About the Lehnert Group

In our group, we build electrical and electromechanical machines and coax them into exhibiting quantum behavior. We are motivated by asking: “what is the largest and most tangible object that can be in two places at once?” In addition, we seek to use these machines to store, process, and transmit information in an essentially quantum way. Finally, we develop measurement tools for sensing feeble forces and electrical signals at the limits imposed by quantum mechanics.

Research Areas

  • Electrical circuits and optical systems are both technology domains in which quantum information can be manipulated, stored, and transmitted. But there is presently no way to transmit quantum information between these domains, hindering the creation of a quantum network of superconducting quantum computers. We investigate the electro-optic transduction of quantum information to enable such a quantum network.

  • Is sound a quantum phenomenon? Indeed, it’s now possible to prepare and detect single quantum units of sound. We explore the possibilities enabled by this new science of quantum acoustics.

  • Several experiments searching for physics beyond the standard model now encounter quantum noise that limits their precision. We study ways to use quantum enhanced methods to circumvent these quantum limits.

  • Quantum computers are fundamentally digital machines, but their operation requires analog circuity that works in the quantum regime. We create and study innovative quantum electrical circuits.

Research Highlights

  • Model of eEDM

    Wiggles in Time: The Search for Dark Matter Continues

    In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, JILA and NIST Fellows Eric Cornell, Jun Ye, and Konrad Lehnert developed a method for measuring a potential dark matter candidate, known as an axion-like particle. Axion-like…
    Read More

  • An Image of the HAYSTAC system

    Scientists develop new, faster method for seeking out dark matter

    For nearly a century, scientists have worked to unravel the mystery of dark matter—an elusive substance that spreads through the universe and likely makes up much of its mass, but has so far proven impossible to detect in experiments.…
    Read More

  • Work in the Lehnert Lab has been able to measure the movement of a quantum drum so precisely that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is on full display.

    Drumming to the Heisenberg Beat

    Quantum drums can get around distracting noise with a new measurement technique—one that perfectly demonstrates the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.


    Read More
  • This diagram shows how the Lehnert Group can measure phonons

    Counting the quietest sounds in the universe

    How do you hear--and study--the quietest sound in the universe? With a special microphone and speaker. 


    Read More
  • Thumbnail

    Quiet Drumming: Reducing Noise for the Quantum Internet

    Quantum computers are set to revolutionize society. With their expansive power and speed, quantum computers could reduce today’s impossibly complex problems, like artificial intelligence and weather forecasts, to mere algorithms. But as…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    A New Quantum Drum Refrain

    Quantum computers require systems that can encode, manipulate, and transmit quantum bits, or qubits. A creative way to accomplish all this was recently demonstrated by Adam Reed and his colleagues in the Lehnert group. The researchers…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Chameleon Interferometer

    The Regal group recently met the challenge of measurements in an extreme situation with a device called an interferometer. The researchers succeeded by using creative alterations to the device itself and quantum correlations. Quantum…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Hunt Is On For The Axion

    The first results are in from a new search for the axion, a hypothetical particle that may constitute dark matter. Researchers in the Haloscope At Yale Sensitive to Axion Cold Dark Matter (HAYSTAC) recently looked for evidence of the…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    How Cold Can a Tiny Drum Get?

    Bob Peterson and his colleagues in the Lehnert-Regal lab recently set out to try something that had never been done before: use laser cooling to systematically reduce the temperature of a tiny drum made of silicon nitride as low as…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Dancing to the Quantum Drum Song

    In the future, quantum microwave networks may handle quantum information transfer via optical fibers or microwave cables. The evolution of a quantum microwave network will rely on innovative microwave circuits currently being developed…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Good Vibrations: The Experiment

    The Regal-Lehnert collaboration has just taken a significant step towards the goal of one day building a quantum information network. Large-scale fiber-optic networks capable of preserving fragile quantum states (which encode…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    This is the Dawning of the… Age of Entanglement

    Tauno Palomaki and his colleagues in the Lehnert group have just gone where no one has gone before: They’ve entangled the quantum motion of a vibrating drum with the quantum state of a moving electrical pulse. What’s more, they figured…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Quantum Drum Song

    In the future, quantum microwave networks may handle quantum information transfer via optical fibers or microwave cables. The evolution of a quantum microwave network will rely on innovative microwave circuits currently being developed…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Transporter

    The Lehnert group has come up with a clever way to transport and store quantum information. Research associate Tauno Palomaki, graduate student Jennifer Harlow, NIST colleagues Jon Teufel and Ray Simmonds, and Fellow Konrad Lehnert have…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Quantum CT Scans

    The Lehnert group and collaborators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently made what was essentially a CT scan of the quantum state of a microwave field. The researchers made 100 measurements at…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Redefining Chemistry at JILA

    Fellows Deborah Jin, Jun Ye, and John Bohn are exploring new scientific territory in cold-molecule chemistry. Experimentalists Jin and Ye and their colleagues can now manipulate, observe, and control ultralow-temperature potassium-…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Nanomeasurement is a Matter of the Utmost Precision

    Not content with stepping on their bathroom scales each morning to watch the arrow spin round to find their weights, former research associate John Teufel and Fellow Konrad Lehnert decided to build a nifty system that could measure more…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    All Quiet on the Amplifier Front

    Fellow Konrad Lehnert needed a virtually noiseless amplifier to help with his experiments on nanoscale structures, so he invented one. Working with graduate student Manuel Castellanos-Beltran and NIST scientists Kent Irwin, Gene Hilton…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Nanoartisans Search for Quantum Tremors

    Nanoartisans Cindy Regal, John Teufel, and Konrad Lehnert have come up with a clever new way to observe ordinary (very small) things behaving quantum mechanically. They’ve tucked a nanomechanical beam (which is actually a really thin…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Tunnel Vision

    A key challenge in developing new nanotechnologies is figuring out a fast, low-noise technique for translating small mechanical motions into reasonable electronic signals. Solving this problem will one day make it possible to build…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Great Mouse Race

    The race is on! Two mice chase one another around a curvy, roughly elliptical white stripe. But, the goal can't be the finish line – because there isn't one. Rather, the contest seems to be: Which mouse will stay on track for the…
    Read More

Research Highlights

  • Model of eEDM

    Wiggles in Time: The Search for Dark Matter Continues

    In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, JILA and NIST Fellows Eric Cornell, Jun Ye, and Konrad Lehnert developed a method for measuring a potential dark matter candidate, known as an axion-like particle. Axion-like…
    Read More

  • An Image of the HAYSTAC system

    Scientists develop new, faster method for seeking out dark matter

    For nearly a century, scientists have worked to unravel the mystery of dark matter—an elusive substance that spreads through the universe and likely makes up much of its mass, but has so far proven impossible to detect in experiments.…
    Read More

  • Work in the Lehnert Lab has been able to measure the movement of a quantum drum so precisely that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is on full display.

    Drumming to the Heisenberg Beat

    Quantum drums can get around distracting noise with a new measurement technique—one that perfectly demonstrates the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.


    Read More
  • This diagram shows how the Lehnert Group can measure phonons

    Counting the quietest sounds in the universe

    How do you hear--and study--the quietest sound in the universe? With a special microphone and speaker. 


    Read More
  • Thumbnail

    Quiet Drumming: Reducing Noise for the Quantum Internet

    Quantum computers are set to revolutionize society. With their expansive power and speed, quantum computers could reduce today’s impossibly complex problems, like artificial intelligence and weather forecasts, to mere algorithms. But as…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    A New Quantum Drum Refrain

    Quantum computers require systems that can encode, manipulate, and transmit quantum bits, or qubits. A creative way to accomplish all this was recently demonstrated by Adam Reed and his colleagues in the Lehnert group. The researchers…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Chameleon Interferometer

    The Regal group recently met the challenge of measurements in an extreme situation with a device called an interferometer. The researchers succeeded by using creative alterations to the device itself and quantum correlations. Quantum…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Hunt Is On For The Axion

    The first results are in from a new search for the axion, a hypothetical particle that may constitute dark matter. Researchers in the Haloscope At Yale Sensitive to Axion Cold Dark Matter (HAYSTAC) recently looked for evidence of the…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    How Cold Can a Tiny Drum Get?

    Bob Peterson and his colleagues in the Lehnert-Regal lab recently set out to try something that had never been done before: use laser cooling to systematically reduce the temperature of a tiny drum made of silicon nitride as low as…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Dancing to the Quantum Drum Song

    In the future, quantum microwave networks may handle quantum information transfer via optical fibers or microwave cables. The evolution of a quantum microwave network will rely on innovative microwave circuits currently being developed…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Good Vibrations: The Experiment

    The Regal-Lehnert collaboration has just taken a significant step towards the goal of one day building a quantum information network. Large-scale fiber-optic networks capable of preserving fragile quantum states (which encode…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    This is the Dawning of the… Age of Entanglement

    Tauno Palomaki and his colleagues in the Lehnert group have just gone where no one has gone before: They’ve entangled the quantum motion of a vibrating drum with the quantum state of a moving electrical pulse. What’s more, they figured…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Quantum Drum Song

    In the future, quantum microwave networks may handle quantum information transfer via optical fibers or microwave cables. The evolution of a quantum microwave network will rely on innovative microwave circuits currently being developed…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Transporter

    The Lehnert group has come up with a clever way to transport and store quantum information. Research associate Tauno Palomaki, graduate student Jennifer Harlow, NIST colleagues Jon Teufel and Ray Simmonds, and Fellow Konrad Lehnert have…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Quantum CT Scans

    The Lehnert group and collaborators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently made what was essentially a CT scan of the quantum state of a microwave field. The researchers made 100 measurements at…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Redefining Chemistry at JILA

    Fellows Deborah Jin, Jun Ye, and John Bohn are exploring new scientific territory in cold-molecule chemistry. Experimentalists Jin and Ye and their colleagues can now manipulate, observe, and control ultralow-temperature potassium-…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Nanomeasurement is a Matter of the Utmost Precision

    Not content with stepping on their bathroom scales each morning to watch the arrow spin round to find their weights, former research associate John Teufel and Fellow Konrad Lehnert decided to build a nifty system that could measure more…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    All Quiet on the Amplifier Front

    Fellow Konrad Lehnert needed a virtually noiseless amplifier to help with his experiments on nanoscale structures, so he invented one. Working with graduate student Manuel Castellanos-Beltran and NIST scientists Kent Irwin, Gene Hilton…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Nanoartisans Search for Quantum Tremors

    Nanoartisans Cindy Regal, John Teufel, and Konrad Lehnert have come up with a clever new way to observe ordinary (very small) things behaving quantum mechanically. They’ve tucked a nanomechanical beam (which is actually a really thin…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Tunnel Vision

    A key challenge in developing new nanotechnologies is figuring out a fast, low-noise technique for translating small mechanical motions into reasonable electronic signals. Solving this problem will one day make it possible to build…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Great Mouse Race

    The race is on! Two mice chase one another around a curvy, roughly elliptical white stripe. But, the goal can't be the finish line – because there isn't one. Rather, the contest seems to be: Which mouse will stay on track for the…
    Read More

In the Spotlight

Konrad Lehnert
November 25, 2020: Konrad Lehnert named as a 2020 AAAS fellow.

Konrad Lehnert becomes the 6th JILA Fellow elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow by the Council of the AAAS.


Read More
Konrad Lehnert
May 12, 2020: Department of Defense Awards Konrad Lehnert Prestigious Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship

JILA Fellow Konrad Lehnert has been awarded the Department of Defense’s most prestigious single-investigator award.


Read More
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October 23, 2018: Ben Brubaker wins Particle Physics Dissertation Award

Dr. Benjamin Brubaker won the 2019 Mitsuyoshi Tanaka Dissertation Award in Experimental Particle Physics from the American Physics Society (APS). Dr. Brubaker is currently a postdoctoral research associate at JILA working with Dr. Konrad Lehnert. Brubaker completed his doctoral thesis work at Yale, where he made outstanding contributions to the design and construction of, and detailed the first results from, the HAYSTAC (Haloscope at Yale Sensitive to Axion Cold) dark matter experimental detector. Brubaker’s thesis reports a major milestone in the progress to detect hypothetical particles called axions, which are leading candidates for “cold dark matter.”


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September 26, 2018: Perkins and Lehnert Awarded Department of Commerce Medals

JILA Fellows Dr. Tom Perkins and Dr. Konrad Lehnert both received medals from the Department of Commerce last night at the Ronald Reagan Amphitheater in Washington, D.C. Dr. Perkins received the Gold Medal, which is the highest honorary award given by the United States Department of Commerce, or DOC. Perkins was recognized for creating the world’s best atomic force microscope tailored to biological measurements. This device can “grab” onto biological molecules, such as proteins, and measure the tiny forces involved in their folding and unfolding.


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JILA Address

We are located at JILA: A joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Map | JILA Phone: 303-492-7789 | Address: 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309