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Physics Frontier Center News

In Schrödinger's famous thought experiment, a cat seems to be both dead and alive—an idea that strains credulity. These days, cats still don't act this way, but physicists now regularly create analogues of Schrödinger's cat in the lab by smearing the microscopic quantum world over longer and longer distances.

Such "cat states" have found many homes, promising more sensitive quantum measurements and acting as the basis for quantum error-correcting codes—a necessary component for...

Strongly correlated electronic systems, like superconductors, display remarkable electronic and magnetic properties, and are of considerable research interest. These systems are fermionic, meaning they are composed of a class of particle called a fermion. Bosonic systems, composed another family of particles called bosons, offer a level of control often not possible in solid state systems....

JQI Fellow and Assistant Professor of physics Vladimir Manucharyan has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. His proposal, entitled “Realizing the ultrastrong coupling regime of quantum electrodynamics using high-impedance Josephson superconducting circuits,” will receive five years of funding. NSF funds research in...

Alan Migdall and Elohim Becerra and their colleagues at the Joint Quantum Institute have devised an optical detection scheme with an error rate 25 times lower than the fundamental limit of the best conventional detector. They did this by employing not passive detection of incoming light pulses. Instead the light is split up and measured numerous times.

boson spin-hall thumb

Every electrical device is enabled by the movement of charge, or current. ‘Spintronics’ taps into a different electronic attribute, an intrinsic quantum property known as spin, and may yield devices that operate on the basis of spin-transport. JQI/CMTC theorists have been developing a model for what happens when spins are trapped in an optical lattice structure with a “double-valley” feature....

Interfering Waves

A new extreme for sub-wavelength interference has been achieved by JQI scientists using thermal light and small-photon-number light detection. Achieving this kind of sharp interference pattern could be valuable for performing a variety of high-precision physics and astronomy measurements.

JQI scientists have added an important technique to the atomtronics arsenal, a method for analyzing a superfluid circuit component called a ‘weak link’. The result, detailed in the online journal Physical Review X, is the first direct measurement of the current-phase relationship of a weak link in a cold atom system.

JQI researchers led by Mohammad Hafezi report detailed measurements of the transmission (how much energy is lost) and delay for edge-state light and for bulk-route light on a photonic chip.

Recently physicists led JQI Fellow Christopher Monroe have executed an MRI-like diagnostic on a crystal of interacting quantum spins. They predict that their method is scalable and may be useful for validating experiments with much larger ensembles of interacting spins.

In quantum mechanics, interactions between particles can give rise to entanglement, which is a strange type of connection that could never be described by a non-quantum, classical theory. These connections, called quantum correlations, are present in entangled systems even if the objects are not physically linked (with wires, for example). Entanglement is...

Michael Lewis’s bestselling book Flash Boys describes how some brokers, engaging in high frequency trading, exploit fast telecommunications to gain fraction-of-a-second advantage in the buying and selling of stocks. But you don’t need to have billions of dollars riding on this-second securities transactions to appreciate the importance of fast signal processing. From internet to video...