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

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.

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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.

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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