PQI Seminar: Dr. Jim Freericks

Dr. Jim Freericks from Georgetown University gave a talk titled "Operator Mechanics: A new form of quantum mechanics without waves or matrices" in the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute Fall Seminar series on Sept. 3rd, 2020.

His presentation slides can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1zLohpkcooZx7fPrht0gZOfWvBg9Ja34B

Abstract: Quantum mechanics was created with the matrix mechanics of Heisenberg, Born, and Jordan. Schroedinger's wave mechanics shortly followed and allowed for simpler and more powerful calculations. Both Pauli and Dirac introduced a formulation of quantum mechanics based on operators and commutation relations, but it was never fully developed in the 1920's. Instead, Schroedinger formulated the operator approach with his factorization method, which later was adopted by the high-energy community as supersymmetric quantum mechanics. In this talk, I will explain how one can formulate nearly all of quantum mechanics algebraically by a proper use of the translation operator on top of Schroedinger's factorization method. I will give examples of how one can compute spherical harmonics algebraically, how one can find harmonic oscillator wavefunctions, and will even describe an operator-based derivation of the wavefunctions of Hydrogen. I will end with a proposal for a novel way to teach quantum mechanics, focusing first on conceptual ideas related to superposition, projective measurements, and entanglement. Then developing more conventional topics like spin, harmonic oscillator, angular momentum, interacting spin models, central potentials, particles in a box and so on. This is the subject of a book in progress entitled Quantum Mechanics without Calculus.

PQI2020 Week 6: Quantum Optics

This weeks focus is on quantum optics and we are pleased to be joined by our featured speaker, Dan Stamper-Kurn from UC Berkeley, and PQI member contributing speakers, Andrew Daley from the University of Strathclyde and Tom Purdy from Pitt.

Andrew Daley (UStrathclyde), “Reaching practical quantum advantage in quantum simulation”

Dan Stamper-Kurn (UC Berkeley) “Using Light to Measure and Control Quantum Systems"

Tom Purdy (Pitt), "The Quantum Optical Level”

PQI2020 Week 5: Quantum Materials

This week's focus is on quantum materials and we are pleased to be joined by our featured speaker, Xiaodong Xu from the University of Washington, and PQI member contributing speakers, Jimmy Zhu from CMU and Nathan Youngblood from Pitt.

Jimmy Zhu (CMU), “Field Free Spin Hall Switching of Perpendicular MTJs”

Xiadong Xu (University of Washington) “2D Magnets and Heterostructures"

Nathan Youngblood (Pitt), "Highly parallel in-memory computing with phase-change photonics”

PQI2020 Week 4: Quantum Computing

This week's focus is on quantum computing and we are pleased to be joined by our featured speaker, Shiwei Zhang from the Flatiron Institute and William & Mary, and PQI member contributing speaker, Yang Wang from the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Yang Wang (PSC), “Ab initio electronic structure calculation at the dawn of exascale computing”

Shiwei Zhang (Flatiron + William&Mary) “Towards the solution of the many-electron problem: ground-state properties of the hydrogen chain from ab initio computation"

PQI2020 Week 3: Quantum Chemistry

This week's focus is on quantum chemistry and we are pleased to be joined by our featured speaker, Heather Kulik from MIT, and PQI member contributing speakers, Olexandr Isayev from CMU and Peng Liu from University of Pittsburgh.

Olexandr Isayev (CMU) “Supercharging quantum mechanics with artificial intelligence (AI)”

Heather Kulik (MIT) “Molecular design blueprints: new simulation and machine learning tools for inorganic discovery”

Peng Liu (Pitt) "Using Energy Decomposition Analysis to Guide Rational Catalyst Design"

PQI Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Hideo Mabuchi

Dr. Hideo Mabuchi from Stanford University gave a talk titled "Coherent nonlinear dynamics and the physics of computation".

His early scientific research was focused on understanding open quantum systems, quantum measurement, and the quantum-to-classical transition. In recent years his research group has turned towards fundamental issues of quantum engineering, such as quantum nonlinear dynamics, quantum feedback control and quantum model reduction. Along the way his group has also worked substantially on single-molecule biophysics, quantum information science, and quantum materials. In parallel with directing his group's sponsored research, Hideo has developed a deep personal interest in exploring the interfaces of modern science with traditional craft, aesthetic philosophy and new materialism.