MICDE Seminar: Jim Chelikowsky, University of Texas, on “Addressing Dirac’s Challenge: Practical Quantum Mechanics for Materials” — Oct. 30

By October 23, 2015Educational, Events

Jim Chelikowsky, Director of the ICES Center for Computational Materials, and professor of Physics, Chemical Engineering, and Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, will be on campus as part of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering Seminar Series. Students in the MICDE Graduate Certificate program are encouraged to attend his talk.

Time/Date: 10:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 30

Location: 1571 GG Brown

Title: “Addressing Dirac’s Challenge: Practical Quantum Mechanics for Materials”

Abstract: After the invention of quantum mechanics, P. A. M. Dirac made the following observation: “The underlying physical laws necessary for the mathematical theory of a large part of physics and the whole of chemistry are thus completely known, and the difficulty is only that the exact application of these laws leads to equations much too complicated to be soluble. It therefore becomes desirable that approximate practical methods of applying quantum mechanics should be developed, which can lead to an explanation of the main features of complex atomic systems…” The creation of “approximate practical methods” in response to Dirac’s challenge has included the one electron picture, density functional theory and the pseudopotential concept. The combination of such concepts in conjunction with contemporary computational platforms, and new algorithms, offer the possibility of predicting properties of materials solely from knowledge of the atomic species present. I will give an overview of progress in this field with an emphasis on materials applications at the nanoscale.

Bio: Jim Chelikowsky is Director of the ICES Center for Computational Materials, and a professor of Physics, Chemical Engineering, and Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. He obtained a BS degree, Summa Cum Laude, in physics from Kansas State University in 1970 and a PhD degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975, where he held a National Science Foundation fellowship. He was an assistant professor at the University of Oregon from 1978-1980.  He went to the University of Minnesota in 1987 as a professor within the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He was named an Institute of Technology Distinguished Professor at Minnesota in 2001. He assumed his current position as the W.A. “Tex” Moncrief, Jr. Chair of Computational Materials and professor in the Departments of Physics, Chemical Engineering, and Chemistry and Biochemistry in January 2005. He has also worked at Bell Laboratories, and at Exxon Research and Engineering Corporate Research Science Laboratories.

His research has made significant contributions within the field of computational materials science.   His work has focused on the optical and dielectric properties of semiconductors, surface and interfacial phenomena in solids, point and extended defects in electronic materials, pressure induced amorphization in silicates and disordered systems, clusters and nano-regime systems, diffusion and microstructure of liquids, and the development of high performance algorithms to predict the properties of materials.  He has published over 370 papers, including 5 monographs.