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Research News

April 3, 2009 | Research News

Strange Events in Flatland

If physicists lived in Flatland—the fictional two-dimensional world invented by Edwin Abbott in his 1884 novel—some of their quantum physics experiments would turn out differently (not just thinner) than those in our world.

Neutron absorption by 3He yields tens of Lyman alpha photons, which result from the most fundamental energy jump in the hydrogen atom. This schematic illustrates the operation of a prototype Lyman alpha neutron detector (LAND).
March 20, 2009 | Research News

Raising the Rate of Single-Photon Detection

JQI researchers have devised and demonstrated a novel solution to a growing problem in quantum optics: the limited detection rate of single-photon detectors. Those devices, which are increasingly in demand for applications such as quantum key distribution and metrology, require a brief recovery interval – called “deadtime” – after each detection.

"Dressing" a Bose-condensed gas of neutral rubidium atoms in a particular way gives the atoms a vector potential -- an effective directional tendency equivalent to what a charged particle would experience in a magnetic field.
March 7, 2009 | Research News

Dressing Up Rubidium for Quantum Computing

Neutral atoms—having no net electric charge—usually don't act very dramatically around a magnetic field. But by “dressing them up” with light, Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) researchers have caused ultracold rubidium atoms to undergo a startling transformation. They forced a cloud of neutral atoms to act like point-like charged particles that can undergo merry-go-round-like cyclotron motions just as electrons do when subjected to a suitable magnetic field.

March 3, 2009 | Research News

Making Supersolids with Ultracold Atoms

The Flash, a comic-book superhero, can walk through solid walls by vibrating fast enough. Physics hasn’t quite gotten there yet, but JQI researchers predict that in a weird new state of matter called a “supersolid” two types of atoms could flow through each other frictionlessly while each maintaining a regular crystalline arrangement.

February 8, 2009 | Research News

Entangled Images and Delayed EPR Entanglement

Pushing the envelope of Albert Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance,” known as entanglement, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland have demonstrated a “quantum buffer,” a technique that could be used to control the data flow inside a quantum computer.

Teleportation Diagram
January 2, 2009 | Research News

First Teleportation Between Distant Atoms

For the first time, scientists have successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart – a significant milestone in the global quest for practical quantum information processing.

December 15, 2008 | Research News

Topological Insulators

Most quantum phenomena are notoriously difficult to observe, and therefore to manipulate, measure and, ultimately, understand. That is especially true for a newly discovered class of condensed-matter states called topological insulators (TIs). But now PFC scientists* are devising a method that could allow direct observation of these exotic entities.

A common configuration for photonic crystal fabrication with imbedded dots.
November 18, 2008 | Research News

Quantum Dots in Photonic Crystals

Every day, a growing amount of the world’s information moves at the speed of light in the form of photons that fly through optical fibers. And increasingly, society is depending on quantum information science to ensure that critical communications traveling over those lines can be made impregnably secure.

November 4, 2008 | Research News

Lattice Perturbations Cause Disproportionate Effects

JQI researchers have discovered a surprising phenomenon, akin to a phase transition, that occurs when atoms cooled into a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) are placed in an optical lattice produced by a single laser beam and then exposed to an extremely weak perturbation from one or more additional beams. The presence of the perturbing beam/s causes a dramatic change in the density distribution of the atoms in the BEC -- much more than would be expected from the small magnitude of the perturbation.

PFC Group Photo
September 25, 2008 | Research News

JQI Awarded New Physics Frontier Center

The National Science Foundation has awarded theJoint Quantum Institute $12.5 million over five years to create and operate a Physics Frontier Center (PFC) at the University of Maryland (UMD) College Park campus. The center will pursue cutting-edge investigations of coherence and entanglement -- two fundamental elements of the physics of quantum information.