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August 20, 2016 | People News

Remembering Katharine Blodgett Gebbie 1932-2016

NIST official obituary with video tribute and interview

The members of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) join many in saying farewell and paying tribute to their esteemed colleague. Katharine Blodgett Gebbie spent her career at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and was the Director of the Physics and Physical Measurement Laboratories, where she oversaw the work ...

August 3, 2016 | PFC | Research News

Programmable ions set the stage for general-purpose quantum computers

Quantum computers promise speedy solutions to some difficult problems, but building large-scale, general-purpose quantum devices is a problem fraught with technical challenges.

To date, many research groups have created small but functional quantum computers. By combining a handful of atoms, electrons or superconducting junctions, researchers now regularly demonstrate quantum effects and run simple quantum algorithms—small programs dedicated to solving particular ...

August 3, 2016 | PFC | People News

Federal report urges commitment to quantum research

A government report, authored by experts from a variety of federal agencies, has recommended that the US treat quantum information science as a national priority.

The 16-page report, prepared by the president’s National Science and Technology Council and released to the public on July 26, suggested steps to increase the nation’s commitment to its quantum portfolio. These included ensuring stable ...

June 24, 2016 | PFC | Research News

Ultra-cold atoms may wade through quantum friction

Theoretical physicists studying the behavior of ultra-cold atoms have discovered a new source of friction, dispensing with a century-old paradox in the process. Their prediction, which experimenters may soon try to verify, was reported recently in Physical Review Letters.

The friction afflicts certain arrangements of atoms in a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC), a quantum state of matter in which ...

June 6, 2016 | PFC | Research News

Disorder grants a memory to quantum spins

Nature doesn’t have the best memory. If you fill a box with air and divide it in half with a barrier, it’s easy to tell molecules on the left from molecules on the right. But after removing the barrier and waiting a short while, the molecules get mixed together, and it becomes impossible to tell where a given molecule started. ...

May 23, 2016 | People News

JQI researchers attend 47th DAMOP meeting in Providence

Dozens of JQI Fellows, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students are in Providence, R.I. this week for the 47th meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP). They will be delivering talks and posters on everything from the anomalous behavior of driven Rydberg atoms to running quantum algorithms in a programmable system ...

May 23, 2016 | PFC | Research News

Quantum cycles power cold-atom pump

The idea of a pump is at least as old as the ancient Greek philosopher and scientist Archimedes. More than 2000 years ago, Archimedes allegedly invented a corkscrew pump that could lift water up an incline with the turn of a handle. Versions of the ancient invention still bear his name and are used today in agriculture and industry. ...

May 10, 2016 | Research News

Novel gate may enhance power of Majorana-based quantum computers

Quantum computers hold great potential, but they remain hard to build because their basic components—individual quantum systems like atoms, electrons or photons—are fragile. A relentless and noisy background constantly bombards the computer’s data.
One promising theoretical approach, known as topological quantum computing, uses groups of special particles confined to a plane to combat this environmental onslaught. The particles, which ...
May 3, 2016 | People News

Christopher Monroe elected to National Academy of Sciences

University of Maryland Physics Professor Christopher Monroe has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Monroe, who is also a Distinguished University Professor, the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics, and a fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science, is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates ...
April 28, 2016 | Research News

Atomic pairs offer platform for frigid physics

For scientists investigating the behavior of cold atoms trapped in a web of interfering lasers, two kinds of atoms can be better than one. The second species allows researchers to study more complex dynamics, like how the interactions between atoms caught in a 3-D lattice can form molecules stationed at the same site.

Recently, in Nature Communications, researchers at JILA ...