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March 6, 2020 | People News

Two JQI Fellows Participate in New MURI Awards

JQI researchers are part of two teams that have received Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) awards from the Department of Defense (DoD). DoD awards these competitive grants annually to promote multidisciplinary work by teams spanning several universities. MURI awards focus on topics that are important to DoD and that may promote development of new technologies.
February 7, 2020 | People News

JQI Researchers Receive Quantum Award from Google

JQI Fellow Mohammad Hafezi and JQI Graduate Researchers Alireza Seif and Hwanmun Kim have received an award from Google to support research identifying and developing problems that simple quantum computers might help solve. The work could bridge the divide between demonstrating quantum supremacy, as Google claimed to do in October, and building practical quantum computers that can run established algorithms.“It is an exciting time when industry and academia work together on quantum problems,” Hafezi says. “I am looking forward to collaborating with the Google AI team,” he adds, referring to Google’s artificial intelligence research arm.
February 3, 2020 | People News | Podcast

Labs IRL: A Craving for Code

Software just might be the unsung hero of physics labs. In this episode of Relatively Certain, Dina sits down with JQI postdoctoral researcher and programming aficionado Chris Billington to talk about his passion project—a piece of experimental control software that’s gaining popularity in labs here at the University of Maryland and around the world.
January 13, 2020 | People News

Fifth Edition of “Exploring Quantum Physics” to Launch on Coursera

JQI Fellows Charles Clark and Victor Galitski will launch the fifth edition of their Coursera class on quantum physics Jan. 20, 2020. Alireza Parhizkar, a graduate student at JQI, will serve as teaching assistant.“The course begins by establishing the conceptual grounds of quantum mechanics and promises an exciting journey,” says Parhizkar, who joined Galitski’s research group in the summer of 2019. “It fulfills this promise by immersing the learner in advanced subjects of quantum physics, like superconductivity and path integrals, and illustrating them with colorful exercises.”
December 23, 2019 | PFC | Research News

Synthetic Magnetism Leads Photons on a 2D Quantum Walk

Randomness governs many things, from the growth of cell colonies and the agglomeration of polymers to the shapes of tendrils that form when you pour cream into a cup of coffee.Since as early as 1905, scientists have described these seemingly unrelated phenomena in a unified way: as random walks. By imagining that individual particles or molecules are constantly taking steps in a random direction, researchers have successfully modeled many of the complexities of classical physics.More recently, scientists have brought the idea of a random walk to the quantum world, where the “walkers” can exhibit nonclassical behaviors like quantum superposition and entanglement. These quantum random walks can simulate quantum systems and may eventually be used to implement speedy quantum computing algorithms. However, this will require the walker to move in multiple dimensions (2D and higher), which has been difficult to achieve in a manner that is both practical and scalable.Quantum walks that use photons—the quantum particles of light—are particularly promising, since photons can travel long distances as energy in wave form. However, photons don’t carry an electric charge, which makes it difficult to fully control their motion. In particular, photons won’t respond to magnetic fields—an important tool for manipulating other particles like atoms or electrons.To address these shortcomings, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have adopted a scalable method for orchestrating 2D quantum random walks of photons—results that were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The research team, led by JQI Fellows Edo Waks and Mohammad Hafezi, developed synthetic magnetic fields in this platform that interact with photons and affect the movement of photonic quantum walkers.
December 17, 2019 | PFC | Research News

Remote Quantum Systems Produce Interfering Photons

Scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have observed, for the first time, interference between particles of light created using a trapped ion and a collection of neutral atoms. Their results could be an essential step toward the realization of a distributed network of quantum computers capable of processing information in novel ways.
November 20, 2019 | People News

Three JQI Fellows Named 2019 Highly Cited Researchers

Three JQI Fellows are included on the Web of Science Group’s 2019 list of Highly Cited Researchers, a compilation of influential names in science.They are Sankar Das Sarma, the Director of the Condensed Matter Theory Center and the Richard E. Prange Chair and Distinguished University Professor of Physics; Christopher Monroe, Distinguished University Professor and the Bice Zorn Professor of Physics and a Fellow of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science; and Ian Spielman, an Adjunct Professor of Physics and a National Institute of Standards and Technology Fellow.To learn more about their research, as well as two other Highly Cited Researchers in the University of Maryland's College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS), please read the full story on the CMNS website.
November 14, 2019 | Research News

A Twist and a Spin

By cleverly manipulating two properties of a neutron beam, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their collaborators have created a powerful probe of materials that have complex and twisted magnetic structures.Penetrating deep inside heavyweight materials, yet still able to interact strongly with light elements, neutron beams image hydrogen-bearing liquids in engine parts, storage tanks and fuel cells. The beams can also map the shapes of polymers on the molecular scale, reveal the precise arrangement of atoms in a crystal and chart the distribution of water within growing plants. Neutron beams became even stronger probes when scientists learned how to harness two quantum properties of the beams. One of these properties, formally known as orbital angular momentum, or OAM, refers to the twisting, or rotational motion of a neutron as it travels forward, similar to the whirlpool formed by water as it travels down a drain. The other quantum property, spin, is related to the neutron’s magnetic field, and can be likened to the spinning motion of a top.
October 27, 2019 | People News

Workshop Will Explore Novel Ideas for Dark Matter Searches

The University of Maryland will host a two-day meeting to evaluate new methods for detecting dark matter—the as-yet-unseen substance that makes up the bulk of the matter in the universe. The meeting will be held on campus Oct. 28-29, 2019.“The search for dark matter is entering a new phase,” says Dan Carney, a co-organizer of the event and a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Quantum Institute. “Our first guesses for where to look have not worked out, and we need new ideas.”
October 18, 2019 | PFC | Research News

Hybrid Device among First to Meld Quantum and Conventional Computing

Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have trained a small hybrid quantum computer to reproduce the features in a particular set of images.The result, which was published Oct. 18, 2019 in the journal Science Advances, is among the first demonstrations of quantum hardware teaming up with conventional computing power—in this case to do generative modeling, a machine learning task in which a computer learns to mimic the structure of a given dataset and generate examples that capture the essential character of the data.

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