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December 8, 2020 | Research News

Proposal Shows How Noisy Qubits Might Correct Themselves

One of the chief obstacles facing quantum computer designers—correcting the errors that creep into a processor’s calculations—could be overcome with a new approach by physicists from and the California Institute of Technology, who may have found a way to design quantum memory switches that would self-correct. The team’s theory paper, which was published Dec. 8, 2020 in the journal Physical Review Letters, suggests an easier path to creating stable quantum bits, or qubits, which ordinarily are subject to environmental disturbances and errors. Finding methods of correcting these errors is a major issue in quantum computer development, but the research team’s approach to qubit design could sidestep the problem. 
December 7, 2020 | Research News

Enhanced Frequency Doubling Adds to Photonics Toolkit

The digital age has seen electronics, including computer chips, shrink in size at an amazing rate, with ever tinier chips powering devices like smartphones, laptops and even autonomous drones. In the wake of this progress, another miniature technology has been gaining steam: integrated photonics. Photons, which are the quantum particles of light, have some advantages over electrons, the namesakes of electronics. For some applications, photons offer faster and more accurate information transfer and use less power than electrons. And because on-chip photonics are largely built using the same technology created for the electronics industry, they carry the promise of integrating electronics and photonics on the same chip.
November 24, 2020 | People News

Kollár Receives Air Force Young Investigator Grant

JQI Fellow Alicia Kollár has been awarded a grant by the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program (YIP). She is one of 36 early-career researchers around the US to receive the three-year, $450,000 award.
November 20, 2020 | People News

Two JQI Fellows Named 2020 Highly Cited Researchers

Two JQI Fellows are included on the Clarivate Web of Science Group’s 2020 list of Highly Cited Researchers, which recognizes influential scientists for their highly cited papers over the preceding decade. The two researchers are Sankar Das Sarma, the Director of the Condensed Matter Theory Center and the Richard E. Prange Chair and Distinguished University Professor of Physics at the University of Marlyand (UMD), and Christopher Monroe, Distinguished University Professor and the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics at UMD and a Fellow of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science.
November 13, 2020 | People News

PRB Highlights Work of Das Sarma and Hwang

To mark the 50th anniversary of Physical Review B, editors selected “milestone” papers that have made lasting contributions to condensed matter physics, including one co-written by JQI Fellow Sankar Das Sarma. Das Sarma wrote the selected paper, Dielectric function, screening, and plasmons in two-dimensional graphene, with Euyheon Hwang.
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.

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