APS March Meeting 2018

Pre-Meeting Events


Morning Tutorials
Sunday, March 3
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

T1 Hybrid Quantum Systems

T1: Hybrid Quantum Systems

Who Should Attend

Graduate students, postdocs and other scientists interested in learning about the exciting new area of hybrid quantum systems. The lectures will provide a pedagogical introduction to hybrid quantum systems, their experimental realization and their novel capabilities. Experimental techniques for the control will be discussed in depth with a focus on applications to quantum information processing.

Course Description

There have been intense efforts to harness mesoscopic quantum systems such as ultracold gases, superconducting qubits, nanomechanical systems and solid-state defect centers for a suite of applications including sensing, quantum information and communication. However, no single system has been shown to be optimal for the entire range of envisioned applications. Atomic gases are extremely coherent, but they are highly isolated and fragile. Nano-resonators are highly sensitive to small forces and well suited to sensing applications, yet they suffer from dissipation and loss. While photons are robust carriers of information, they typically exhibit very weak nonlinearities. These considerations motivate the ‘hybridization’ of distinct physical systems with complementary functionalities to access new phenomena and applications. In addition, these hybrid systems can also exhibit new forms of quantum behavior to probe macroscopic quantum phenomena and the quantum-to-classical boundary. Since the field is highly interdisciplinary, the tutorial will feature speakers from AMO physics, condensed matter physics and precision measurement science. The lectures will provide a basic introduction to hybrid quantum systems, their realizations, applications to new regimes of quantum metrology and information processing, with a discussion of open questions and challenges.

Topics Covered

  • Theory: Basics of optomechanics, cavity-QED and the interface between quantum spins and mechanical elements. Specific topics include optomechanical interaction and cooling, Jaynes-Cummings model and its realization, Spin-mediated optomechanics.

  • Description of archetypal hybrid systems : Ultracold atoms interfaced to cavity optomechanical systems; Defect centers interfaced to nanophotonic and nanomechanical systems; Superconducting qubits coupled to acoustic modes.

  • Experimental techniques:  Quantum state preparation, manipulation and control

  • Applications: Information processing, quantum transduction and quantum sensor technologies.


Mukund Vengalattore, Cornell University


  • Paola Cappellaro, MIT

  • Mohammad Hafezi, University Maryland

  • David Schuster, University of Chicago

  • Mukund Vengalattore, Cornell University

T2 Medical Imaging Physics, Technology and Algorithms

T2: Medical Imaging: Physics, Technology and Algorithms

Who Should Attend

Physicists in academia and industry from GMED, DCOMP, FIAP, GIMS, and other APS units interested in applications of physics in medical imaging.  Researchers without prior experience are welcome.

Course Description

Medical imaging modalities use a wide range of physical phenomena to gather diagnostic information about living tissues. Development and performance assessment of new imaging technologies is a fertile ground for significant and lasting contributions from physicists. This tutorial is intended to facilitate exchange of ideas between researchers trained in fundamental and applied physics and the medical imaging community by introducing the audience to the fundamentals of medical imaging technologies.


  • Systematic review of major imaging modalities: The fundamentals of x-ray radiography and computed tomography (CT), radionuclide/molecular imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, imaging in radiation therapy, ultrasound, and biomedical optics will be presented. Talks will cover the physical principles of each modality, typical system configurations, and latest hardware developments including new radiation detectors, magnets and receiver coils, ultrasound transducers, radiotracers and contrast agents.

  • Algorithms used for image generation from “raw” sensor data: Presentations will range from conventional methods (e.g. analytical Radon transform inversion methods in CT) to modern optimization-based approaches to recent applications of machine learning.

  • Advances in imaging data analysis. We will review recent advances including multi-modality image registration and integration of imaging into radiation therapy, quantitative imaging and detection of disease biomarkers using “big data” methodologies, and advances in statistical shape analysis (from conventional shape models to modern techniques based on diffeomorphic mappings).  


Wojtek Zbijewski, Johns Hopkins University


  • Wojtek Zbijewski, Johns Hopkins University
  • Robert Jeraj, University of Wisconsin

  • Stephen Russek, NIST

T3 Materials by Design Computational Materials Approach

T3: Materials by Design: Computational Materials Approach

Who Should Attend

Graduate students, postdocs, university faculty and industrial researchers interested in a broad introduction to the current state of the field of computational materials design. We particularly encourage participation of graduate students and postdocs and so each talk will start at a level appropriate for junior researchers.

Course Description

With the advent of density functional theory and the growing power of computer speed and parallel algorithms, a new paradigm in the method used to design materials has emerged. Various properties are calculated for a vast amount of materials through effective workflows. The results allow scientists to populate databases. These are then queried to predict and design novel materials or processes. Using these databases, populating them, and interfacing with them requires a specific training which needs to be fulfilled by the developers or experienced research groups.

This tutorial will provide an introduction to the basics of materials databases focusing mostly on the Materials Project but some other databases will be discussed. Our presentation will begin by introducing the Materials Project and other existing pre-calculated property databases (OQMD, AFlow, NOMAD, Materials Cloud). We will then discuss how we can improve the existing databases by creating property workflows by using Abipy (the Python interface with Abinit) and Atomate (the interface with VASP). Examples will be offered on how these packages can be used to create databases and to query information from the Materials Project. In particular, examples will be presented for phonon and GW calculations. Finally, we will survey some other methods that exist to perform structural searches and how they can complement with these methodologies.


  • Introduction to the Materials Project and property databases

  • Introduction to Abipy and abiflows, workflows for ABINIT.

  • Introduction to Atomate, workflows for VASP.

  • Introduction to PyChemia and other python package analysis.


Aldo H. Romero, West Virginia University & Gian-Marco Rignanese, Université Catholique du Louvain


  • Shyue Ping, University of California, San Diego

  • Matteo Giantomassi, Université Catholique du Louvain

  • Gian-Marco Rignanese, Université Catholique du Louvain

  • Shyam Dwaraknath, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

T4 Layered Materials

T4: Layered Materials

Who Should Attend

Graduate students, postdocs, and other scientists interested in learning about the exciting and ever- evolving area of atomically thin, layered materials. The tutorial talks will be pedagogical, describing the theoretical foundations and tools of the field, the techniques for growth and fabrication of layered materials and devices, and their electronic, optical, and magnetic characterization. Latest developments and open questions will be emphasized.

Course Description

Following the isolation of graphene fifteen years ago, the field of atomically thin, layered materials has flourished to incorporate an essentially comprehensive range of condensed matter properties, including semiconductors, insulators, superconductors, and magnets.  At the same time, graphene has proven to be an extraordinarily protean material with new surprises arriving continually, such as topological currents, fractal bands, and intrinsic superconductivity to name only a few. The aim of this tutorial is to be both broad, providing an overview of what has been achieved and what may await discovery, and deep, providing specific and detailed examples of the kinds of new questions that increasingly draw researchers to this field.  Spurred by the availability of high-quality single crystals of diverse layered materials, a general theme of the past and future of this field is the ability to create van der Waals heterostructures. These combinations of similar or dissimilar layers enable the preservation of delicate materials, new probes of constituent layers, and the radical alteration of band structures, for example through the formation of Moiré bands. Potential applications will be mentioned but are too numerous to be described in any detail; instead the focus will be on the fundamental physics of atomically thin layered materials.  


  • Theory:  Low-energy theory of relativistic electrons in graphene, modifications leading to gap opening in 2D semiconductors, topology and Berry curvature, Moiré Bloch bands, 2D magnetism

  • Material Synthesis: Techniques for growth and characterization of single-crystals of diverse layered materials including semiconductors, (anti)ferromagnets, superconductors, and ferroelectrics.

  • Graphene and Beyond-graphene Characterization: Graphene quantum electronic states: quantum spin Hall effect, fractal quantum Hall effect, topological order beyond Landau levels, superconductivity; Spin and valley physics in 2D semiconductors; exciton physics; Ising superconductivity; van der Waals magnets.


Hugh Churchill, University of Arkansas


  • Allan MacDonald, University of Texas at Austin

  • Kin Fai Mak, Cornell University

  • Michael McGuire, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  • Andrea Young, University of California, Santa Barbara

Afternoon Tutorials
Sunday, March 3

1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

T5 Superconducting Quantum Hybrid Systems

T5: Superconducting Quantum Hybrid Systems

Who Should Attend

Graduate students, postdocs, and other scientists interested in learning about using hybrid semiconductor-superconductor systems to create practical multi-qubit architectures.  The tutorial talks describe the theoretical foundations and tools of the field, the techniques for growth and fabrication of quantum hybrid systems of semiconductors with superconductors, and their characterization. Latest developments and open questions will also be prominently featured.

Course Description

Over the last ten years superconducting researchers have learned how to couple qubits through microwave resonators over chip-scale distances via “circuit-QED”, the microwave analog of cavity QED in quantum optics. This has enabled the design of practical multi-qubit architectures. While semiconductor-based spin qubits have the advantage of electrically controlled, high on-off ratio Heisenberg exchange for qubit coupling, the close physical proximity required leads to very dense qubit arrays with no possibility of long range coupling. A natural compromise is a hybrid system that couples the spin of electrons in quantum dots to one another via microwave photons in a cavity analogous to circuit-QED. This tutorial will cover the fundamentals of the semiconductor and superconductor components in hybrid systems, the challenges of each and the promise of a truly modular spin qubit architecture.


  • Theory: Fundamental concepts in qubit design and qubit-resonator coupling as well as their challenges, e.g. control of coupling, decoherence, and multi-dot qubit systems.

  • Experimental implementations: A review of semiconducting qubits, superconducting resonators and their coupling and recent demonstrations of strong qubit-resonator coupling.

  • 3D Integration: Coupled qubit resonator systems, fabrication issues of subsystems, flip-chip  bonding, and modular architecture.


Mark Gyure, Principal Research Scientist, HRL Laboratories, LLC

Speakers (Subject to confirmation)

  • Guido Burkhard, University of Konstanz 

  • Jason Petta, Princeton University

  • Andreas Wallraff, ETH

  • Will Oliver, MIT

T6 First-Principles Techniques for Interacting Electrons and Phonons

T6: First-Principles Techniques for Interacting Electrons and Phonons

Who Should Attend  

This tutorial aims at graduate students, postdocs, and other scientists interested in learning about approaches to describe electrons, phonons, and their interactions. The tutorial talks will be very pedagogical in de- scribing the theoretical foundations as well as practical first-principles numerical techniques used to model (1) phonons and vibrations in matter (harmonic and anharmonic), (2) electron-phonon effects on electronic structure and optical properties, and (3) Green’s function methods and the effect of electron-phonon and exciton-phonon coupling. Latest developments and open questions will naturally be integrated into each topic.

Course Description

Recent advances in the theoretical description and computational methodology have made harmonic and anharmonic electron-phonon effects amenable to detailed, quantitative investigations. While the underlying techniques are only now becoming standard, and are oftentimes computationally expensive, the availability of modern high-performance computing has enabled fantastic progress, e.g. for electron-phonon effects on band structures, optical absorption, recombination, and transport. It is expected that not only will existing techniques be improved, they will become crucial for progress in many areas of materials research and condensed matter physics. This step requires that a broad base of scientists is familiar with theoretical concepts and their implementation in first-principles codes. This APS tutorial bridges the gap by introducing underlying theory and explaining practical calculations, towards understanding exciting physics for real- world applications, including semiconductor optics or thermoelectrics. The tutorial will be interesting for computational materials scientists and physicists who contemplate investigating electron-phonon effects in their research, but also for experimentalists who want to connect more closely with simulation methods and first principles predictions.


  • Electronic and optical properties: Temperature dependence of band structures and optical properties, Zero-point vibrations

  • Harmonic lattice dynamics: Phonon frequencies, phonon dispersion

  • Thermal properties: Phonon-phonon anharmonic scattering, thermal conductivity


André Schleife, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Matthieu Verstraete, Nanomat/QMAT/CESAM and University of Liege, Belgium


  • Phil Allen, Stony Brook University

  • Atsushi Togo, Kyoto University

  • Gabriel Antonius, Université du Québec 

  • Olle Hellman, Caltech

T7 Nodal Semi-Metals in General

T7: Nodal Semi-Metals in General (2D, Weyl, and Nodal Line Systems)

Who Should Attend

Graduate students, postdocs, and other scientists interested in learning about the exciting new area of topological semimetals. The tutorial talks will be very pedagogical, describing the theoretical foundations and mathematical tools of the field, the experimental techniques and results on these new remarkable systems, and the links with other areas of physics such as high-energy physics. Latest developments and open questions will also be prominently featured.

Course Description

Topological semimetals are the newest addition to the topological field. They come in many varieties: Weyl, Dirac, Nodal lines, monopole lines, New Fermions, and many others. They exhibit topological protection of varying degrees to the opening of a gap in the spectrum, and exhibit novel phenomena such as negative magneto-resistence and non-linear transport upon the addition of electric and/or magnetic fields in the system. The topological semimetals also acquire interesting properties when gapped by superconductivity.  The tutorial will review the mathematics describing these states of matter and explain their topological protection by introducing several topological indices that characterize the systems. The tutorial will also describe the plethora of phenomena existing in nodal semi-metallic systems with an emphasis on the chiral anomaly and non-local transport. The tutorial will then turn towards experiments. It will present and explain several main experiments in the field, such as chiral anomaly, negative magneto-resistance and surface state STM, as well as non-local transport under magnetic and electric fields


  • Theory:  Topological Indices of semimetals, Weyl and Dirac. Topological protection by Mirror and non-symmorphic symmetries. New states of matter upon adding superconductivity

  • Experiment: Chiral Anomaly, Nonlocal Transport, STM on surface states of Weyl and Dirac semimetals; new experimental frontiers.


B. Andrei Bernevig, Princeton University, Freie University of Berlin, MPI Halle

Speakers (Subject to confirmation)

  • S. Murakami, Tokyo Institute of Technology

  • B. Trauzettel, Universitaet Wuerzburg

  • C. Felser, MPI Dresden

  • J. Analytis, University of California, Berkeley

Registration Fee per Tutorial

  • Regular Attendee: $125
  • Students: $65

Registration Instructions

Sign up for tutorials when you register for the meeting.

Short Courses

Sign up for short courses when you register for the meeting.

DPOLY Short Course
Saturday, March 2, 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 3, 8:15 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

X-ray and Neutron Scattering for Polymer Science

X-ray and Neutron Scattering for Polymer Science

The DPOLY short course will introduce the principles of X-ray and Neutron Scattering from polymeric materials. The first part of the course will focus on techniques that probe polymer structure, including transmission scattering, reflectivity and grazing incidence, with emphasis on hard x-ray, soft x-ray and neutron sources. The second part of the course will cover techniques that probe polymer dynamics, including x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy, quasielastic neutron scattering, and neutron spin echo. The course will conclude with an introduction to new challenges and opportunities, such as integration of scattering with other experimental methods, machine learning, and big data.

Registration Fee

  • APS Members: $225
  • Student/Postdocs $150
  • Non-member: $300

DBIO Short Course
Sunday, March 3
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Advanced Microscopy

Advanced Microscopy: A Hands-On Short Course

Physics, and physicists, have enabled new views of biological systems for centuries. Recent advances on several fronts have broken the “diffraction limit,” producing nanometer-resolution images of living samples. In this short course, we will go through the physics behind recent developments in super-resolution microscopy. The course will also have a hands-on component where students will get to build their own microscope from 3D printed parts.

Who Should Attend

Students and faculty interested in recent advances in high-resolution microscopy

Registration Fee

  • Students/Postdocs: $100
  • APS Members: $150
  • Non-member: $200


  • Joshua W. Shaevitz, Princeton University
  • Jennifer L. Ross, University of Massachusetts Amherst

GSOFT Short Course
Sunday, March 3
8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Structures and Order in Soft Matter Physics

Structures and Order in Soft Matter Physics or "Fantastic Structures and How to Find Them"

The emergence of order is ubiquitous in soft-matter systems. Researchers observe a variety of different order phenomena, ranging from ordered crystalline structures, liquid crystals, and partially ordered systems, to glassy structures. At times it can be challenging to understand the arising structures, from a lack of either suitable experimental procedures or access to structure analysis methods.

The course will start with an overview of the increasingly diverse structures arising in soft matter systems, and introduce how these structures can be described. More intricate structural aspects will be highlighted in reviews of different kinds of simulation studies. The course will then review techniques of determining structures in experimental systems, such as optical microscopy, transmission or scanning electron microscopy, and scattering methods.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone who needs or wants to describe the structure of the soft-matter systems they study, on the colloidal or nano-scale, both in experiments and simulations. This short course is designed to give students and postdocs an introduction into a wide range of experimental and simulation methods for structure determination, while advanced researchers will also profit from exploring methods outside of their field of expertise.


Chrisy Xiyu Du and Julia Dshemuchadse, University of Michigan


March Meeting Energy Research Workshop
Sunday, March 3

The submission website will open October 19, 2018
Application Deadline: November 16, 2018

Workshop Details

This annual workshop, held on the Sunday before March Meeting begins, is intended to familiarize graduate students and early career scientists with the opportunities, challenges, and basic landscape of current energy research. Talks, panels, and informal discussions during lunch and coffee breaks will allow for interaction between the students and leading researchers from academia, government, and industry in a variety of energy fields.

Those interested in attending will need to submit a short statement of interest, their March Meeting abstract, and their current academic or research information. The workshop is sponsored by GERA and co-sponsored by FECS.  

The submission website will open October 19, 2018
Application deadline: Nov. 16, 2018

Some travel support to cover transportation, lodging and food will be available.

View last year’s agenda ≫