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Physics Frontier Center News

Optical highways for light are at the heart of modern communications. But when it comes to guiding individual blips of light called photons, reliable transit is far less common. Now, a collaboration of researchers from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), led by JQI Fellows Mohammad Hafezi and Edo Waks, has created a photonic chip that both generates single photons, and steers them around. The device, described in the Feb. 9 issue of...

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.

Peter Kordell, a UMD undergrad, was awarded the IPST Monroe Martin Prize for Undergraduate Research in Physics.

The photodetectors in Alan Migdall’s lab often see no light at all, and that’s a good thing since he and his JQI (*) colleagues perform physics experiments that require very little light, the better to study subtle quantum effects. Their latest achievement, described here, is to develop a new way of counting photons to understand the sources and modes of light in modern physics experiments....

Unfortunately, qubits are fragile; they dissipate in the face of interactions with their environment. A new JQI semiconductor-based qubit design ably addresses this issue of qubit robustness.

JQI researchers in the lab of Alan Migdall, demonstrate how one category of photo-detection system can make highly accurate readings of incoming information at the single-photon level by allowing the detector in some instances not to give a conclusive answer.

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