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Latest News and Research

Thermometry using an optical nanofiber

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 temperature of a gas depends on the range of velocities among the particles: how large is the difference between the slowest- and the fastest-moving particles. If all the atoms evolve for the same amount of time, the velocity distribution gets imprinted in the position of the atoms. This is analogous to a marathon where all the runners start together so you cannot immediately tell whom is the fastest, but...Continue Reading

Using an electron to probe the tiny magnetic core of an atom

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 weak force mediated interactions. The weak force is elusive as it operates between objects that are separated by miniscule distances deep within atomic nuclei. To study its properties physicists must be able to extract the weak interactions out of a jumbled sea of other, more dominant phenomena that, alongside the weak force, work to govern particle behavior. Physicists from the Francium Parity...Continue Reading

Interacting Ion Qutrits
Enlisting 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 interested in exploring these classes of protected states because building a useful quantum device requires its building blocks to be robust against outside disturbances that may interfere with device operations.

Recently, JQI researchers under the direction of Christopher Monroe have used trapped atomic ions to construct a system that could potentially support a type of symmetry-protected...Continue Reading

Gretchen Campbell receives IUPAP Young Scientist Prize

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 Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) was established in 1922 in Brussels with 13 Member countries and the first General Assembly was held in 1923 in Paris. More about the prize can be found at http://iupap.org/young-scientist-prize/Continue Reading

Qubit Chemistry
Controlling 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 promising candidates for the purpose.  Besides being charged, electrons possess spin, a kind of magnetic axis that can only assume specific quantized values.  An atom with a single unpaired electron can serve as a qubit if that electron can be tickled into residing in both of two allowed quantum states (usually called spin up and down) at the same time.  Likewise, a carefully contrived small...Continue Reading

Moving out of equilibrium
Magnetization dynamics in a checkerboard optical lattice

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 the atom-laser system will help scientists understand the inner workings of different exotic materials.

JQI physicists, led by Trey Porto, are interested in quantum magnetic ordering, which is believed to be intimately related to high-temperature superconductivity and also has significance in other massively connected quantum systems. Recently, the group studied the magnetic and motional...Continue Reading

JQI undergraduate honored for thesis work
Michael Kossin earns IPST Monroe Martin Prize and Departmental High Honors

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 Professor Alejandro Garcia at the University of Washington, whose research involves weak interactions in the nucleus. Kossin plans to attend graduate school in 2016. 

About the award:

Dr. Martin, a native of Lancaster, PA, studied mathematics at Lebanon Valley College before...Continue Reading

JQI Fellow Mohammad Hafezi Receives ONR Young Investigator Award

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, and other expenses critical to ongoing and planned investigational studies.

“These recipients demonstrate the type of visionary, multidisciplinary thought that helps the U.S. Navy anticipate and adapt to a dynamic battlespace,” said Dr. Larry Schuette, ONR’s director of research. “The breadth of their research and combined value of awards underscore the significance the Navy places on...Continue Reading

Latest News and Research

  • Thermometry using an optical nanofiber

    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

    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 Qutrits
    Enlisting 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

  • Gretchen Campbell receives IUPAP Young Scientist Prize

    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 Chemistry
    Controlling 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 equilibrium
    Magnetization dynamics in a checkerboard optical lattice

    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 work
    Michael Kossin earns IPST Monroe Martin Prize and Departmental High Honors

    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

    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

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