Talks, Talks and more Talks

This past few months have been intense for me. A lot of exciting collaborations are developing, a lot of interesting breakthroughs in several projects, and a lot of traveling. Here is a summary of the talks I have given:

  • Center for Complex Quantum Systems, Physics Department, The University of Texas at Austin:

Quantum coherent resources for exciton transport

  • Institute of Applied Physics and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, University of Hamburg:

Quantum coherence in photosynthetic exciton transport

  • Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Lab:

Dynamical Maps with System-Environment Correlations

Decoherence Rate and System-Environment Correlations

Quantum coherence in photosynthetic exciton transport

Each of those visits have been very productive, and hopefully all will lead to collaborations.

Kids were very different then.  They didn’t have their
heads filled with all this Cartesian Dualism…
-Monty Python on Nostalgia

Video: Quantum Effects in Photosynthesis – FermiLab

The video and slides for my talk for undergraduates at FermiLab can be found here:

Quantum Effects in Photosynthesis [RealPlayer video link].

This is a good introduction to my research. If you are curious about what I do, by all means watch it.

[I know RealPlayer is so 1998 and sucks, I’m trying to get the file in another format from the FermiLab people.]

[Previous post 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