Spielman Named Outstanding Young Scientist of the YearMay 11, 2010
JQI Fellow Ian Spielman of NIST has been named the Outstanding Young Scientist for 2010 by the Maryland Academy of Sciences.
Spielman, who is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Maryland's Department of Physics, will receive the award at a ceremony on May 20 at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.
Spielman is a member of NIST's celebrated Laser Trapping and Cooling Group. Among recent accomplishments, he and coworkers published "Synthetic magnetic fields for ultracold neutral atoms" in Nature last August.
By shining laser light and applying an external magnetic field with a gradient on a gas of neutral atoms in an ultracold state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, Spielman and his colleagues have synthesized an environment in which the neutral atoms act as if they were charged particles swirling in a uniform magnetic field. See the JQI multimedia report Synthetic Magnetism Achieved by Optical Methods in Ultracold Atoms and the Nature paper http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7273/abs/nature08609.html.
Providing new insights into the quantum physics of charged particles in magnetic fields, this work promises to shed light on complex quantum phenomena involving charged particles and potentially enable an exotic new form of quantum computing that would rely on charged particles dancing on a surface (see "Cross-Dressing Rubidium May Reveal Clues for Exotic Computing," http://www.nist.gov/physlab/div842/rubidiu_022409.cfm).
For information on the award, see http://www.mdsci.org/programs/OYE_OYS/CurrentWinners.html.