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Latest News and Research

Light may unlock a new quantum dance for electrons in graphene

A team of researchers has devised a simple way to tune a hallmark quantum effect in graphene—the material formed from a single layer of carbon atoms—by bathing it in light. Their theoretical work, which was published recently in Physical Review Letters, suggests a way to realize novel quantum behavior that was previously predicted but has so far remained inaccessible in experiments."Our idea is to use light to engineer these materials in place," says Tobias Grass, a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and a co-author of the paper. "The big advantage of light is its flexibility. It’s like having... Continue Reading

Former JQI researcher wins Chilean L'Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science

Carla Hermann Avigliano, a former postdoc with JQI Fellow Paul Lett, is one of two women scientists to receive the Chilean L'Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science. She was selected for the prize out of 77 applications and cited for her research achievements during her early career. The award is part of a larger program that aims to internationally recognize women researchers in science and operates throughout the world. In Chile, 21 women from various areas of science such as physics, chemistry, biology, nursing, geology, forestry, biotechnology and ecology, among others, have received the prize since 2007.... Continue Reading

Ancient timekeeping with a modern twist
Trey Porto, a NIST physicist and Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, spends his days using atoms and lasers to study quantum physics. But even outside of the lab, he views the world as one great physics problem to tackle. So one morning when he spotted some sunlight dancing across his wall, he couldn’t help but dive in and calculate its movements. He then took his project a step further and began constructing a sundial. Emily sat down with Porto to hear about his clock-making hobby and how today’s time-keeping differs from its ancient counterparts. This episode of Relatively Certain... Continue Reading
Narrow glass threads synchronize the light emissions of distant atoms

If you holler at someone across your yard, the sound travels on the bustling movement of air molecules. But over long distances your voice needs help to reach its destination—help provided by a telephone or the Internet. Atoms don’t yell, but they can share information through light. And they also need help connecting over long distances.Now, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have shown that nanofibers can provide a link between far-flung atoms, serving as a light bridge between them. Their research, which was conducted in collaboration with the Army Research Lab and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, was published... Continue Reading

Quantum simulators wield control over more than 50 qubits
Atoms provide a robust platform for observing quantum magnets in action.

Two independent teams of scientists, including one from the Joint Quantum Institute, have used more than 50 interacting atomic qubits to mimic magnetic quantum matter, blowing past the complexity of previous demonstrations. The results appear in this week’s issue of Nature.As the basis for its quantum simulation, the JQI team deploys up to 53 individual ytterbium ions—charged atoms trapped in place by gold-coated and razor-sharp electrodes. A complementary design by Harvard and MIT researchers uses 51 uncharged rubidium atoms confined by an array of laser beams. With so many qubits these quantum simulators are on the cusp of exploring... Continue Reading

Chilled atoms enable deeper understanding of simple chemistry
Researchers use new technique to reveal quantum intricacies of molecule creation.

The field of chemistry often conjures up images of boiling liquids and explosions. But underneath all that eye-catching action is an invisible quantum world where atoms and molecules are constantly rearranging, colliding, and combining to form different molecules.This part of chemistry is rarely seen, but even when scientists do pull back the curtain and expose quantum behavior, the task of understanding chemical reactions at their most fundamental level remains daunting. There are simply too many properties to keep track of for the countless atoms and molecules involved in a reaction. In fact, scientists struggle to keep track of everything even... Continue Reading

Ion qubits offer early glimpse of quantum error detection

Computers based on quantum physics promise to solve certain problems much faster than their conventional counterparts. By utilizing qubits—which can have more than just the two values of ordinary bits—quantum computers of the future could perform complex simulations and may solve difficult problems in chemistry, optimization and pattern-recognition.But building a large quantum computer—one with thousands or millions of qubits—is hard because qubits are very fragile. Small interactions with the environment can introduce errors and lead to failures. Detecting these errors is not straightforward, since quantum measurements are a form of interaction and therefore also disrupt quantum states. Quantum physics presents... Continue Reading

Congressional hearing highlights need for quantum technology initiative

On October 24, 2017, two Fellows of the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science were among those that testified during a joint congressional committee hearing on the topic of American Leadership in Quantum Technology.Carl Williams and Christopher Monroe attended as expert panelists, reading prepared statements and answering questions from committee members. Williams, who is also the deputy director of the Physical Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), provided testimony about quantum research at NIST. Monroe—a Distinguished University Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland (UMD) and... Continue Reading

Latest News and Research

  • Light may unlock a new quantum dance for electrons in graphene

    A team of researchers has devised a simple way to tune a hallmark quantum effect in graphene—the material formed from a single layer of carbon atoms—by bathing it in light. Their theoretical work, which was published recently in Physical Review Letters, suggests a way to realize novel quantum behavior... Continue Reading

  • Former JQI researcher wins Chilean L'Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science

    Carla Hermann Avigliano, a former postdoc with JQI Fellow Paul Lett, is one of two women scientists to receive the Chilean L'Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science. She was selected for the prize out of 77 applications and cited... Continue Reading

  • Ancient timekeeping with a modern twist
    Trey Porto, a NIST physicist and Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, spends his days using atoms and lasers to study quantum physics. But even outside of the lab, he views the world as one great physics problem to tackle. So one morning when he spotted some sunlight dancing across his wall, he couldn’t help but dive in and calculate its movements. He then took his project a step further and... Continue Reading
  • Narrow glass threads synchronize the light emissions of distant atoms

    If you holler at someone across your yard, the sound travels on the bustling movement of air molecules. But over long distances your voice needs help to reach its destination—help provided by a telephone or the Internet. Atoms don’t yell, but they can share information through light. And they also need help connecting over long distances.Now, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI)... Continue Reading

  • Quantum simulators wield control over more than 50 qubits
    Atoms provide a robust platform for observing quantum magnets in action.

    Two independent teams of scientists, including one from the Joint Quantum Institute, have used more than 50 interacting atomic qubits to mimic magnetic quantum matter, blowing past the complexity of previous demonstrations. The results appear in this week’s issue of Nature.As the basis for its quantum simulation, the JQI team deploys up... Continue Reading

  • Chilled atoms enable deeper understanding of simple chemistry
    Researchers use new technique to reveal quantum intricacies of molecule creation.

    The field of chemistry often conjures up images of boiling liquids and explosions. But underneath all that eye-catching action is an invisible quantum world where atoms and molecules are constantly rearranging, colliding, and combining to form different molecules.This part of chemistry is rarely seen, but even when scientists do pull back the curtain and expose quantum behavior, the task of... Continue Reading

  • Ion qubits offer early glimpse of quantum error detection

    Computers based on quantum physics promise to solve certain problems much faster than their conventional counterparts. By utilizing qubits—which can have more than just the two values of ordinary bits—quantum computers of the future could perform complex simulations and may solve difficult problems in chemistry, optimization and pattern-recognition.But building a large quantum computer—one... Continue Reading

  • Congressional hearing highlights need for quantum technology initiative

    On October 24, 2017, two Fellows of the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science were among those that testified during a joint congressional committee... Continue Reading

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