Keynote

PQI2016 Liang Fu: Majorana Takes Charge

Liang Fu (MIT) talks about recent developments in the control of Majorana fermions using the charging energy in mesoscopic systems.

In his talk, he addresses the following questions: can one probe the topological properties of Majorana Fermions in the solid state, specifically their non-locality as two Majorana Fermions share a single state. Then, can one use those topological properties in the field of quantum computation.

He then proceeds to demonstrate the latest developments in the entangled ares of theoretical physics, quantum information, and quantum materials.

PQI2016 Huili Grace Xing: Progress Toward Thin-TFET: a 2D Material Based Transistor

In her talk, Grace Xing (Cornell University) describes the recent progress accomplished in her group in the field of 2D materials towards the fabrication of Thin-Tunneling Field-Effect Transistor (TFET) devices, where Thin stands for Two-dimensional Heterojunction Interlayer Tunnel.

Indeed, she describes how the group has been able to observe a 40 mV/decade subthreshold slope in 2D materials, which is an experimental first.

PQI2016 Cyrus Umrigar: Projector Quantum Monte Carlo Methods in Chemistry and Physics

Cyrus Umrigar (Cornell University) gives an in-depth description of various variational and projector Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) methods that are used to computationally solve problems in chemistry and physics. He also addresses some of the current challenges in method development and application, namely the sign problem, as well as the current approaches to overcome the issue. Several methods are thus compared and contrasted throughout the lecture.

PQI2016 Nader Engheta: Quantum and Classical Features of "Near-Zero" Optics

Nader Engheta (University of Pennsylvania) talks about some of the aspects of near-zero optics and applications in "extreme" optical materials. He introduces the notion of ‘static optics’, a state in which the the electric and magnetic fields are temporally dynamic but decoupled. This occurs in materials where both the relative effective permittivity and permeability attain near-zero values. Such "Near-Zero" structures show promise as platforms for quantum emitters, long-range entanglement, and quantum interference.

PQI2016 Martin Zwierlein: Strongly Interacting Fermi Gases of Atoms and Molecules

Martin Zwierlein (M.I.T.) talks about strongly interacting fermi gases of atoms and molecules. He introduces NaK, a chemically stable fermionic molecule studied in his group and explains the process of generating this molecule in the ground state with a high conversion efficiency and reasonable lifetime. He also describes the first studies of the hyperfine states of this new quantum system and how with two such states, they can build a molecular clock.

PQI2016 Doug Natelson: Heating and Vibrations at the Molecular Scale

Doug Natelson (Rice University) talks about heating and vibrations at the molecular level. Non equilibrium heating is of much interest in physics although it is still difficult to obtain information about the local electronic or vibrational distribution. He therefore proceeds to describe the approach developed by his group towards simultaneous electron transport and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy with plasmons at the molecular-scale.