Discord Conference

I was invited to the Quantum Discord conference in Singapore, organized by Kavan Modi of CQT.

This conference last January brought a big part of the community together for the first time. It was very exiting, with a lot of nice informal discussions, and the great food that characterizes Singapore.

Also, there it was announced a blog dedicated solely to Quantum Discord. This is a good resource to follow all the new papers on the subject.

Decoherence Benasque (2)

Quantum Coherence and Decoherence 2010 at Benasque will be over tomorrow. It is a shame, the environment in this conference is very productive and has lead to many interesting discussion. I feel if I stayed a bit longer we would be able to finish some results.

I highly recommend this conference, and I think other conferences could learn a few things from the productive and laid-back atmosphere here.


Discord Day at Benasque

I’m at Benasque, Spain for the Quantum Coherence and Decoherence 2010 conference. The participants are people I feel I should have met a long time ago. Also, the center is in a beautiful new building with many areas for discussion, all with blackboards.

This is my first time at Benasque, and the philosophy of the conference is great: this is a place for people to meet and get new collaborations going. The program is informal, but well attended. The talks are decided depending on the group’s interests. Yesterday, it was Discord Day:

If you want to succeed in the world, you don’t have to be much cleverer than other people. You just have to be one day earlier.
-Leo Szilard

Program: Quantum Effects in Biological Systems

This thursday, the second conference on Quantum Effects in Biological System will be held here at Harvard University. We are very excited to have experts from all over the world here. The aim of this series of conferences is to establish the new field of Quantum Biology. The conference program can be found here.

APS March Meeting, in the City of Roses

I spent last week in Portland for the APS March meeting. It was one of my favorite APS meetings so far. First, the city has some free public transportation, is walkable, and very fun. I got to see many old friends. And I ended up giving two talks.

The first talk was on our PRL paper Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory for Open Quantum Systems with Unitary Propagation.

The session was very interesting, with many proposals for how to expand the realm of applicability of TD-DFT. My boss was supposed to give this talk, but ended up canceling his trip at the last minute.

The second talk was on our paper Linear assignment maps for correlated system-environment states.

This talk was part of the OQS and Decoherence session. For some reason, this session is always on Friday afternoon, which is always the least attended day at the APS, as many leave the conference early. Can this be changed? Still, I got all the usual questions about negative maps, so people were somewhat interested.

How are the sessions organized? How are the days chosen, how are the talks in the session organized? I don’t know. Hopefully, next year, my talk will be at a reasonable day and time.

At dawn of day, when you dislike being called, have this thought ready: “I am called to man’s labour; why then do I make a difficulty if I am going out to do what I was born to do and what I was brought into the world for? Is it for this that I am fashioned, to lie in bedclothes and keep myself warm?”  “But this is more pleasant.”  “Were you born then to please yourself; in fact for feeling, not for action? Can’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees each doing his own work, helping for their part to adjust a world? And then you refuse to do a man’s office and don’t make haste to do what is according to your own nature.” “But a man needs rest as well.”
-Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, on how hard it is for a roman emperor to get up in the morning

2010 is a good year (so far)

2010 has been awesome so far. I’m having a hard time keeping up with blogging all the good news.


I was in invited The Winter Meeting on Statistical Mechanics in Taxco, Mexico. What a fantastic conference! I learned a lot about many different areas in Statistical Physics, got to meet many awesome researchers, and the keynote talks were in a natural amphitheater inside the Cacahuamilpa caves. Stunning! This was one of the best conferences I’ve been to.

I was also invited to give a talk at Reed College last week. This was my first time ever in Portland, Oregon, and I fell in love with the city. It felt like a mixture of Austin, Northern California and Seattle that I really liked. The academic culture at Reed is something that should be emulated everywhere: students honestly don’t care about grades, just about learning. One thing is to hear it, and another is to witness how true it is! The physics department at Reed has the most motivated and energetic physicists I’ve ever met. Wow.


Finally, the paper that I had mentioned before appeared in PRL:

Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory for Open Quantum Systems with Unitary Propagation

Also, the PRA on assignment maps is out in the published wild.

Linear assignment maps for correlated system-environment states

SQuInT, APS, Publications

I’m back.

After a long, tough, wintery and busy month, I’m back.

Progress report follows.

Alright, first, I went to SQuInT. The Southwestern Quantum Information and Technology conference isn’t true to its name. It was held in the Northwest, Seattle, where beautiful weather seemed to tunnel through the mountains’ potential just for us. The conference itself was very productive and I had the opportunity to see family, friends and collaborators.

In other news, we submitted a paper on Open Quantum Systems and Time Dependent Current Density Functional Theory titled Time-dependent current-density functional theory for generalized open quantum systems to the journal Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics (PCCP). It has been accepted for publication and might appear in a special issue on Time Dependent Density Functional Theory.

We also submitted a related paper to another journal, paper titled Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory for Open Quantum Systems using Closed Systems. You can read it in the arXiv.

Finally, I went to the APS March Meeting, where 7,000 physicists took over the city of Pittsburgh, where I was able to find bars decorated with Roberto Clemente posters, where a restaurant served Carrucho (Conch). Sometimes I feel the APS March meeting is too big, too overwhelming, talks are too short, and there is too much going on simultaneously. But then I’m surprised by meeting people I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years now, and by how APS March meeting always lead to new collaborations.

Exciting times these are.

“I have wept three times in my life. Once when my first opera failed. Once again, the first time I heard Paganini play the violin. And once when a truffled turkey fell overboard at a boating picnic.”
-Gioachino Rossini