RSS icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Vimeo icon
YouTube icon

News

December 23, 2019 | PFC | Research News

Synthetic Magnetism Leads Photons on a 2D Quantum Walk

Randomness governs many things, from the growth of cell colonies and the agglomeration of polymers to the shapes of tendrils that form when you pour cream into a cup of coffee.Since as early as 1905, scientists have described these seemingly unrelated phenomena in a unified way: as random walks. By imagining that individual particles or molecules are constantly taking steps in a random direction, researchers have successfully modeled many of the complexities of classical physics.More recently, scientists have brought the idea of a random walk to the quantum world, where the “walkers” can exhibit nonclassical behaviors like quantum superposition and entanglement. These quantum random walks can simulate quantum systems and may eventually be used to implement speedy quantum computing algorithms. However, this will require the walker to move in multiple dimensions (2D and higher), which has been difficult to achieve in a manner that is both practical and scalable.Quantum walks that use photons—the quantum particles of light—are particularly promising, since photons can travel long distances as energy in wave form. However, photons don’t carry an electric charge, which makes it difficult to fully control their motion. In particular, photons won’t respond to magnetic fields—an important tool for manipulating other particles like atoms or electrons.To address these shortcomings, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have adopted a scalable method for orchestrating 2D quantum random walks of photons—results that were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The research team, led by JQI Fellows Edo Waks and Mohammad Hafezi, developed synthetic magnetic fields in this platform that interact with photons and affect the movement of photonic quantum walkers.
December 17, 2019 | PFC | Research News

Remote Quantum Systems Produce Interfering Photons

Scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have observed, for the first time, interference between particles of light created using a trapped ion and a collection of neutral atoms. Their results could be an essential step toward the realization of a distributed network of quantum computers capable of processing information in novel ways.
November 20, 2019 | People News

Three JQI Fellows Named 2019 Highly Cited Researchers

Three JQI Fellows are included on the Web of Science Group’s 2019 list of Highly Cited Researchers, a compilation of influential names in science.They are Sankar Das Sarma, the Director of the Condensed Matter Theory Center and the Richard E. Prange Chair and Distinguished University Professor of Physics; Christopher Monroe, Distinguished University Professor and the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics and a Fellow of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science; and Ian Spielman, an Adjunct Professor of Physics and a National Institute of Standards and Technology Fellow.To learn more about their research, as well as two other Highly Cited Researchers in the University of Maryland's College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS), please read the full story on the CMNS website.
November 14, 2019 | Research News

A Twist and a Spin

By cleverly manipulating two properties of a neutron beam, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their collaborators have created a powerful probe of materials that have complex and twisted magnetic structures.Penetrating deep inside heavyweight materials, yet still able to interact strongly with light elements, neutron beams image hydrogen-bearing liquids in engine parts, storage tanks and fuel cells. The beams can also map the shapes of polymers on the molecular scale, reveal the precise arrangement of atoms in a crystal and chart the distribution of water within growing plants. Neutron beams became even stronger probes when scientists learned how to harness two quantum properties of the beams. One of these properties, formally known as orbital angular momentum, or OAM, refers to the twisting, or rotational motion of a neutron as it travels forward, similar to the whirlpool formed by water as it travels down a drain. The other quantum property, spin, is related to the neutron’s magnetic field, and can be likened to the spinning motion of a top.
October 27, 2019 | People News

Workshop Will Explore Novel Ideas for Dark Matter Searches

The University of Maryland will host a two-day meeting to evaluate new methods for detecting dark matter—the as-yet-unseen substance that makes up the bulk of the matter in the universe. The meeting will be held on campus Oct. 28-29, 2019.“The search for dark matter is entering a new phase,” says Dan Carney, a co-organizer of the event and a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Quantum Institute. “Our first guesses for where to look have not worked out, and we need new ideas.”
October 18, 2019 | PFC | Research News

Hybrid Device among First to Meld Quantum and Conventional Computing

Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have trained a small hybrid quantum computer to reproduce the features in a particular set of images.The result, which was published Oct. 18, 2019 in the journal Science Advances, is among the first demonstrations of quantum hardware teaming up with conventional computing power—in this case to do generative modeling, a machine learning task in which a computer learns to mimic the structure of a given dataset and generate examples that capture the essential character of the data.
October 14, 2019 | PFC | Research News

Stretched Photons Recover Lost Interference

The smallest pieces of nature—individual particles like electrons, for instance—are pretty much interchangeable. An electron is an electron is an electron, regardless of whether it’s stuck in a lab on Earth, bound to an atom in some chalky moon dust or shot out of an extragalactic black hole in a superheated jet. In practice, though, differences in energy, motion or location can make it easy to tell two electrons apart.One way to test for the similarity of particles like electrons is to bring them together at the same time and place and look for interference—a quantum effect that arises when particles (which can also behave like waves) meet. This interference is important for everything from fundamental tests of quantum physics to the speedy calculations of quantum computers, but creating it requires exquisite control over particles that are indistinguishable.With an eye toward easing these requirements, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS) have stretched out multiple photons—the quantum particles of light—and turned three distinct pulses into overlapping quantum waves. The work, which was published recently in the journal Physical Review Letters, restores the interference between photons and may eventually enable a demonstration of a particular kind of quantum supremacy—a clear speed advantage for computers that run on the rules of quantum physics.
September 25, 2019 | People News

Quantum Materials Symposium to Showcase Local Expertise and Highlight Partnerships in D.C. Region

The University of Maryland will hold a one-day symposium focusing on local research into quantum materials—condensed matter systems that exhibit strong quantum effects and hold promise as potential components in next-generation computers, sensors and other devices. The symposium will be held Sept. 26, 2019, on campus in the Kim Engineering Building.Hosted by UMD’s Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials (CNAM)—which will be renamed the Quantum Materials Center next month—the event will bring together researchers from the university’s Departments of Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering, in addition to researchers from the nearby National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Laboratory for Physical Sciences. Around 50 quantum materials researchers and institutional leaders are expected to attend.CNAM Director and Professor of Physics Johnpierre Paglione, together with Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) Fellow and Assistant Professor of Physics James Williams, organized the event, which will include talks on recent quantum materials research as well as reflections on collaborations that have formed among UMD researchers and also between researchers at UMD and area partners such as NIST.
September 17, 2019 | People News

Monroe named Lamb Medal winner

Christopher Monroe, a JQI Fellow, Distinguished University Professor, and Bice Seci-Zorn Professor in the Department of Physics at UMD, has received the 2020 Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics.The award, which has been sponsored by the Physics of Quantum Electronics (PQE) conference since 1998, annually honors researchers that have made “outstanding contributions” to the study of lasers and their interaction with matter. Monroe, who is an expert in trapping atomic ions and harnessing them to process information, shares this year’s Lamb Medal with Stephen E. Harris of Stanford University and Alexei Sokolov of Texas A&M University.The three winners will be honored at the next PQE conference, which will be held January 5-10, 2020 in Snowbird, Utah.
September 10, 2019 | People News

JQI welcomes four newest Fellows

JQI has named four new Fellows in 2019, bringing the total number to 35. All four of the new arrivals have appointments in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland. One Fellow is also a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UMD and another is a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Pages