Latest News and Research
Latest News and Research
Magic WavelengthsTuning up Rydberg atoms for quantum information applications
- May 12, 2015
- Research News
Rydberg atoms, atoms whose outermost electrons are highly excited but not ionized, are potentially important for storing an processing quantum information since they can preserve a superpostion of states for a long time. One problem with Rydberg atoms is that in they are often difficult to handle. One approach is to search for special wavelengths---“magic wavelengths”—at which atoms can be... 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
Gretchen Campbell, a JQI Fellow and NIST Physicist, has been selected as a 2015 Finalist for a Service to America Medal. The highly respected honor highlights dedicated federal workers who have made significant contributions to our country. According to the award website, "The Sammies, known as the “Oscars” of... Continue Reading
JQI at Maryland Day 2015Crowds brave cold temperatures to see cool physics
- April 27, 2015
- People News
Despite cold weather and cloudy skies, UMD's annual Maryland Day (April 25, 2015) attracted thousands of visitors eager to learn about the university. The JQI was again located on the lawn outside the Toll Physics Building, and provided fun examples and analogs of quantum topics with demonstrations of parametric down conversion, wave-particle duality, charged dust traps, and the Meissner... Continue Reading
Tightening the Bounds on the Quantum Information 'Speed Limit'
If you’re designing a new computer, you want it to solve problems as fast as possible. Just how fast is possible is an open question when it comes to quantum computers, but JQI physicists have narrowed the theoretical limits for where that “speed limit” is. The work implies that quantum processors will work more slowly than some research has suggested.
The work offers a better... Continue Reading
Single photon detection system among nominees for UMD's "Most Promising Inventions" for 2014
- April 14, 2015
- People News
UMD will honor nine nominees for the most promising new inventions at the Celebration of Innovation and Partnerships event on April 29, 2015. UMD’s Office of Technology Commercialization, part of the Division of Research, received a total of 187 disclosures in 2014. The nine nominees for... Continue Reading
The word “defect” doesn’t usually have a good connotation--often indicating failure. But for physicists, one common defect known as a nitrogen-vacancy center (NV center) has applications in both quantum information processing and ultra-sensitive magnetometry, the measurement of exceedingly faint magnetic fields. In an experiment, recently published in Science, JQI... Continue Reading
Sharper NanoscopyWhat happens when a quantum dot looks in a mirror?
The 2014 chemistry Nobel Prize recognized important microscopy research that enabled greatly improved spatial resolution. This innovation, resulting in nanometer resolution, was made possible by making the source (the emitter) of the illumination quite small and by moving it quite close to the object being imaged. One problem with this approach is that in such proximity, the emitter and... Continue Reading
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.”
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.
Phil Richerme is a postdoc in Chris Monroe's Trapped Ion Quantum Information Group. He studies quantum magnetism using a well-controlled and well-isolated system of atomic ion spins, realizing Feynman's original proposal for a quantum simulator. These experiments probe the ground state and dynamical evolution of interacting spin systems, which are difficult (or impossible) for classical computers to calculate for even a few dozen spins. Phil received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2012, working with Gerald Gabrielse and the ATRAP collaboration at CERN to trap antihydrogen atoms for sensitive tests of CPT symmetry.
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.”
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.
David Hucul is a graduate student in Professor Chris Monroe's trapped ion quantum information lab at the Joint Quantum Institute. He earned undergraduate degrees in physics and chemistry in 2006 from the University of Michigan and a master's degree at MIT in 2009 under Wolfgang Ketterle. David started his PhD work with Chris Monroe in 2009 working on using frequency combs to entangle trapped ions. He now works on entangling trapped atoms within and between ion traps using both phonons and photons to create quantum networks.
David became interested in atomic physics by accident, when he enjoyed an advanced chemistry course about spectroscopy and realized it was really physics. His first physics seminar was given by Chris Monroe, who was then a professor at Michigan. This made him a physicist.
He expects to finish his graduate studies sometime in 2015 and hopes to find a postdoctoral position after that.
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