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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...

From NIST TechBeat--It’s not lightsaber time, not yet. But a team including theoretical physicists from JQI and NIST has taken another step toward building objects out of photons, and the findings, recently published in Physical Review Letters, hint that weightless particles of light can be joined into a sort of “molecule” with its own peculiar force. Researchers show...

Experimental quantum physics often resides in the coldest regimes found in the universe, where the lack of large thermal disturbances allows quantum effects to flourish. A key ingredient to these experiments is being able to measure just how cold the system of interest is. Laboratories that produce ultracold gas clouds have a simple and reliable method to do this: take pictures! The...

In quantum mechanics, symmetry describes more than just the patterns that matter takes — it is used to classify the nature of quantum states. These states can be entangled, exhibiting peculiar connections that cannot be explained without the use of quantum physics. For some entangled states, the symmetry of these connections can offer a kind of protection against disruptions. Physicists are...

JQI Fellow and NIST Scientist Gretchen Campbell has recently been announced as the IUPAP 2015 Young Scientist Prize recipient in the field of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics. The organization cited her "outstanding contributions in toroidal Bose-Einstein condensates and its application to "atomtronic" circuits." 

The International...

A big part of the burgeoning science of quantum computation is reliably storing and processing information in the form of quantum bits, or qubits.  One of the obstacles to this goal is the difficulty of preserving the fragile quantum condition of qubits against unwanted outside influence even as the qubits interact among themselves in a programmatic way. 

Spin qubits are one of the most...

Optical fibers are hair-like threads of glass used to guide light. Fibers of exceptional purity have proved an excellent way of sending information over long distances and are the foundation of modern telecommunication systems. JQI researchers in collaboration with scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory have developed a new technique for visualizing light propagation through an optical...

If you’re designing a new computer, you want it to solve problems as fast as possible. Just how fast is possible is an open question when it comes to quantum computers, but JQI physicists have narrowed the theoretical limits for where that “speed limit” is. The work implies that quantum processors will work more slowly than some research has suggested. 
The work offers a better...

The 2014 chemistry Nobel Prize recognized important microscopy research that enabled greatly improved spatial resolution. This innovation, resulting in nanometer resolution, was made possible by making the source (the emitter) of the illumination  quite small and by moving it quite close to the object being imaged.   One problem with this approach is that in such proximity, the emitter and...

The OSA announced JQI Fellow and NIST scientist Paul Julienne as the 2015 William F. Meggers Award recipient. The William F. Meggers Award recognizes outstanding work in spectroscopy. According to the citation, Julienne is being recognized for "seminal contributions to precision photoassociation and magnetic-Feshbach spectroscopy of...

JQI researchers, under the direction of Christopher Monroe have demonstrated modular entanglement between two atomic systems, separated by one meter. Here, photons are the long distance information carriers entangling multiple qubit modules. Inside of a single module, quantized collective vibrations called phonons connect individual qubits. In the latest result, one module contains two qubits...

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