Latest News and Research
Latest News and Research
Photon-counting calibrationsCalibrating an optical attenuator with few-photon pulses
- November 4, 2015
- Research News
From NIST-PML — Precise measurements of optical power enable activities from fiber-optic communications to laser manufacturing and biomedical imaging — anything requiring a reliable source of light. This situation calls for light-measuring (radiometric) standards that can operate over a wide range of power levels.
Currently, however, different methods for calibrating... Continue Reading
At the edge of a quantum gasJQI physicists observe skipping orbits in the quantum Hall regime
From NIST-PML--JQI scientists have achieved a major milestone in simulating the dynamics of condensed-matter systems – such as the behavior of charged particles in semiconductors and other materials – through manipulation of carefully controlled quantum-mechanical models.
Going beyond their pioneering experiments in 2009 (the creation of “... Continue Reading
Twisting NeutronsOrbital angular momentum of neutron waves can be controlled
- September 23, 2015
- Research News
It’s easy to contemplate the wave nature of light in common experience. White light passing through a prism spreads out into constituent colors; it diffracts from atmospheric moisture into a rainbow; light passing across a sharp edge or a diffraction grating creates an interference pattern. It’s harder to fathom the wave behavior of things usually thought of as particles, such as electrons... Continue Reading
JQI Physicists Show ‘Molecules’ Made of Light May Be Possible
From NIST TechBeat--It’s not lightsaber time, not yet. But a team including theoretical physicists from JQI and NIST has taken another step toward building objects out of photons, and the findings, recently published in Physical Review Letters, hint that weightless particles of light can be joined into a sort of “molecule” with its own peculiar force. Researchers show... Continue Reading
Strange Metallic BehaviorThe first 2-Way, 2-dim, Ultra-high Mobility Si (111) Transistor
- September 2, 2015
- Research News
The two-dimensional physical properties of semiconductor materials depend keenly on a number of factors, such as material purity, surface orientation, flatness, surface reconstruction, charge carrier polarity, and temperature. JQI (*) scientists have optimized a number of these parameters to produce the first ever ultra-high mobility, two-dimensional Si(111) transistor that allows charge... Continue Reading
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
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.
Wes Campbell is a JQI alumni and now a faculty member at UCLA where his group studies cold molecules and trapped ions. His cold molecule research is an outgrowth of the NSF Physics Frontier Center’s seed funding program, here at JQI. While at JQI, Wes did research in Chris Monroe’s trapped ion quantum information group. Wes was instrumental in constructing an experiment that focuses on ultrafast gates with ions. Later in his postdoc, he worked on quantum simulations of magnetism with ion chains. More about his current group at http://campbellgroup.physics.ucla.edu/
Campbell is a NIST JQI fellow and works in the Laser Cooling and Trapping group. In her atom circuits lab, reserachers probe Na BECs in toroidal traps. The goals of these experiments include studying superfluidity, as well as superfluid analogs to superconducting circuits. A second experiment with ultracold strontium is being built. She received a Ph.D from MIT in 2006, where she worked with Wolfgang Ketterle and Dave Pritchard. There, she used Rb BECs in optical lattices to study atom interferometry, nonlinear atom optics and the superfluid – Mott insulator phase transition. These experiments included the first direct observation of the atomic recoil momentum in dispersive media. More recently, she worked with Jun Ye on precision measurements and frequency metrology with an 87Sr optical lattice clock.
Alexey V. Gorshkov
Alexey Gorshkov is a JQI fellow and theoretical physicist at NIST. He grew up in Moscow until his parents brought him to Boston when he was in 10th grade. In high school, he was good at math, so that's what he was planning to do in college, but then math ended up being too dry. Physics offered a perfect alternative since it involved lots of interesting mathematics and grappled with problems related to real life.
He attended Harvard for his undergraduate and graduate degrees, obtaining a physics PhD in 2010 studying under Mikhail Lukin. After that he was a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, working with John Preskill. He won numerous university teaching and research awards during these years.
His research is at the intersection of AMO physics, condensed matter physics, and quantum information science. He has authored dozens of papers and has a patent entitled: “Scalable Room Temperature Quantum Information Processor.”
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.”
Stephen Powell, a former JQI postdoctoral fellow at CMTC, now works at the Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics or Nordita in Stockholm, Sweden. His research in the group of Sankar Das Sarma centered around strongly correlated systems with a specific focus on frustrated magnetism and ultracold gases. At Nordita, he will continue this line of research, which is at the meeting point of condensed matter and atomic physics. In talking of his postdoctoral experience he says, “Something I've particularly enjoyed about being at JQI is having close contact with various experimental groups here.”
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