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Physics Frontier Center News

May 14, 2014 | PFC | People News

JQI papers featured as New Journal of Physics "Highlights of 2013"

Papers from the groups of Ian Spielman and Jake Taylor were recently chosen as "Highlights of 2013" by the New Journal of Physics. The articles are listed below To see more highlights, visit

March 25, 2014 | PFC | People News

JQI undergraduate researcher Geoffrey Ji receives Goldwater Scholarship

From CMNS at UMD

Three University of Maryland students have been awarded scholarships by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which encourages students to pursue advanced study and careers in the sciences, engineering and mathematics. A fourth student received honorable mention.

February 25, 2014 | PFC | Research News

How do you build a large-scale quantum computer?

Physicists led by ion-trapper Christopher Monroe at the JQI have proposed a modular quantum computer architecture that promises scalability to much larger numbers of qubits. The components of this architecture have individually been tested and are available, making it a promising approach. In the paper, the authors present expected performance and scaling calculations, demonstrating that their architecture is not only viable, but in some ways, preferable when compared to related schemes.

February 12, 2014 | PFC | Research News

Stirring-up atomtronics in a quantum circuit

Atomtronics is an emerging technology whereby physicists use ensembles of atoms to build analogs to electronic circuit elements. Modern electronics relies on utilizing the charge properties of the electron. Using lasers and magnetic fields, atomic systems can be engineered to have behavior analogous to that of electrons, making them an exciting platform for studying and generating alternatives to charge-based electronics.

January 29, 2014 | PFC | Research News

Making Color

Can scientists generate any color of light? The answer is not really, but the invention of the laser in 1960 opened new doors for this endeavor. In a result published in Nature Communications scientists* demonstrate a new semiconductor microstructure that performs frequency conversion. This design is a factor of 1000 smaller than previous devices.

December 2, 2013 | PFC | Research News

Quantum Gimbal

Theorists at the Joint Quantum Institute predict that for some elements a vortex of atoms can be produced which pivots around another sample of atoms at rest in the middle. Such a quantum gimbal has been observed in condensates of two atomic species but never before in a swarm of exclusively one type of atoms in a state of lowest energy.

November 2, 2013 | Outreach | PFC | People News

Thurgood Marshall Academy teacher earns national accolades

The JQI would like to congratulate Kena Allison, science teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academy, who recently received a Milken Educator Award for her "commitment to teaching science." Called the "Oscars of teaching," the award comes with $25,000. PFC graduate student researcher Jeff Grover has been visiting Allison's classroom over the last few years, integrating physics demonstrations into her curriculum. Thurgood Marshall Academy is a D.C. Public Charter School located in the Anacostia region.

October 23, 2013 | PFC | Research News

Nanofibers and Designer Light Traps

In this experiment, physicists squeeze combinations of higher modes of the light into a nanofiber with unprecedented efficiency and purity. This kind of control may translate into more control over evanescent atom traps

October 20, 2013 | PFC | Research News

Topological Light

In this week’s issue of Nature Photonics scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute (*) report the first observation of topological effects for light in two dimensions, analogous to the quantum Hall effect for electrons. To accomplish this, they built a structure to guide infrared light over the surface of a room temperature, silicon-on-insulator chip.

September 20, 2013 | PFC | Research News

Simulation sets atoms shivering

JQI researchers perform a quantum simulation of the 1D Dirac equation, by assembling an analogue system of neutral atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate.