Material & Chemical Physics - Quantum Theory Project

Interdisciplinary research is increasingly important for the development of advanced materials and future nano-technology. For example, in the quest of new hybrid organic-inorganic semiconductors junctions, ultra-strong structural materials, and new biomaterials as well as molecular-nanoelectronics and photovoltaic devices, bridging the gap between Physics and Chemistry is essential. The Quantum Theory Project does that bridging by many means. QTP is recognized as the world's largest and arguably one of the top two or three groups in the area of computational and theoretical material physics and quantum chemistry.

Research areas in QTP include: Molecular and nano-scale Physics (Cheng, Monkhorst, Sabin, Trickey), solid state and surface physics (Cheng, Micha, Monkhorst, Trickey), quantum chemistry (Bartlett, Harris, Hirata), quantum electron dynamics (Deumens, Krause, Micha, ÷hrn), molecular biology (Merz, Roitberg). Details can be found at

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, most QTP faculty members have dual appointments; Chemistry faculty are affiliated with Physics, Physics faculty with Chemistry. In addition, the QTP faculty teach interdisciplinary graduate courses aimed at leading-edge issues in chemical physics research. These arrangements are a direct benefit to the QTP graduate students who have supervisory committees with members from both departments.

For research and teaching purposes, QTP operates a large-scale computing Laboratory as a shared asset of the entire Institute. Named for John C. Slater, a famous physicist who was a part of QTP until 1976. The Slater Lab provides computing support for QTP. This includes support for desktops and laptops, the computer network and high performance computing and visualization. It also includes support and training for software engineering and programming, in particular parallel programming. Furthermore, QTP operates the best-known annual scientific meeting in its specialties the Sanibel Symposia, a one-week annual meeting, nowadays held in St. Augustine, FL, and attended by about 300 researchers. QTP graduate students take an active part in these meetings, and in the QTP co-organized biennial Pan-American Workshops in Computational and Theoretical Chemical Physics, and this activity includes partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to the regular Seminar series, QTP has two Distinguished Lecture Series, honoring John C. Slater and Per-Olov Lowdin.

Visualization Laboratory
The Visualization Laboratory is a joint project between the Quantum Theory Project (QTP) and Physics. Two awards made this possible, the IBM Shared University Research Award, awarded to Dr. Hai-Ping Cheng, Principal Investigator, provided the 9 RS/6000 workstations, and the NSF Major Research Instrumentation Award, awarded to Dr. Samuel Trickey, Principal Investigator with Co-PIís Drs. Christopher Stanton, Hai-Ping Cheng, and Jeffrey Krause, provided the 3D Immersadesk visualization screen and the SGI Onyx 2000. The lab, located in room 1213 of the New Physics Building, is available to Physics QTP research groups, focusing on simulation of clusters, surfaces, and large molecules and on visualization of such systems. The lab can also be used for training and advanced classes on simulation and programming methods.