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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).
September 6, 2019 | Podcast

Taming chaos with physics and AI

In many situations, chaos makes it nearly impossible to predict what will happen next. Nowhere is this more apparent than in weather forecasts, which are notorious for their unreliability. But the clever application of artificial intelligence can help reign in some chaotic systems, making them more predictable than ever before. In this episode of Relatively Certain, Dina sits down with Michelle Girvan, a physics professor at the University of Maryland (UMD), to talk about how artificial intelligence can help predict chaotic behavior, as well as how combining machine learning with conventional physics models might yield even better predictions and insights into both methods.
August 16, 2019 | Research News

Ions clear another hurdle toward scaled-up quantum computing

Scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have been steadily improving the performance of ion trap systems, a leading platform for future quantum computers. Now, a team of researchers led by JQI Fellows Norbert Linke and Christopher Monroe has performed a key experiment on five ion-based quantum bits, or qubits. They used laser pulses to simultaneously create quantum connections between different pairs of qubits—the first time these kinds of parallel operations have been executed in an ion trap. The new study, which is a critical step toward large-scale quantum computation, was published on July 24 in the journal Nature.     
August 2, 2019 | PFC | Research News

Corkscrew photons may leave behind a spontaneous twist

Everything radiates. Whether it's a car door, a pair of shoes or the cover of a book, anything hotter than absolute zero (i.e., pretty much everything) is constantly shedding radiation in the form of photons, the quantum particles of light.A twin process—absorption—is usually also present. As photons carry away energy, passers-by from the environment can be absorbed to replenish it. When absorption and emission occur at the same rate, scientists say that an object is in equilibrium with its environment. This often means that object and environment share the same temperature.Far away from equilibrium, new behaviors can emerge. In a paper published August 1, 2019 as an Editors’ Suggestion in the journal Physical Review Letters, scientists at JQI and Michigan State University suggest that certain materials may experience a spontaneous twisting force if they are hotter than their surroundings.
July 19, 2019 | People News

Second annual trapped-ion conference comes to UMD

The University of Maryland will host the 2nd North American Conference on Trapped Ions (NACTI) from July 22-26. This year’s conference comes two years after the inaugural meeting, which was held on the Boulder, Colorado campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).More than 230 students and researchers from around the globe, all working on the science of trapped atomic ions, will attend five days of sessions at the Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center on campus at UMD.

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