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Research News

September 1, 2010 | Research News

NIST Researchers Create 'Quantum Cats' Made of Light

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created "quantum cats" made of photons (particles of light), boosting prospects for manipulating light in new ways to enhance precision measurements as well as computing and communications based on quantum physics.

August 21, 2010 | Research News

A New Design for a Gravimeter

Scientists have developed a novel design for a highly compact, ultra-sensitive quantum device to measure subtle changes in gravity over very short time or distance scales.*

July 29, 2010 | Research News

Ultrafast Gates for Single Atomic Qubits

A team of physicists has achieved ultrafast “switching” time in an operation central to quantum information processing, changing the state of a single trapped ion in less than 50 picoseconds (10-12, or trillionths of a second) with more than 99 percent reliability. That is the fastest time on record – by a factor of about 1,000—for ion “gates,” which may serve as a key component of an eventual quantum computer.

July 22, 2010 | Research News

Anatomy of a Phase Shift

Researchers studying a gas of trapped ultracold atoms have identified a set of conditions, never before observed but in excellent agreement with new theoretical predictions, that determine the onset of a critical “phase transition” in atomic arrays used to model the behavior of condensed-matter systems. 

Harvard and MIT Logos
July 7, 2010 | Research News

JQI Wins Atomtronics MURI Award

Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) scientists have won a highly sought-after MURI award from the U.S. Department of Defense -- one of 32 projects selected for funding in the FY 2010 nationwide competition. The Pentagon will provide a total of $227 million over five years to awardees in the annual Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, whose winners were chosen from 152 proposals evaluated by expert merit-review panels.

Figure 1: Simple Frustrated System
June 2, 2010 | Research News

Physicists Reveal How to Cope With Frustration

For most people, frustration is a condition to be avoided. But for scientists studying certain "frustrated" ensembles of interacting components – that is, those which cannot settle into a state that minimizes each interaction – it may be the key to understanding a host of puzzling phenomena that affect systems from neural networks and social structures to protein folding and magnetism.

May 6, 2010 | Research News

A New Record for Persistent Flow

Three years after NIST’s Laser Cooling and Trapping Group made headlines for the first observation of “persistent flow” – frictionless, superfluid motion – of atoms in an ultracold atomic gas, a new set of group members has set a new record.

May 5, 2010 | Research News

Quantum Dots Go With the Flow

Quantum dots may be small. But they usually don’t let anyone push them around. Now, however, JQI Fellow Edo Waks and colleagues have devised a self-adjusting remote-control system that can place a dot 6 nanometers long to within 45 nm of any desired location. That’s the equivalent of picking up golf balls around a living room and putting them on a coffee table – automatically, from 100 miles away.

April 14, 2010 | Research News

Random Numbers -- But Not By Chance

Researchers have devised a new kind of random number generator, for encrypted communications and other uses, that is cryptographically secure, inherently private and – most importantly – certified random by laws of physics.

April 13, 2010 | Research News

In Search of Majorana

The long-awaited promise of topological quantum computing (TQC), a subject often discussed in the abstract as a possibility at some unspecified future date, suddenly seems imminent.