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Stars in the night sky
October 21, 2020 | Research News

A Billion Tiny Pendulums Could Detect the Universe’s Missing Mass

Researchers at JQI and their colleagues have proposed a novel method for finding dark matter, the cosmos’s mystery material that has eluded detection for decades. Dark matter makes up about 27% of the universe; ordinary matter, such as the stuff that builds stars and planets, accounts for just 5% of the cosmos. (A mysterious entity called dark energy, accounts for the other 68%.)

Logo of the 50th anniversary of the journals Physical Review A through D
October 19, 2020 | People News

PRA Highlights Work of JQI Fellow during 50th Anniversary Celebration

A paper coauthored by JQI Fellow Ian Spielman in 2011 has been highlighted by the journal Physical Review A as part of its 50th anniversary celebration—one of only 26 that the journal plans to highlight in its “anniversary milestones” collection.The collection comprises papers published in the journal “that have made important contributions to atomic, molecular, and optical physics and quantum information by announcing significant discoveries or by initiating new areas of research.” Highlighting these notable papers is part of the American Physical Society’s celebration of the splitting of the journal Physical Review into four journals, Physical Review A-D, that each cover different specialized physics content.
Photograph of Christopher Monroe in a dim laboratory with blue light shining around him.
October 16, 2020 | People News

Monroe Elected OSA Fellow

JQI Fellow Christopher Monroe has been elected as a Fellow of The Optical Society (OSA). He is one of 118 OSA members to be selected this year.
A photo of Max Planck
October 7, 2020 | People News

Planck and the Birth of Quantum Mechanics

This historical note was written by JQI Fellow Luis Orozco. In the early evening of Sunday, Oct. 7, 1900—120 years ago today—Max Planck found the functional form of the curve that we now know as the Planck distribution of black-body radiation. By my account, it was the birthdate of quantum mechanics.
October 7, 2020 | Research News

Mind and Space Bending Physics on a Convenient Chip

Thanks to Einstein, we know that our three-dimensional space is warped and curved. And in curved space, normal ideas of geometry and straight lines break down, creating a chance to explore an unfamiliar landscape governed by new rules. Spaces that have different geometric rules than those we usually take for granted are called non-Euclidean. Physicists are interested in new physics that curved space can reveal, and non-Euclidean geometries might even help improve designs of certain technologies. One type of non-Euclidean geometry that is of interest is hyperbolic space. Even a two-dimensional, physical version of a hyperbolic space is impossible to make in our normal, “flat” environment. But scientists can still mimic hyperbolic environments to explore how certain physics plays out in negatively curved space. In a recent paper in Physical Review A, a collaboration between Kollár’s research group and JQI Fellow Alexey Gorshkov’s group presented new mathematical tools to better understand simulations of hyperbolic spaces. The research builds on Kollár’s previous experiments to simulate orderly grids in hyperbolic space by using microwave light contained on chips. Their new toolbox includes what they call a “dictionary between discrete and continuous geometry” to help researchers translate experimental results into a more useful form. With these tools, researchers can better explore the topsy-turvy world of hyperbolic space.
Slide announcing the launch of the NSF's second Convergence Accelerator cohort
September 29, 2020 | People News | Research News

UMD to Lead $1M NSF Project to Develop a Quantum Network

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1 million to a multi-institutional team led by JQI Fellow Edo Waks, who is also a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maryland (UMD) and associate director of the Quantum Technology Center (QTC); JQI Fellow Norbert Linke, who is also an assistant professor of physics at UMD and a QTC Fellow; Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX) Executive Director Tripti Sinha; and co-PI’s Dirk Englund of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Saikat Guha of the University of Arizona, to help develop quantum interconnects for ion trap quantum computers, which are currently some of the most scalable quantum computers available.
Photo of Alexey Gorshkov
September 28, 2020 | People News

Gorshkov Elected APS Fellow

JQI Fellow Alexey Gorshkov has been elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). He is one of 163 APS members to join the select group this year.
An artists's rendering of an atom with galaxies embedded inside
September 25, 2020 | Podcast

The Secrets Atoms Hold, Part 1: Search for Dark Matter

In this episode of Relatively Certain, Dina Genkina sits down with JQI Adjunct Fellow Marianna Safronova, a physics professor at the University of Delaware, and JQI Fellow Charles Clark, an adjunct professor of physics at UMD and a fellow of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to talk about how precision measurements with atoms might shed some light on matter that’s otherwise dark.
September 24, 2020 | Research News

Quantum Matchmaking: New NIST System Detects Ultra-Faint Communications Signals Using the Principles of Quantum Physics

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), JQI and the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland have devised and demonstrated a system that could dramatically increase the performance of communications networks while enabling record-low error rates in detecting even the faintest of signals. The work could potentially decrease the total amount of energy required for state-of-the-art networks by a factor of 10 to 100.
August 26, 2020 | Research News

New $115 Million Quantum Systems Accelerator to Pioneer Quantum Technologies for Discovery Science

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $115 million over five years to the Quantum Systems Accelerator (QSA), a new research center led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) that will forge the technological solutions needed to harness quantum information science for discoveries that benefit the world. It will also energize the nation’s research community to ensure U.S. leadership in quantum R&D and accelerate the transfer of quantum technologies from the lab to the marketplace. Sandia National Laboratories is the lead partner of the center.
August 19, 2020 | PFC | Research News

Quantum Computers Do the (Instantaneous) Twist

Regardless of what makes up the innards of a quantum computer, its speedy calculations all boil down to sequences of simple instructions applied to qubits—the basic units of information inside a quantum computer. Whether that computer is built from chains of ions, junctions of superconductors, or silicon chips, it turns out that a handful of simple operations, which affect only one or two qubits at a time, can mix and match to create any quantum computer program—a feature that makes a particular handful “universal.” Scientists call these simple operations quantum gates, and they have spent years optimizing the way that gates fit together. They’ve slashed the number of gates (and qubits) required for a given computation and discovered how to do it all while ensuring that errors don’t creep in and cause a failure. Now, researchers at JQI have discovered ways to implement robust, error-resistant gates using just a constant number of simple building blocks—achieving essentially the best reduction possible in a parameter called circuit depth. Their findings, which apply to quantum computers based on topological quantum error correcting codes, were reported in two papers published recently in the journals Physical Review Letters and Physical Review B, and expanded on in a third paper published earlier in the journal Quantum.