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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”

Pittsburgh Quantum Institute

The Pittsburgh Quantum Institute (PQI) was established in 2012 to help unify and promote research in quantum science and engineering in the Pittsburgh area. PQI members have faculty appointments from Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, and the University of Pittsburgh in physics, chemistry, and engineering disciplines.