David Pekker

  • Assistant Professor
218 Allen Hall


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.

Selected Publications

Recent Publications: 
  1. "Josephson parametric converter saturation and higher order effects," G. Liu, T.-C. Chien, X. Cao, O. Lanes, E. Alpern, D. Pekker, and M. Hatridge, arXiv:1703.04425v1
  2. "Encoding the structure of many-body localization with matrix product operators," David Pekker and Bryan K. Clark, Phys. Rev. B 95, 035116 (2017)
  3. "Finding Matrix Product State Representations of Highly Excited Eigenstates of Many-Body Localized Hamiltonians," Xiongjie Yu, David Pekker, and Bryan K. Clark, Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 017201 (2017)
  4. "Tunable Electron-Electron Interactions in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 Nanostructures," Guanglei Cheng, Michelle Tomczyk, Alexandre B. Tacla, Hyungwoo Lee, Shicheng Lu, Josh P. Veazey, Mengchen Huang, Patrick Irvin, Sangwoo Ryu, Chang-Beom Eom, Andrew Daley, David Pekker, and Jeremy Levy, Phys. Rev. X 6, 041042 (2016)
  5. "Dissipationless transport of electrons and Cooper pairs in an electron waveguide," Anil Annadi, Shicheng Lu, Hyungwoo Lee, Jung-Woo Lee, Guanglei Cheng, Anthony Tylan-Tyler, Megan Briggeman, Michelle Tomczyk, Mengchen Huang, David Pekker, Chang-Beom Eom, Patrick Irvin, Jeremy Levy, arXiv:1611.05127​​​​​​​
Most Cited Publications: 
  1. "Majorana Fermions in Equilibrium and in Driven Cold-Atom Quantum Wires," Liang Jiang, Takuya Kitagawa, Jason Alicea, A. R. Akhmerov, David Pekker, Gil Refael, J. Ignacio Cirac, Eugene Demler, Mikhail D. Lukin, and Peter Zoller, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 220402 (2011)
  2. "The ‘Higgs’ amplitude mode at the two-dimensional superfluid/Mott insulator transition," Manuel Endres, Takeshi Fukuhara, David Pekker, Marc Cheneau, Peter Schauβ, Christian Gross, Eugene Demler, Stefan Kuhr & Immanuel Bloch, Nature 487, 454 (2012)
  3. "Observation of Elastic Doublon Decay in the Fermi-Hubbard Model," Niels Strohmaier, Daniel Greif, Robert Jördens, Leticia Tarruell, Henning Moritz, Tilman Esslinger, Rajdeep Sensarma, David Pekker, Ehud Altman, and Eugene Demler, Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 080401 (2010)
  4. "Quantum Interference Device Made by DNA Templating of Superconducting Nanowires," David S. Hopkins, David Pekker, Paul M. Goldbart, Alexey Bezryadin, Science 308, 1762 (2005)
  5. "Hilbert-Glass Transition: New Universality of Temperature-Tuned Many-Body Dynamical Quantum Criticality," David Pekker, Gil Refael, Ehud Altman, Eugene Demler, and Vadim Oganesyan, Phys. Rev. X 4, 011052 (2014)


Graduate Advisor

Chenxu Liu
Binbin Tian