JILA Fellow Konrad Lehnert has been awarded the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, the Department of Defense’s most prestigious single-investigator award. With up to $3 million in funding, the VBFF is a five-year fellowship which supports basic research with the potential for transformative impact.
Formerly known as the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship, the program changed its name in 2016 to commemorate the late Dr. Vannevar Bush, who was the director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during WWII and the author of “Science, The Endless Frontier.” Bush was an ardent advocate for basic research who made innovative contributions to the national security. JILA Fellow Margaret Murnane won this Fellowship in its inaugural competition in 2008.
Lehnert’s proposed research aims to understand and quantum control phonons, the quantum packets of sound. While physicists have explored quantum control of light for new computers and electronics, sound waves behave quite differently than light waves, and in ways that could advance quantum information science. Sound is a hundred thousand times slower than light, so it can be used to create multiple modes in a smaller cavity—which could be used to store and process information on a smaller chip. Lehnert’s research group explores phonons’ potential for quantum computing, information processing, information security, and sensing.
Congratulations to Dr. Lehnert!