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Latest News and Research

Christopher Monroe Elected to National Academy of Sciences

University of Maryland Physics Professor Christopher Monroe has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Monroe, who is also a Distinguished University Professor, the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics, and a fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science, is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates elected in 2016. He joins a select group of 2,291 scientists around the country elected by their peers and recognized for their influential research. He is a scientific leader in trapping atomic ions and studying how to use their quantum properties for information processing. Continue Reading

Gretchen Campbell named new JQI Co-Director

JQI Fellow Gretchen Campbell has been named the new NIST Co-Director of the Joint Quantum Institute, effective April 1, 2016. Campbell joined the JQI in 2009 and is also a UMD Adjunct Associate Professor and APS Fellow. In recent years she has received various accolades for her atomtronics research, including the APS Maria Goeppert-Mayer award. Campbell succeeds JQI Fellow Charles Clark, who has held the position since 2011. JQI Fellow Steven Rolston will continue as the UMD Co-Director. Rolston, on behalf of JQI, would like to thank Clark for his service. "I would particularly like to highlight Charles’ leadership and active engagement with the public in the promotion of quantum physics. The JQI will continue to benefit from his dedication." Rolston continues, "Gretchen is an...Continue Reading

Oscillating currents point to practical application for topological insulators

Scientists studying an exotic material have found a potential application for its unusual properties, a discovery that could improve devices found in most digital electronics.Under the right conditions the material, a compound called samarium hexaboride, is a topological insulator—something that conducts electricity on its surface but not through its interior. The first topological insulators were only recently created and demonstrated in labs.Now, a team of physicists at JQI and the University of California, Irvine, may have found a use for tiny crystals of samarium hexaboride. When pumped with a small but constant electric current and cooled to near absolute zero, the crystals can produce a current that oscillates. The frequency of that oscillation can be tuned by changing the amount...Continue Reading

Measuring the magnetization of wandering spins

The swirling field of a magnet—rendered visible by a sprinkling of iron filings—emerges from the microscopic behavior of atoms and their electrons. In permanent magnets, neighboring atoms align and lock into place to create inseparable north and south poles. For other materials, magnetism can be induced by a field strong enough to coax atoms into alignment.In both cases, atoms are typically arranged in the rigid structure of a solid, glued into a grid and prevented from moving. But the team of JQI Fellow Ian Spielman has been studying the magnetic properties of systems whose tiny constituents are free to roam around—a phenomenon called “itinerant magnetism." “When we think of magnets, we usually think of some lattice,” says graduate student Ana Valdés-Curiel. Now, in a new experiment,...Continue Reading

Rogue rubidium leads to atomic anomaly
Unexpected high-energy atoms illuminate the physics of potential quantum processors

The behavior of a few rubidium atoms in a cloud of 40,000 hardly seems important. But a handful of the tiny particles with the wrong energy may cause a cascade of effects that could impact future quantum computers. Some proposals for quantum devices use Rydberg atoms—atoms with highly excited electrons that roam far from the nucleus—because they interact strongly with each other and offer easy handles for controlling their individual and collective behavior. Rubidium is one of the most popular elements for experimenting with Rydberg physics. Now, a team of researchers led by JQI Fellows Trey Porto, Steven Rolston and Alexey Gorshkov have discovered an unwanted side effect of trying to manipulate strongly interacting rubidium atoms: When they used lasers to drive some of the atoms into...Continue Reading

Jay Deep Sau Receives Sloan Research Fellowship

Jay Deep Sau, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Maryland and fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship for 2016. This award, granted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, identifies 126 early-career scientists based on their potential to contribute fundamentally significant research to a wider academic community.Sau, a theoretical condensed matter physicist interested in applying topological principles to create protected solid-state and cold-atomic systems for quantum information processing, will use the fellowship to further his research focus on predicting phenomena that could...Continue Reading

A graphic that explains how the new interface works.
Nanoscale cavity strongly links quantum particles
Single photons can quickly modify individual electrons embedded in a semiconductor chip and vice versa

Today’s networks use electronic circuits to store information and optical fibers to carry it, and quantum networks may benefit from a similar framework. Such networks would transmit qubits – quantum versions of ordinary bits – from place to place and would offer unbreakable security for the transmitted information. But researchers must first develop ways for qubits that are better at storing information to interact with individual packets of light called photons that are better at transporting it, a task achieved in conventional networks by electro-optic modulators that use electronic signals to modulate properties of light. Now, researchers in the group of Edo Waks have struck upon an interface between photons and single electrons that makes progress toward such a device.Continue Reading

Sankar Das Sarma included on Thomson Reuter’s 2015 list of Highly Cited Researchers

Two researchers from the University of Maryland's College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences are included on Thomson Reuter’s 2015 list of Highly Cited Researchers, a compilation of influential names in science.Sankar Das Sarma, Richard E. Prange Chair in Physics, Distinguished University Professor, Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, and Director of the Condensed Matter Theory Center. Das Sarma was also included in the two previous compilations: 2014 and 2001.Jeremy Selengut, associate research scientist...Continue Reading

Latest News and Research

  • Christopher Monroe Elected to National Academy of Sciences

    University of Maryland Physics Professor Christopher Monroe has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Monroe, who is also a Distinguished University Professor, the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics, and a fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and... Continue Reading

  • Gretchen Campbell named new JQI Co-Director

    JQI Fellow Gretchen Campbell has been named the new NIST Co-Director of the Joint Quantum Institute, effective April 1, 2016. Campbell joined the JQI in 2009 and is also a UMD Adjunct Associate Professor and APS Fellow. In recent years she has received various accolades for her atomtronics research, including the APS Maria Goeppert-Mayer award. Campbell succeeds JQI Fellow Charles Clark, who... Continue Reading

  • Oscillating currents point to practical application for topological insulators

    Scientists studying an exotic material have found a potential application for its unusual properties, a discovery that could improve devices found in most digital electronics.Under the right conditions the material, a compound called samarium hexaboride, is a topological insulator—something that conducts electricity on its surface but not through its interior. The first topological insulators... Continue Reading

  • Measuring the magnetization of wandering spins

    The swirling field of a magnet—rendered visible by a sprinkling of iron filings—emerges from the microscopic behavior of atoms and their electrons. In permanent magnets, neighboring atoms align and lock into place to create inseparable north and south poles. For other materials, magnetism can be induced by a field strong enough to coax atoms into alignment.In both cases, atoms are typically... Continue Reading

  • Rogue rubidium leads to atomic anomaly
    Unexpected high-energy atoms illuminate the physics of potential quantum processors

    The behavior of a few rubidium atoms in a cloud of 40,000 hardly seems important. But a handful of the tiny particles with the wrong energy may cause a cascade of effects that could impact future quantum computers. Some proposals for quantum devices use Rydberg atoms—atoms with highly excited electrons that roam far from the nucleus—because they interact strongly with each other and offer easy... Continue Reading

  • Jay Deep Sau Receives Sloan Research Fellowship

    Jay Deep Sau, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Maryland and fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship for 2016. This award, granted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, identifies 126... Continue Reading

  • A graphic that explains how the new interface works.
    Nanoscale cavity strongly links quantum particles
    Single photons can quickly modify individual electrons embedded in a semiconductor chip and vice versa

    Today’s networks use electronic circuits to store information and optical fibers to carry it, and quantum networks may benefit from a similar framework. Such networks would transmit qubits – quantum versions of ordinary bits – from place to place and would offer unbreakable security for the transmitted information. But researchers must first develop ways for qubits that are better at storing... Continue Reading

  • Sankar Das Sarma included on Thomson Reuter’s 2015 list of Highly Cited Researchers

    Two researchers from the University of Maryland's College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences are included on Thomson Reuter’s 2015 list of Highly Cited Researchers, a compilation of influential names in science.Sankar Das Sarma, Richard E. Prange Chair in ... Continue Reading

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