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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.

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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

  • James R. Williams

    James R. Williams is the newest JQI fellow, having arrived in March 2014. He is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Maryland, 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.

  • Ryan Barnett

    JQI alumnus Ryan Barnett, JQI

    Ryan Barnett, a former JQI postdoctoral fellow at the Condensed Matter Theory Center (CMTC), is now a ‘Lecturer in Condensed Matter Theory’ (UK equivalent of assistant professor) at Imperial College in London. Ryan is a theoretical physicist interested in collective effects in ultracold atomic gases. While at the JQI his research focused on spinor condensates, non-equilibrium dynamics, and synthetic gauge fields. Much of his recent work at CMTC was motivated by ongoing experimental activities at the JQI. 

  • Phil Richerme

    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.

  • 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.

  • Stephen Powell

    JQI alumnus Stephen Powell, JQI

    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.”

  • 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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