Latest News and Research
Latest News and Research
Experimental quantum physics often resides in the coldest regimes found in the universe, where the lack of large thermal disturbances allows quantum effects to flourish. A key ingredient to these experiments is being able to measure just how cold the system of interest is. Laboratories that produce ultracold gas clouds have a simple and reliable method to do this: take pictures! The... Continue Reading
Using an electron to probe the tiny magnetic core of an atom
- August 11, 2015
- Research News
Precise information about the magnetic properties of nuclei is critical for studies of what’s known as the ‘weak force.’ While people do not feel this force in the same way they feel electricity or gravity, its effects are universal. The weak force allows stuff to become unglued and form new elements through decay—the sun, for example, is powered through deuterium fuel, which is generated via... Continue Reading
Interacting Ion QutritsEnlisting symmetry to protect quantum states from disruptions
In quantum mechanics, symmetry describes more than just the patterns that matter takes — it is used to classify the nature of quantum states. These states can be entangled, exhibiting peculiar connections that cannot be explained without the use of quantum physics. For some entangled states, the symmetry of these connections can offer a kind of protection against disruptions. Physicists are... Continue Reading
JQI Fellow and NIST Scientist Gretchen Campbell has recently been announced as the IUPAP 2015 Young Scientist Prize recipient in the field of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics. The organization cited her "outstanding contributions in toroidal Bose-Einstein condensates and its application to "atomtronic" circuits."
The International... Continue Reading
Qubit ChemistryControlling interactions between distant qubits
A big part of the burgeoning science of quantum computation is reliably storing and processing information in the form of quantum bits, or qubits. One of the obstacles to this goal is the difficulty of preserving the fragile quantum condition of qubits against unwanted outside influence even as the qubits interact among themselves in a programmatic way.
Spin qubits are one of the most... Continue Reading
Moving out of equilibriumMagnetization dynamics in a checkerboard optical lattice
- May 26, 2015
- Research News
In the quest to better explain and even harness the strange and amazing behaviors of interacting quantum systems, well-characterized and controllable atomic gases have emerged as a tool for emulating the behavior of solids. This is because physicists can use lasers to force atoms in dilute quantum gases to act, in many ways, like electrons in solids. The hope is studying the same physics in... Continue Reading
JQI undergraduate honored for thesis workMichael Kossin earns IPST Monroe Martin Prize and Departmental High Honors
- May 26, 2015
- People News
Michael Kossin, an undergraduate who works with JQI Fellow Luis Orozco, has been awarded an IPST Monroe Martin Prize for Undergraduate Research in Physics for his paper, "Production of a Polarizing Millimeter-Wave Fabry-Perot Resonator.” He also earned Departmental High Honors. This summer Kossin will work with ... Continue Reading
JQI Fellow Mohammad Hafezi Receives ONR Young Investigator Award
- May 11, 2015
- People News
JQI Fellow Mohammad Hafezi was announced as a recipient of a 2015 ONR Young Investigator award. ONR's website describes the program as being designed to promote the professional development of early-career academic scientists – called investigators, or YIPs – both as researchers and instructors. For awardees, the funding supports laboratory equipment, graduate student stipends and scholarships... Continue Reading
Mary Lyon is originally from Princeton, New Jersey. She attended Bryn Mawr College, where she earned both her undergraduate degree in physics and a high school teaching certificate. Lyon originally planned to be a high school physics teacher, but discovered a love for research during a summer program at MIT the summer after her junior year. She briefly taught high school in Columbus, GA before going to graduate school at Brigham Young University, where she worked with Scott Bergeson on strongly coupled ultracold neutral plasmas. She is currently a JQI postdoctoral researcher in the group of Trey Porto and Steve Rolston where she is building a new quantum information experiment that will use an ensemble of cold Rydberg atoms.
Hafezi is JQI fellow and works at the interface of condensed matter theory and quantum optics. The focus of his research is on theoretical and experimental investigations of artificial gauge fields and topological order in photonics systems. Such systems can be exploited as robust optical devices insensitive to disorder, which is the subject of his NSF Physics Frontier Center’s seed funding program. Moreover, in the presence of strong optical nonlinearity, such systems are expected to exhibit fractional quantum Hall physics, providing a platform for potentially observing anoynic statistics. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2009 where he worked with Mikhail Lukin and Eugene Demler. There, he studied strongly correlated physics in AMO systems. In particular, he worked on the topological characterization of ultracold atoms in 2D and also non-equilibrium dynamics of strongly interacting photons in 1D.
Former NRC postdoctoral fellow Steven Olmschenk is currently faculty at Denison University located in Granville, Ohio. Steve was a graduate student in Chris Monroe’s Trapped Ion Quantum Information group and then a postdoc in the NIST Laser Cooling and Trapping Group. While at NIST he worked on Trey Porto’s double-well optical lattice experiment. At Dension he has a group researching physics at the interface of quantum optics and trapped atomic ions http://personal.denison.edu/~olmschenks/.
Crystal Senko was a graduate student in Chris Monroe's ion trapping group. While in the group she focused on ultrafast spin manipulation as well as quantum simulation of magnetism. She is now a postdoctoral researcher with Mikhail Lukin at Harvard. Senko is an undergraduate alumni of Duke University, where she worked with Dan Gauthier on magneto-optical trapping using distributed feedback lasers.
Michael Foss-Feig is a JQI postdoctoral scientist. As an undergraduate at Amherst College, Michael performed some experimental work in solid-state physics with professor Jonathan Friedman. But, when it came time to write a dissertation, he decided he wanted to try working on theoretical problems instead. Later he went to the University of Colorado where he received a physics PhD in October 2012. His thesis, prepared under the supervision of Ana Maria Rey, was entitled “Quantum simulation of many-body physics with neutral atoms, molecules and ions.” This work earned him the DAMOP Thesis Prize in June 2013.
Now a NRC postdoctoral fellow at NIST working under Charles Clark, Michael’s interests are centered around many-body physics with ultracold atomic, molecular, and optical systems. He also studies long-range interacting systems, such as trapped ions, ultracold dipolar molecules, and Rydberg atoms. What does he do outside working hours? “Mostly rock climbing, cooking, and auto repair---the last two out of defiance since, as a theorist, nobody thinks I should be able to do anything useful.”
James R. Williams
James R. Williams is a JQI Fellow and assistant professor of physics, and his chief area of research is experimental condensed matter physics. Specifically, he specializes in understanding why certain one and two-dimensional materials (e.g. topological insulators, graphene) depart from normal conductivity provided by free electrons.
Jimmy, as he likes to be called, almost didn’t go to college. All he wanted to do was work on cars. His mother forced him to apply to one college, so he choose Santa Clara University where he previously attended a basketball camp. He majored in engineering, but his favorite courses involved physics, so he changed direction again. This is how he arrived at his chosen area of research.
Eventually he got a PhD from Harvard University in 2009 on the subject of grapheme, while studying under Charles M. Marcus. He was then a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford before coming to Maryland.
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