Eric R. Bittner

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Eric R. Bittner, FRSC
Born23 September 1965
Fort Wayne Indiana
Alma materValparaiso University
University of Chicago
Known forQuantum dynamics, chemical physics
AwardsGuggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, Leverhulme Professor
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical Chemistry and Physics
Doctoral advisorJohn C. Light
Other academic advisorsPeter Rossky, Hans C. Andersen

Eric R. Bittner, FRSC is a theoretical chemist, physicist, and distinguished professor of chemical physics at the University of Houston.


Bittner obtained his B.S. in chemistry and in physics from Valparaiso University in 1988. From 1988 to 1994 he worked with John C. Light at the University of Chicago and obtained his Ph.D. thesis in 1994 on Quantum Theories of Energy Exchange at the Gas-Surface Interface. Subsequently, he worked at the University of Texas at Austin until 1996 as Postdoctoral Fellow of the National Science Foundation, with Peter J. Rossky as his mentor. He was visiting scholar at Stanford University from 1995 to 1997, with Hans C. Andersen as his mentor.[1]

In 1997 he joined the University of Houston as an assistant professor of theoretical chemistry, where he became an associate professor of theoretical chemistry in 2003. In summer of 2001, he worked as visiting faculty at the Center for Non-Linear Studies at Los Alamos National Lab.[1]

Since 2009, Bittner is John and Rebecca Moores Distinguished Professor of chemical physics at the University of Houston.[2][3][4]

He has worked at the University of Cambridge, the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and at Los Alamos National Lab[5] and has collaborated, among others, with Robert E. Wyatt.[1]


His main research interests lie with the dynamics of molecules in their excited electronic states.

Bittner and his co-workers have investigated organic semiconductors, in particular, semiconductive polymers, the modulation and tuning of their electronic dynamics due to intramolecular vibrational motions of the polymers, and investigations into phonon modes. They have worked on energy transfer in DNA molecules using methods of molecular dynamics, time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) and analytical lattice models. They have developed a quantum hydrodynamics approach for computing the energies involved in quantum vibrations in small atomic clusters by combining the De Broglie–Bohm formulation of quantum mechanics and Baysian sampling, using this approach also to study quantum aspects of the thermodynamics of small rare gas clusters in thermal regions close to the clusters' melting point. Furthermore, they used supersymmetry (SUSY) quantum mechanics for computing excitation energies of quantum systems using Monte Carlo calculations.

His APS Fellowship citation reads: “For developing theoretical and computational descriptions of quantum dynamics in molecular systems, especially for their use in understanding the migration of energy and charge in molecular electronic excited states.”


Bittner has received several grants and awards for his work:[1][6][7]

  • 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from Valparaiso University [8]
  • 2018 Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor, Durham University
  • 2016 Fellow of the American Physical Society, Division of Chemical Physics
  • 2016 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2012 Fulbright Canada Scholar[9]
  • 2009 John and Rebecca Moores Professorship.
  • 2008 University of Houston Research Excellence Award
  • 2007 to 2008 Guggenheim Fellow[10]
  • 2003 Wiley/International Journal of Quantum Chemistry Young Investigator Award
  • 1999 NSF CAREER Award
  • 1995 to 1997 NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 1994 Elizabeth R. Norton Prize for Excellence in Research in Chemistry (University of Chicago)
  • 1988 Lumina Award (Valparaiso University)

The John and Rebecca Moores professorship was awarded to him as recognition for "outstanding work in both research and teaching". In his nomination, special emphasis was placed on his seminal work on trajectory-base methods for performing quantum mechanical calculations.[11]


  • Eric R. Bittner: Quantum Dynamics: Application in Biological and Materials Systems, CRC Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4200-8053-7

As of November 2019, Eric R. Bittner has published over 100 scientific papers.[12] His publications on trajectory-based methods include:

  • Eric R. Bittner, Donald J. Kouri, Sean Derrickson, and Jeremy B. Maddox: Variational Quantum Hydrodynamics, in: Xavier Oriols and Jordi Mompart (eds.), Applied Bohmian Dynamics (invited review chapter), 2010, [1]
  • Eric R. Bittner: Quantum initial value representations using approximate Bohmian trajectories, Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 119, no. 3, 2003, doi:10.1063/1.1580471 arXiv: quant-ph/0304012
  • Eric R. Bittner, Donald J. Kouri: Quantum dynamics and super-symmetric quantum mechanics, in P. K. Chattaraj (ed.): Quantum Trajectories, CRC Press, 2010, [2]
  • Jeremy B. Maddox, Eric R. Bittner Estimating Bohm’s quantum force using Bayesian statistics , Journal of Chemical Physics 119, pp. 6465, 2003, doi:10.1063/1.1604772, [3]
  • Robert E. Wyatt, Eric R. Bittner: Quantum wave packet dynamics with trajectories: Implementation with adaptive Lagrangian grids of the amplitude of the wave function, Journal of Chamical Physics, vol. 113, no. 20, 22 November 2000, [4]
  • Andrey Preverzev and Eric R. Bittner: Hamiltonian Approach for Wavepacket Dynamics: Beyond Gaussian Wavepackets, Physics Letters A, vol. 373, pp. 2215–2218, 2009, [5]


  1. ^ a b c d Eric R. Bittner, Curriculum Vitae, University of Houston, downloaded 22. November 2011
  2. ^ Recognition and awards, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Houston, downloaded 23. November 2011
  3. ^ Endowed Chairs & Professorships Archived 2012-05-10 at the Wayback Machine, University of Houston, downloaded 23. November 2011
  4. ^ John and Rebecca Moores Professors Award History Archived 2012-08-05 at, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Houston, downloaded 23. November 2011
  5. ^ Author profile of Quantum Dynamics: Application in Biological and Materials Systems, downloaded 23. November 2011
  6. ^ Eric R. Bittner, Department of Chemistry, University of Houston, downloaded 22. November, 2011
  7. ^ Eric R. Bittner: 2007 Chemistry, Guggenheim Foundation, downloaded 23. November 2011
  8. ^ "Alumni Awards".
  9. ^ University of Houston, Division of Research: Research Update May/June 2012[permanent dead link], downloaded 22. June 2012
  10. ^ UH chemist named to Guggenheim Fellowship Houston Chronicle, April 25, 2007
  11. ^ NSM Faculty Awards 2009, downloaded 23. November 2011
  12. ^ Eric Bittner, publications and preprints list Archived 2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine, downloaded 23. November 2011

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