Sreya Vemuri, 17, of Carmel, investigated an aspect of quantum mechanics for her Intel Science Talent Search physics project. In this field, a Hamiltonian is defined as an operator that describes the totality of all of the energy within a system. Sreya investigated the effect of time on quantum systems in which parity (P), representing the algebraic sign of a system, and time (T), are each symmetric. Unlike previous research that assumed a time-independent (i.e., static) Hamiltonian, Sreya manipulated the energy and properties of a PT-symmetric system as time passed and observed how the symmetry of the Hamiltonian was affected. This enabled her to outline several conditions that would impact its function. Her findings on the quantum mechanics of open systems may inform laser and optic development as well as quantum computing. Sreya is founder and president of the Bollywood club at Carmel High School and volunteers with the North South Foundation to raise money for impoverished children in India. She plays piano and sings South Indian classical music, which she has performed at numerous charity events. Her parents are Gautam and Praveena Vemuri.
The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. Intel STS alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.
Students are selected based upon their scientific research and also on their overall potential as future leaders of the scientific community.
From that select pool, 40 finalists are then invited to Washington, DC in March to undergo final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists, and compete for $1,012,500 in awards, including the three top awards of $150,000 each.