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Physics Frontier Center News

In Schrödinger's famous thought experiment, a cat seems to be both dead and alive—an idea that strains credulity. These days, cats still don't act this way, but physicists now regularly create analogues of Schrödinger's cat in the lab by smearing the microscopic quantum world over longer and longer distances.


Such "cat states" have found many homes, promising more sensitive quantum measurements and acting as the basis for quantum error-correcting codes—a necessary component for...

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 http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/page/highlights-of-2013

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.

UMD juniors Geoffrey Ji, Michael Mandler and...

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...

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...

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.

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.

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...

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

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.

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

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