while the amplitude is modulated using electro-absorption in semiconductors. In both types of modulators, the state and information they carry are lost once the power is turned off....

Materials for Quantum Computing: An Interview with Prof. Chris Van de Walle

Chris Van de Walle
Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 11:00am

A Materials Design User Group Meeting webinar

Quantum computing is heralding a paradigm change in information and simulation technology. Perhaps more than ever before, the practical realization of this fascinating opportunity hinges on the control of materials properties at the atomic level. As a leading expert in this field, Prof. Van de Walle will provide answers to key questions concerning the actual status of this technology, the current materials, the obstacles and challenges, and the perspectives for the discovery and optimization of novel materials.

Prof. Van...

Realistic modelling of Majorana devices

George Winkler
Friday, October 15, 2021 - 12:15pm

A CMU MSE seminar

Abstract: One of the largest obstacles to scalable quantum computing are errors caused by decoherence. Topological quantum computing uses materials with topological properties limiting errors by their very nature. In this seminar I will give a brief introduction on how to engineer topological superconductor nanowires, a crucial building block of topological quantum computers. To understand and optimally design such nanowire devices sophisticated modelling of their physics is required. I will discuss how to simulate  nanowire devices and compare...

Correlated electrons ‘tango’ in a perovskite oxide at the extreme quantum limit

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 5 October 2021

A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has found a rare quantum material in which electrons move in coordinated ways, essentially “dancing.” Straining the material creates an electronic band structure that sets the stage for exotic, more tightly correlated behavior – akin to tangoing – among Dirac electrons, which are especially mobile electric charge carriers that may someday enable faster transistors. The results are published in the journal Science Advances. . .


Preparing Students to be Leaders of the Quantum Information Revolution

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 28 September 2021

As the crowning technological inventions of the first quantum revolution—transistors, lasers, and computers—continue to enrich our lives, newfound excitement surrounds the use of quantum phenomena to create a second quantum revolution. Quantum computers will compute faster than existing classical ones and enable computations that were not previously possible. Quantum sensors will detect one-part-in-a-million variations in Earth’s gravitational field or tiny magnetic fields emanating from the human brain. Quantum communication technologies will send information securely over long distances, protected by fundamental laws of nature. . .

Reinventing the Laser

  • By Jennifer Zheng
  • 28 September 2021

Congratulations to David Pekker and his team for publishing their paper, “Proposal for a continuous wave laser with linewidth well below the standard quantum limit,” in Nature Communications!

The standard quantum limit on coherence of laser light was first obtained by Schawlow and Townes in 1958. Except for a small modification in 1999, which decreased this limit by a factor of two, the Schawlow-Townes limit has stood as the ultimate theoretical bound on laser . . .