News

February 27, 2024: JILA and the University of Colorado Boulder Lead Pioneering Quantum Gravity Research with Heising-Simons Foundation Grant
Heising-Simons Foundation Awards $3 Million for Informing Gravity Theory

The Heising-Simons Foundation's Science program has announced a generous grant of $3 million over three years, aimed at bolstering theoretical and experimental research efforts to bridge the realms of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physics with quantum gravity theories. Among the recipients, a notable grant was awarded to a multi-investigator collaboration spearheaded by the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) and JILA, a joint institute of CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

October 19, 2023: JILA Fellows Ana Maria Rey and Adam Kaufman Featured in IEEE Spectrum Article
Higher accuracy atomic clocks, such as the “tweezer clock” depicted here, could result from linking or “entangling” atoms in a new way through a method known as “spin squeezing,” in which one property of an atom is measured more precisely than is usually allowed in quantum mechanics by decreasing the precision in which a complementary property is measured.

JILA and NIST Fellow Ana Maria Rey and JILA Fellow and NIST Physicist Adam Kaufman have both been recently featured in an article for IEEE Spectrum. In a pair of Nature papers, Rey and Kaufman both demonstrated the phenomena of spin-squeezing to reduce noise in their quantum systems. "All objects that follow the rules of quantum physics can exist in multiple energy states at once, an effect known as superposition," explains the IEEE Spectrum article. "Spin squeezing reduces all those possible superposition states to just a few possibilities in some respects, while expanding them in others." 

August 30, 2023: Our squeezing paper is published in nature!
squeezing

Our paper reporting squeezing below the standard quantum limit in a programmable atom array has been published in nature! Congratulations to the team! Exciting to co-publish with the Browaeys/Yao and Roos/Rey teams too!

December 14, 2022: JILA Fellow and NIST Physicist Adam Kaufman is awarded a grant from the 2023 Young Investigator Research Program
JILA Fellow and NIST Physicist Adam Kaufman at work in his lab

JILA Fellow, NIST Physicist, and University of Colorado Physics professor Adam Kaufman has been awarded a grant as part of the 2023 Young Investigator Research Program, or YIP. YIP was launched by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, the basic research arm of the Air Force Research Laboratory. The AFOSR's mission is to support Air Force goals of control and maximum utilization of air, space, and cyberspace. To do this, AFSOR is awarding $25 million in grants to 58 scientists and engineers from 44 research institutions and businesses in 22 states in 2023. 

November 30, 2022: JILA Graduate Student Aaron Young is Awarded a 2022 University of Chicago Quantum Creators Prize
JILA graduate student Aaron Young

JILA graduate student Aaron Young, a researcher in JILA Fellow and NIST Physicist Adam Kaufman’s laboratory has been awarded a 2022 University of Chicago Quantum Creators Prize. The prize is part of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, one of the largest organizations celebrating quantum research and computing in the U.S. As Young explained: “This award is relatively new, this is only the second year it's been around, but I think it does a good job of providing some visibility to junior people in the field - particularly to people outside the academic community like those in industry or in government.” To promote early career research and diversity within the field of quantum science, award winners receive an honorarium of $500, a prize certificate, and reimbursed travel to the 2022 Chicago Quantum Summit. 

October 11, 2022: JILA Fellow and NIST Physicist Adam Kaufman is awarded the 2023 I.I. Rabi Prize in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
JILA Fellow Adam Kaufman wins the 2023 I.I. Rabi Prize in AMO Physics

Adam Kaufman — a JILA Fellow, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Physicist, and University of Colorado Boulder Professor — has been awarded the American Physical Society's (APS) 2023 I.I. Rabi Prize in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physics. 

September 22, 2022: JILA and NIST Fellow Adam Kaufman Wins Breakthrough New Horizons in Physics Prize
JILA and NIST Fellow Adam Kaufman in his lab

Boulder, Colo. — Physicist Adam Kaufman of both JILA and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been awarded the 2023 New Horizons in Physics Prize from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation for his work in advancing the control of atoms and molecules to improve atomic clocks and quantum information processing. 

August 30, 2022: Our recent manuscripts from the Strontium experiment have been published!

Our recent manuscripts on tweezer programmable quantum walks and optical clock Bell states were published in Science and Nature Physics. You can read more about these experiments here

Both of these experiments relied on some new technology we developed for interfacing optical tweezer arrays and optical lattices. This approach was recently highlight here, in a piece by Giulia Semeghini. 

May 04, 2022: Our Ytterbium qubit paper is published in Physical Review X!
yb

Our first paper from the Ytterbium tweezer project has been published in PRX! We show rapid control of the nuclear-spin qubit, T1 on 10 to 100 second timescales, and T2 times of several seconds. We also harness the narrow transitions in Yb to perform near-deterministic loading and ground-state cooling. See also follow up synopsis in Physics here.

March 21, 2022: Our paper on tweezer-programmable lattices is up!
Tweezer programmable lattice setup

In January, we posted our first demonstration of a new concept for tweezer-programmable optical lattices. Using tweezers with spatial scale on the order of 400 nm, we can program the dynamics and Hamiltonian with single lattice site resolution. We use resolved-sideband cooling to prepare the atoms at extremely low temperatures. From these conditions, we demonstrate for the first time the implementation of a spatial search algorithm originally proposed by Childs and Goldstone. Andrew Childs collaborated with us on this project, and we expect interesting extensions down the line to multi-particle search algorithms.   

December 17, 2021: New papers up!
aea tweezers

In the past month, the group has put up two new preprints. 

- In the strontium experiment, we report the generation of entangled Bell states, prepared in optical clock qubits, whose phase coherence persists for more than 4 seconds. This uses a gate scheme proposed by M. Martin and I. Deutsch, based on Rydberg-mediated interactions. See the preprint here.

- On the Ytterbium experiment, we report our first results preparing, controlling, and detecting arrays of nuclear spin qubits of 171Yb. We observe high fidelity control with sub-microsecond pulse times. We also demonstrate low-entropy array preparation through deterministic loading techniques via the use of narrow-line transitions and Raman-sideband cooling to near the motional ground state. See the preprint here.

December 14, 2021: JILA Graduate Student Joanna Lis speaks on the 2021 Q2B Conference
Photo of Joanna Lis

This year’s Q2B (Quantum 2 Business) conference took place on December 7-9 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Several big names spoke at the event, and it was a place to forge new partnerships and connections. For one lucky JILAn, the trip to this conference was sponsored by CUbit Quantum Initiative, (CUbit). "I am very grateful to Women in Quantum and CUbit for sponsoring me to attend the Q2B conference," Joanna Lis said. Lis is a graduate student within JILA Fellow Adam Kaufman's laboratory. "My research is looking at neutral atoms in tweezers. I was positively surprised on how much presence neutral atom platforms had within the conference," she added.

September 14, 2021: New paper published!

Our paper on high power light sources at magic wavelengths for neutral atom optical atomic clocks is published in RSI! https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0057619

December 16, 2020: Our new paper on scalable, coherent tweezer clocks is published in Nature!

In this work, we showed half-minute scale coherence in a tweezer clock of 150 atoms, demonstrated high relative stability, and established new methods for scaling ultracold arrays of neutral atoms. Congratulations to the team! See also: The Nature highlight on our work and the recent entangled optical clock paper from the Vuletić group; and, NIST highlight.

August 26, 2020: New $115 Million Quantum Systems Accelerator to Pioneer Quantum Technologies for Discovery Science
JILA building

A new national quantum research center draws on JILA Fellows' and their expertise to make the United States an international leader in quantum technology.

June 10, 2020: Our new paper on scalable tweezer clocks is posted!

In this most recent paper, we show how to scale tweezer arrays to 320 sites, while maintaining atomic coherence at the half-minute-scale. This allows us to reach excellent stability through frequency self-comparisons in the array, as well as to characterize the single-particle coherence in the array through correlation measurements. 

June 10, 2020: Will Eckner receives an NDSEG award

Congratulations Will!

April 08, 2020: JILA Fellow Adam Kaufman wins Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award
Adam Kaufman headshot

The Office of Naval Research program rewards early career scientists “who show exceptional promise for doing creative research”—and JILA's Adam Kaufman's work with optical tweezers has earned that recognition.

September 24, 2019: Our clock interrogation paper is published!
Adam Kaufman lab photo.

Our paper was published in science; you can find it here. See also the news highlight by NIST: https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2019/09/jilas-novel-atomic-clock-design-offers-tweezer-control

May 17, 2019: A tweezer clock!
Ramsey Scan figure.

We've recently posted our new paper in which we benchmark the performance of optical tweezer arrays of strontium for optical atomic clocks and quantum state control!