Ted Pudlik bio photo

Ted Pudlik

Physics Ph.D. and programmer.

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Academic research

I received my Ph.D. in Physics from Boston University for theoretical work on 2D materials and Bose–Einstein condensates in optical lattices, carried out under David Campbell. Earlier in my graduate career, I devoted about a year to experimental physics, developing protocols for chemical vapor deposition of graphene in the group of Anna Swan and Bennett Goldberg. Before entering my physics doctoral program, I spent a year studying economics at Caltech.

As an undergraduate, I carried out Monte Carlo simulations of random walks, Ising models and the φ4 theory under William Loinaz.

2D Materials

My latest work explores the idea of employing 2D materials as active media in novel electromagnetic devices. If such devices could be realized, they would offer tunable sources in the underserved terahertz range of the spectrum. In collaboration with my advisor and Antonio Castro-Neto I developed a quantum model of the magnetron, one possible design for a 2D solid-state source. Our work is available as a preprint.

Much earlier, I wrote a Mathematica notebook for finding the band structures of graphene nanoribbons in the presence of magnetic fields; you can find it on GitHub. It reproduces the results of a number of papers on the subject.

BECs in Optical Lattices

Much of my Ph.D. was devoted to studying the dynamics of ultracold atoms in optical lattices. Their behavior can be very precisely monitored in experiments, making them promising candidates for simulators of less accessible condensed matter systems. They are also prospective platforms for quantum computing, an application that requires a better understanding of the atoms’ entanglement.

My collaborators and I studied the dynamics of entanglement in the two-site optical lattice. We found that for certain special initial conditions (near the stable fixed points of the mean-field equations of motion) the entanglement behaves very simply, undergoing a sequence of quantum revivals. What is more, these special initial conditions are the only ones for which entanglement is present in the system for an appreciable time. This suggests entanglement might be generated for other initial conditions if the system is driven towards the stable fixed point states. We carried out simulations using the quantum jump method to show that this is indeed the case. Our paper on the subject is posted on the arXiv and has been published in Physical Review A.

We have also applied semiclassical techniques to the dimer problem, trying to understand the most important features of the system’s behavior in terms of quantum corrections to a classical model. In particular, we derived a simple yet accurate semiclassical estimate of the tunneling rate between the wells. The paper is on the arXiv and in Physical Review A. A more visual summary is provided by the poster I presented at the BEC2014 conference in Levico, Italy (pdf).

Lattice Monte Carlo

My undergraduate senior thesis was on Lattice Simulations of the φ4 Theory and Related Systems (pdf). I like to think the second and third chapters provide a pleasant introduction to Monte Carlo methods.

Economics

I never did any serious work in the field, but I did write one vaguely amusing term paper about dorm damage fines: Towards a Theory of Dorm Damage (pdf).

Microwave Spectroscopy

Back in 2006, I spent a summer acquiring and analyzing vibrational spectra of the 1,1-difluoroethylene–hydrogen fluoride complex. after three more years of efforts by others, the structure of this complex was determined. I am a coauthor of the paper announcing the results, J. Chem. Phys. 131, 204301 (2009).