Faculty position in Quantum at Pitt

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at Pitt has just announced an assistant professor search in the area of nanoscale electronics & photonics with emphasis on quantum computing.

ECE is across the street from Physics, and while this position will be the first in the quantum field for Pitt engineers, a successful candidate will be working next to a thriving cluster of quantum physics research at Pitt, as well as at nearby Carnegie Mellon University. With two state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities, supercomputers, and hopefully several more subsequent hires in quantum computing across the two campuses.

Applications are due by Jan. 7, 2019, although candidates will continue to be considered until positions are filled. Please submit a CV, research and teaching statements, and contact information for at least three references, all in a single PDF file, to ecesearch-TS@pitt.edu.

New equipment has arrived!

Labs get a lot of equipment when they just get set up. If you scroll back in this blog you will see how over the course of several years we went from an empty room to an entangled maze of pumping lines, cables and wires held in place by copious quantities of duct tape. But once a lab has been set up, and the startup funds have run out, a stationary period commences – and it can last for a loooong-long time, until the original stuff starts to break down.

Well, not the case in our brave lab! We just got a piece of equipment which inspired us to work harder, put idiotic smiles on our faces, started numerous stimulating discussions and is just generally awesome.

Here it is:

I am talking, of course, about our new bottomless portafilter. A portafilter is a holder with a black handle where you load and tamp ground coffee in order to extract espresso. A ‘bottomless’ portafilter has the nozzle on the bottom machined off so that you can see with your own eyes how espresso is formed, whether liquid is uniformly going through the basket or gushing through a crack in your puck, whether there is a lot of crema and so on. This has improved the quality of our espresso truly to the 3rd generation coffee shop level, and it has already improved the skills of our baristas-in-training.

Oh… and we have also received two additional dilution refrigerators, but I suppose that deserves a separate blog post.


First PhD defended!

Zhaoen Su (PhD 2017) is the first member of our group. Literally, he started in the summer of 2012 before I arrived to Pittsburgh. Together with others from the first cohort he built our research program from scratch – an empty room for a lab, and no cleanroom process for device fabrication.

Zhaoen first focused on Ge/Si nanowire devices. Through hard work he made great progress and achieved supercurrents and tunable double quantum dots. Facing an uphill battle with charge instabilities, he decided to transpose his project to InSb wires. He got excited about quantum dots coupled to superconducting contacts and realized Andreev molecules, which we have already written up. As Zhaoen begins his new position in the Bay Area, there are still 2 exciting experiments that he has performed waiting to be published.


You can see him holding a mini Cathedral of Learning in the gif above. Congratulations, Zhaoen, and good luck in Silicon Valley!

Quantum Computing for Nerds From Other Fields

Here are videos from the Quantum Computing Session at the Frontiers of Science Symposium organized by NAS last year. This event brings together young researchers from all fields of study to explain to each other what they are working on. So, if you are a quantum physicist, you will not learn from these videos. If you are my grandmother, same – unless you are my grandmother with a PhD. If you are a biologist, an astrophysicist or a historian – these vidoes may be interesting for you.

Quantum Computing – Krysta Svore, Microsoft Research from Kavli Frontiers of Science on Vimeo.

Quantum Computing – Sergey Frolov, University of Pittsburgh from Kavli Frontiers of Science on Vimeo.

Quantum Computing – Aram W. Harrow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology from Kavli Frontiers of Science on Vimeo.

Thanks to Emanuel Gull and Daniela Oliveira for organizing the session.

Postdoc positions available in Frolov lab

Postdoctoral position in experiment quantum nanoscience is available at Frolov lab at the University of Pittsburgh. Research topics include but are not limited to non-Abelian statistics and topological qubits with Majorana fermions; interacting topological phases and work towards the discovery of parafermions; quantum simulation with semiconductor nanostructures such as quantum dots in nanowires. Typical projects involve a collaboration with a graduate student, extensive use of on-campus facilities at Petersen Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, and low temperature transport measurements in dilution refrigerators. Interested candidates should email their CV and describe their interests in an email to frolovsm@pitt.edu.


New Trends in Trending

Today Nature Publishing House has announced the creation of a new and long overdue journal dedicated to publishing the ‘most hottest’ high impact research. The new magazine, called ‘New Trends in Trending’ is dedicated to publishing results that would not have been otherwise published in any other journal for at least five years into the future. Alongside this so-called ‘hyper-original research’, the new monthly will feature a horoscope, and comes with a lottery to win an Island off the coast of Kamchatka.

“Our aim is the impact factor of 1000” wrote Chief Editor Dr. Quickley R. Lookthrough in his first editorial “and our market study tells us this is how we get there”.

Manuscript submission guidelines require that along with the scientific title of each submitted manscript, the authors provide a ‘clickbait’ version of the title ‘to facilitate the broadest dissemination of to the most general audience possible’. A ‘clickbait’ title is meant to convey the premise of the work, but leave the conclusion concealed such that the reader is encouraged to click on the link to find out more. In order to assist the authors, the following clickbait title examples are provided:

They were measuring a graphene device, and then THIS happened!

Thirty-two line plots with error bars that will blow your mind. (You won’t believe the number seventeen!)

Two electrons did whaaat?

If you are doing science and you are older than 3 and younger than 98 you are in for a big surprise

Jaw-dropping discovery hits the field of dissipative porous multiphase systems like a hurricane

These quantum systems thought nobody was watching…

Why this new scaling theory is breaking the internet

Experimentalists feel stupid for not doing these measurements

Don’t read this if you DO NOT want a Nobel Prize