David Pekker


218 Allen Hall
(412) 624-7553
Assistant Professor


My research focuses on describing and controlling dynamics of quantum many-body systems. My goal is to address some of the fundamental problems of ultracold atom and condensed matter physics:
  1. What are the generic alternatives to thermalization?
  2. Interplay of pseudo gauge-fields, topology and dynamics
  3. Dynamics of mesoscopic systems and (with and without non-Abelian excitations)
Addressing these fundamental physics questions will have important implications for: (1) understanding the limitations and alternatives to thermodynamics, (2) generating non-Abelian excitations in static ultracold atom systems and building photonic crystals with broken time-reversal symmetry, (3) control over non-Abelian excitations will be useful for building quantum memory and quantum computers.

I received a BA in mathematics and a BS in physics from Rice University in 2002. For my Ph.D. I studied phase-slips in mesoscopic superconductors and superfluids with Prof. Paul Goldbart at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Following my Ph.D., I became a postdoc at Harvard University, where I mostly concentrated on theory of ultracold atom physics. After Harvard I became a Lee A. DuBridge Prize Postdoc at Caltech, where I worked on the intersection of topological physics and ultracold atom physics. Upon completion of my second postdoc I joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh.