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Outreach & Education

PFC-supported parametric downconversion demo at the 2016 USASEF. Credit: C. Cesare/JQI

Credit: C. Cesare/JQI

JQI fellows, postdocs, and students actively engage our community and the broader public in science. We have experience with all age groups, from K-12 through undergraduate. Examples of events include guest lectures, career days, assemblies, and individual classroom visits catered to fit science curricula.

JQI is also the birthplace of The Quantum Atlas, an approachable guide to quantum physics.

Please contact Chris Cesare at to arrange for our scientists to visit. We are flexible and will work with you to build a presentation that meets your needs. 

Order a Quantum Information poster from APS for your school. The poster was jointly produced by the PFC @ JQI and APS. 

Examples of Recent Events and Activities

  • In April 2023, we hosted a iAMA event on reddit for World Quantum Day. JQI Fellows Alan Migdal, Jay Sau, Charles Clark, Nathan Schine and Alicia Kollár as well as UMD graduate students and postdocs answered questions from the public about quantum physics. The AMA may be found here.
  • In March 2023, we had a booth at the Flora M. Singer Elementary School science and engineering fair. We demonstrated superconducting levitation.
  • In February 2023 we participated in the UMD Physics Discovery Days event. This is a free, interactive program consisting of an introductory demonstration show followed by a hands-on workshop.
  • In September 2022, JQI Emeritus Fellow Luis Orozco visited the Quantum Technology Laboratory at Cinvestav Querétaro, delivering lectures and seminars and mentoring and meeting with students.
  • In April 2022, JQI participated in Maryland Day, the annual UMD open house.
  • In April 2022, we hosted a iAMA event on reddit for World Quantum Day. JQI Fellows Steven Rolston, Alicia Kollár and Norbert Linke answered questions from the public about quantum physics. The AMA may be found here.
  • JQI Fellow Luis Orozco collaborated with Radio Universidad de Guadalajara to produce "Prueba y Error," a Spanish-language radio series about great moments in physics.
  • In June 2019, JQI Fellow Luis Orozco presented talks on quantum mechanics and francium at the El Colegio Nacional in Mexico City.
  • In April 2019, we participated in Maryland Day, the annual UMD open house. 
  • In February 2019, we had a booth at the AAAS Family Sciences Day in Washington D.C. This is a free public event that coincides with the annual AAAS meeting. In addition, Bill Phillips gave a stage show at this event. 
  • In August 2018, Chris Monroe gave a science cafe talk at UMD's Science on Tap event in College Park, MD.
  • In February 2018, Jake Taylor was a panelist at Intel Policy Night in Washington, D.C.
  • In April 2018, Ian Spielman talked about the different phases of matter for elementary school students @ Dufief ES science fair.
  • In March 2018, Steve Rolston gave a Nifty Fifty talk at Oxon Hill High School titled, “The Quantum World.”
  • During 2017-2018, Chris Monroe provided US House and Senate Members, Staff, and Committees with information and testimony on a National Quantum Initiative.
  • Participants volunteered at Maryland Day in April 28 2018, a campus-wide celebration for the community, draws more than 80,000 visitors to campus. They had the option to attend a Public Lecture “Exploration of Synthetic Universes in Quantum Materials," given by Jimmy Williams and visit laboratories guided by PFC @ JQI students. We had a series of special demonstrations for them to see that included superconductivity and optics.
  • We participated in the 2018 USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington D.C. This free three-day event draws around 300,000 visitors to learn about science. The first day is only open to K-12 students and teachers.
  • On April 29, 2017, members participated in Maryland Day, the annual open house of the University of Maryland. 
  • In March 2017, Emily Edwards presented a demo exhibit at Flora Singer Elementary School's Science Fair. 2017 is the third year of our participation in this event.
  • Steven Rolston is a regular participant in the Nifty Fifty speaker series (2018,2017, 2015), organized by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. In 2017 he spoke at a charter school in Upper Marlboro, MD; In 2015 he spoke at Parkdale High School.
  • In March 2017, Bill Phillips gave a lecture at El Colegio Nacional on the occasion of his induction into the Mexican Academy of Sciences. The talk was followed by more than 1 hour of questions; Luis Orozco provided a translation. Full details and video found here (link is external).
  • In December 2016, Gretchen Campbell visited Broadneck Highschool and gave a lecture on laser cooling to the physics club.
  • In October, UMD/NIST hosted a Conference for Undergraduate Underrepresented Minorities in Physics (CU2MIP). Wendell Hill was on the organizing committee and other JQI members participated
  • On November 14, 2016 Alan Migdall gave a tour to 25 Montgomery College students at NIST. The tour focused on Quantum Information.
  • In Fall 2016 Bill Phillips ("Time, Einstein and the coolest stuff in the universe"), Victor Yakovenko(" Statistical Mechanics of Money"), and Chris Monroe ("The Physics of Music") all participated in UMD's Saturday Morning Physics, a free series of physics lectures for students and the public
  • Luis Orozco was a traveling lecturer at California State University Long Beach ( “From Imaginary Experiments to quantum information," September 26, 2016) and Willamette University (“Optical Nanofibers,” September 30, 2016).He met with seniors and the faculty at both places.
  • On April 30, 2016 members participated in Maryland Day, the annual open house of the university. 
  • On April 15-18, 2016 more than 30 members participated in the USA Science and Engineering Festival. This event, held every two years, is free to the public and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. This year the PFC supported demo "Parametric down conversion" was included in the demonstrations. This demo generates down-converted light and shows that you cannot split a single photon. For the second time, the booth also included the mini-MOT setup for viewing ultracold atoms, courtesy of ColdQuanta Inc. Levitating superconductors were also presented. Bill Phillips gave a stage show presentation about laser cooling. Some photos of the event are shown in the gallery above. 
  • In April 2016, Ian Spielman participated in "Rockville Science Day."
  • In March 2016, JQI members gave lab tours to various groups in attendance at the APS March Meeting, which was held in Baltimore, MD. The groups included press and high schoolers. Tours are available on request.
  • In February 2016, we had a booth at the AAAS Family Science Days, held in Washington D.C. This event has an emphasis on younger children but is open to all ages. It is held concurrently with the AAAS Annual Meeting. In addition, the booth, Steve Eckel gave a stage show presentation.
  • Chris Cesare presented demonstrations at the Flora Singer Elementary School Science Fair in Silver Spring, MD in February, 2016.
  • On July 29-August 1, a workshop for Science Fiction Writers was held (sponsored by an APS Outreach Grant). This event is a 'crash course' about quantum physics basics for writers.
  • In July 2015, the PFC helped organized and participated in an AAPT pre-meeting workshop aimed at advanced laboratory instructors.