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boson spin-hall thumb
October 20, 2014 | PFC | Research News

Restoring Order

Every electrical device is enabled by the movement of charge, or current. ‘Spintronics’ taps into a different electronic attribute, an intrinsic quantum property known as spin, and may yield devices that operate on the basis of spin-transport. JQI/CMTC theorists have been developing a model for what happens when spins are trapped in an optical lattice structure with a “double-valley” feature. This new result opens up a novel path for generating what’s known as the spin Hall effect, an important example of spin-transport.

Interfering Waves
October 10, 2014 | PFC | Research News

Getting sharp images from dull detectors

A new extreme for sub-wavelength interference has been achieved by JQI scientists using thermal light and small-photon-number light detection. Achieving this kind of sharp interference pattern could be valuable for performing a variety of high-precision physics and astronomy measurements.

October 8, 2014 | PFC | Research News

A cold-atom ammeter

JQI scientists have added an important technique to the atomtronics arsenal, a method for analyzing a superfluid circuit component called a ‘weak link’. The result, detailed in the online journal Physical Review X, is the first direct measurement of the current-phase relationship of a weak link in a cold atom system.

October 2, 2014 | Research News

Quantum Environmentalism

A qubit exists in a superposition of two or more possible states, but this superposition is a fragile condition, in danger of being undone through interaction with the environment. A new paper addresses this problem by demonstrating a new type of qubit control, one that actually makes productive use of a qubit’s proximity to its surroundings.

Quantum point contact
September 18, 2014 | Research News

Two-dimensional electron liquids

A relatively new frontier for studying 2D matter is provided by planar collections of electrons at the surface of transition-metal-oxide (TMO) materials, in which high electron densities give rise to interactions that are stronger than in semiconductors.

September 2, 2014 | Research News

Cool Calculations for Cold Atoms

Two scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute have formulated a universal theory to describe the properties of Efimov states, a theory that, for the first time, does not need extra adjustable unknown parameters . This should allow physicists to predict the rates of chemical processes involving three atoms -- or even more -- using only a knowledge of the interaction forces at work.

August 21, 2014 | PFC | Research News

On-chip Topological Light

JQI researchers led by Mohammad Hafezi report detailed measurements of the transmission (how much energy is lost) and delay for edge-state light and for bulk-route light on a photonic chip.

July 31, 2014 | PFC | Research News

Spin Diagnostics

Recently physicists led JQI Fellow Christopher Monroe have executed an MRI-like diagnostic on a crystal of interacting quantum spins. They predict that their method is scalable and may be useful for validating experiments with much larger ensembles of interacting spins.

July 17, 2014 | Research News

Highly-Charged Ions

A new theoretical study conducted by JQI adjunct fellow Marianna Safronova and her colleagues from groups around the world provides the best yet study of how highly charged ions could be used for atomic timekeeping and for processing quantum information.

July 2, 2014 | Research News

Superconducting-Silicon Qubits

Theorists propose a way to make superconducting quantum devices such as Josephson junctions and qubits, atom-by-atom, inside a silicon crystal.

May 27, 2014 | PFC | Research News

Advanced Light

Michael Lewis’s bestselling book Flash Boys describes how some brokers, engaging in high frequency trading, exploit fast telecommunications to gain fraction-of-a-second advantage in the buying and selling of stocks. But you don’t need to have billions of dollars riding on this-second securities transactions to appreciate the importance of fast signal processing. From internet to video streaming, we want things fast.

May 23, 2014 | People News

Frontiers of Cold Matter

JQI fellow Paul Julienne has recently retired from NIST but continues to perform high-level theoretical research in the subject he helped to create---ultracold matter.  In honor of his birthday, a meeting called Frontiers of Cold Matter is being held May 29-30 at JQI.

May 5, 2014 | Research News

Stimulated Mutual Annihilation

JQI physicists report detailed calculations of the dynamics of a positronium BEC. This work is the first to account for effects of collisions between different positronium species. These collisions put important constraints on gamma-ray laser operation.

Upcoming Events

November 10, 2014
Alan Aspuru-Guzik | Harvard

People News


PFC and JQI researchers engage the public in quantum research. Click here to request a visit from one of our scientists!

People Profiles

  • Steven Olmshenck

    JQI alumnus Steven Olmshenck, JQI

    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 

  • Wes Campbell

    JQI alumnus Wes Campbell, JQI

    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

  • Crystal Senko

    Crystal Senko is a graduate student in Chris Monroe's ion trapping group. While in the group she has focused on ultrafast spin manipulation as well as quantum simulation of magnetism. 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

    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.”

  • 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.”

  • Mohammad Hafezi

    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.

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