Physics and Astronomy at the APS April Meeting

Profs. E. Baranger (Remembrances of Maria Goeppert Mayer and the Nuclear Shell Model), J. Newman (Dark Energy Experiments: The Road Ahead), and E. Swanson (The New Heavy Hadrons) will present invited talks at the APS April meeting in Denver. Andrew Zentner, Brandon Eberly, and Kevin Sapp will also present talks on behalf of Pitt Physics and Astronomy.

Prof. Gerjuoy Speaks at TEDx

Prof. Gerjuoy

Edward Gerjuoy, a Pitt emeritus professor of theoretical physics and (recently) retired attorney, is still going strong as a quantum-computing researcher, environmentalist, and human rights advocate. He shares life lessons in a TEDx lecture.

Tao Han Appointed to Serve as a Member of the Higher Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP)

Tao Han was recently appointed to serve as a member of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP). The Panel, which was established in 1967, provides advice and recommendations on scientific, technical, and programmatic issues relating to the High Energy Physics Program. The Panel reports to the Director, Office of Science, Department of Energy, and the Assistant Director, Mathematical & Physical Sciences Directorate, National Science Foundation. Tao will have the responsibility to provide advice to the agencies on the High Energy Physics Program.

PhD Defense-Reza Yoosoofmiya

Mr. Reza Yoosoofmiya

Research Advisor: Dr. Vladimir Savinov

"A Search for W_R and Heavy Majorana Neutrino in Dimuon Channel with the ATLAS Experiment"

Monday, April 15, 2013, 2:00 pm

Room: 362 Thackeray Hall (located within 350 Thackeray)


PhD Defense-Andrey B. Sharapov

Mr. Andrey B. Sharapov

Research Co-Advisors: Dr. Anthony Duncan and Dr. Geoffrey Hutchison (Chemistry)

"Fast Treatment of pi-Stacking Using Density Functional Theory"

Monday, April 8, 2013, 1:00 pm

Room: 362 Thackeray Hall (located within 350 Thackeray)


Obituary for Emeritus Professor Irving J. Lowe Who Passed Away 26 March 2013

Emeritus Professor Irving J. Lowe died Tuesday in his Squirrel Hill home of chronic heart disease.

Pitt Quantum Initiative Boots Up

The Pitt Quantum Initiative will hold its inaugural event on "Quantum Matter", April 18-19. This workshop features a public lecture by Nobel Laureate Bill Phillips. For more information visit the PQI website.

MS Thesis Defense

Mr. James Ellias

Research Advisor: Dr. Arthur Kosowsky

"Commitment to "Forbidden Questions" in Quantum Phenomenon Requires a Philosophical Stand"

Monday, March 18, 2013 3:00 PM

Room 211 Thaw


PhD Defense

Mr. Yanjun Ma

Research Advisor: Dr. Jeremy Levy

"Nonlinear Optical Properties of Semiconductor and Oxide Structures"

Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:30 am

Room: 362 Thackeray (located within 350 Thackeray)


PhD Defense

Mr. Xiaopeng Li

Research Advisor: Dr. W. Vincent Liu

"Theory of ultra-cold matter"

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 4:00 pm

Room: 103 Old Engineering Hall


Connecting the (Quantum) Dots

New spin technique moves the researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Delft University of Technology closer to creating the first viable high-speed quantum computer.

Read the full story here

Professor Chandralekha Singh Co-Chairs the Conference on Graduate Education in Physics

Professor Chandralekha Singh was the co-chair of the second conference on graduate education in physics, organized by the American Physical Society and American Association of Physics Teachers at the American Center for Physics (ACP) in Maryland from January 31-February 2, 2013. The conference was a forum for presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions on how physics graduate education must respond to the challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. The 107 participants included department chairs and/or directors of graduate studies from 74 Ph.D. granting physics departments, representatives from industry, national laboratories, and professional societies and graduate student leaders. The participants discussed how to spur innovation and creativity in our approach to graduate education in physics, and shared best practices. Dr. Singh also co-organized the first conference on graduate education in physics which took place in January, 2008 at ACP.

Research Article Coauthored by Sergey Frolov Named Best Article of the Year by Science

A paper in the prestigious journal Science coauthored by Sergey Frolov has garnered him and his colleagues the 2012 Newcomb Cleveland Prize, an annual honor awarded to the author or authors of the best research article or report appearing in Science.



Congratulations to Two Recent PhD Graduates

Ms. Sui Chi Woo successfully defended her thesis “Constraining the Geometry, Size Scale and Physical Conditions of Outflowing BALR in Quasars” on December 12, 2012. Sui Chi’s research advisors are Dr. David Turnshek and Dr. John Hillier. Mr. Chengdong Li successfully defended his thesis “A Comprehensive Study of Supernovae Modeling” on January 22, 2013. Chengdong’s research advisor is Dr. John Hillier. Congratulations to both students!

Professor Sergey Frolov receives CAREER Award

Professor Sergey Frolov has received an NSF CAREER Award which will support the discovery of a new type of quantum particle statistics. Particles that comprise our world at the microscopic scale are divided in two classes: fermions and bosons. They obey strange rules of quantum mechanics. For example, two electrons, which are fermions, cannot be at the same place at the same time, while for photons, which are bosons, this is perfectly allowed. This project will attempt to demonstrate a new, third class of particles called the non-abelian anyons. All electrons are indistinguishable, which means that our world looks exactly the same if two of them change their places. But if two non-abelian particles are interchanged the Universe transitions into a different state dictated by the laws of topology. The particular class of anyons that will be studied here are Majorana quasiparticles, which are their own antiparticles and can be created in nanoscale devices similar to transistors. The success of this proposal will lay a foundation for future topological quantum computation which relies on interchanging, or "braiding" of non-Abelian particles. The demonstration of non-Abelian particles will have an impact on science education at the basic textbook level and bring deeper awareness by the society at large of the fundamental laws governing the quantum world. The project will train a graduate student, which develop fundamental and practical skills such as nanofabrication and laboratory techniques at low temperatures. A new course on Quantum Transport aimed at graduate students and senior undergraduates will be developed with a special emphasis on topological effects. To aid in broad dissemination and sharing of scientific knowledge, websites for rapid discussions of new results, as well as for access to raw data and talks will be developed.