JILA News

Humans of JILA: Alexander Aeppli
Published: June 08, 2023

JILA graduate student Alexander Aeppli is one of a team of researchers working on the world’s most precise clocks. In the laboratory of JILA and NIST Fellow Jun Ye, Aeppli focuses on improving the strontium atomic clock using powerful ultrastable lasers. “The laser drives an electronic transition in strontium,” Aeppli explained. “And we want to make sure the transition within the strontium is exact.” Before the transition occurs, the strontium atoms are trapped within an optical lattice inside the clock. Once trapped, the strontium atoms can transition when exposed to a particular color (or frequency) of light, and the researchers, like Aeppli, measure this transition frequency as a form of timekeeping. The frequency can then be used as the precise standard of time worldwide.  

PI(s):
Jun Ye
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JILA's Postdoc Group Hosts Career Panel
Published: June 02, 2023

JILA's Postdoc Group, an internal organization supporting postdoctoral researchers within JILA, held a career panel titled: "Insights for Applying for Faculty Positions as a Postdoctoral Researcher." The panel featured three JILA Fellows: Margaret Murnane, Shuo Sun, and Graeme Smith, and J. Curtis Beimborn II, the Director of the W.M. Keck Laboratory at JILA, who recently accepted a faculty position on the East Coast. 

PI(s):
Margaret Murnane | Graeme Smith | Shuo Sun
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Remembering the Former Life of JILAn Bill Peters
Published: June 01, 2023

Former JILA postdoctoral researcher William “Bill” Peters recently passed away on May 29th after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest while playing soccer with his daughter. Peters was part of JILA Fellows Henry Kapteyn’s and Margaret Murnane’s research group within JILA. Before this position, Peters completed his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2013. After completing his postdoc at JILA in 2021, Peters became an optical engineer at Lockheed Martin, working on cutting-edge technological systems. 


His family is holding services this week in Colorado Springs and asks anyone interested in attending to contact Bill’s sister Rebecca Peters, for more information. 
 

PI(s):
Margaret Murnane | Henry Kapteyn
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JILA and NIST Fellow Konrad Lehnert receives a prestigious MURI award
Published: May 18, 2023

JILA and NIST Fellow, along with University of Colorado Professor Konrad Lehnert will be leading a project through the Department of Defense (DoD) competitive Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) Program. CU Boulder was matched only by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in receiving three MURI awards. 

PI(s):
Konrad Lehnert
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JILA Fellow Heather Lewandowski's research highlighted in "Popular Science" Magazine
Published: May 17, 2023

JILA Fellow and University of Colorado physics professor Heather Lewandowski helped lead a group of more than 1,000 undergraduate students in a study looking at the temperatures of the Sun's corona. The corona, the outer layer, gets incredibly hot, and the study hoped to figure out why. Their research was featured in Popular Science Magazine, revealing the creativity and ingenuity of undergraduate students in scientific research. 

PI(s):
Heather Lewandowski
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JILA Graduate Student Connor Bice awarded the Richard Nelson Thomas Award
Published: May 16, 2023

Before graduating, JILA graduate student Connor Bice recently received the 2023 Richard Nelson Thomas Award. This annual award is given to the most outstanding graduate student in astrophysics at the University of Colorado Boulder in honor of Dr. Richard Nelson Thomas. Dr. Thomas was one of the founding members of JILA and an influential scientist in astrophysics. 

PI(s):
Juri Toomre
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JILA Breathalyzer Research Highlighted in Scientific American
Published: May 12, 2023

JILA and NIST Fellows David Nesbitt's and Jun Ye's recent results in their breathalyzer study have been highlighted in a new article in Scientific American. Using frequency combs, a particular type of laser array, scientists could detect specific molecules in the breath, including diseases like COVID-19. This research suggests huge implications for the future of disease diagnosis and prevention. 

PI(s):
Jun Ye | David Nesbitt
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JILA Graduate Student Tyler McMaken Garners Honorable Mention in the Annual Gravity Research Foundation Essay Contest
Published: May 11, 2023

JILA graduate student Tyler McMaken has been awarded an honorable mention by the Gravity Research Foundation for his essay in their annual essay competition. Each year, the Gravity Research Foundation opens a competition that awards five essays encouraging discussion and thought on gravitation. Essays must be less than 10 pages and convey science in more accessible and engaging language than in a journal publication. 

PI(s):
Andrew Hamilton
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JILA and NIST Fellow Ana Maria Rey is Inducted into the National Academy of Sciences
Published: May 09, 2023

Election to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a scientist in the United States, and it is a mark of recognition for exceptional scientific achievement. This achievement has now been bestowed on JILA and NIST Fellow, along with the University of Colorado Boulder physics professor Ana Maria Rey, as she was inducted into the NAS in 2023. 

PI(s):
Ana Maria Rey
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Jose D'Incao Becomes New Associate JILA Fellow
Published: May 01, 2023

University of Colorado Boulder physics professor Jose D'Incao is the newest researcher to become an Associate Fellow of JILA. As D'Incao's research focuses on ultracold quantum physics, he has often collaborated with other JILA Fellows, like Ana Maria Rey, Eric Cornell, and Jun Ye. Now as a Fellow himself, D'Incao will fit right in with the majority of JILA's Fellows who focus on quantum science.

PI(s):
Other JILA Researcher
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Life After JILA: Liz Shanblatt
Published: April 25, 2023

While many JILA alumni go onto have more traditional careers such as in quantum industry, other career paths that might not be as well-known offer some unique benefits. One of these career paths is in medical physics research.  Medical physics is an important and rapidly growing field that is dedicated to the application of physics principles and techniques to medicine and healthcare. Medical physicists are experts in the use of radiation and other technologies to diagnose and treat disease, and they play a vital role in ensuring the safety and effectiveness of medical procedures. They also research and develop the next generation of tools for diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy. For JILA alumni Liz Shanblatt, a Staff Scientist and Collaboration Manager at Siemens Healthineers, medical physics became an interest only as she was nearing graduation and starting to look for jobs.

PI(s):
Other JILA Researcher
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U.S. Department of Defense under secretary visits JILA
Published: April 21, 2023

Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering at the U.S. Department of Defense, visited JILA and the University of Colorado Boulder on Monday to glimpse the future of cutting-edge research.

From the university’s proximity to national laboratories and quantum-intensive companies to the high volume of pioneering alumni, CU Boulder has long been a leader in the quantum space. This legacy has led to a push in innovation and technology, including as it pertains to national security—a goal also shared by Shyu and the Department of Defense.

PI(s):
Jun Ye
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JILA and NIST Fellows Jun Ye's and David Nesbitt's Frequency Comb Breathalyzer Apparatus Highlighted in SPIE Photonics West Show Daily
Published: April 19, 2023

JILA and NIST Fellows Jun Ye and David Nesbitt, along with their respective teams, have recently been highlighted in the latest issue of the SPIE Photonics West Show Daily, a publication from SPIE. This highlight focuses on the recent advancements in the frequency comb breathalyzer apparatus that the researchers have built and tested, which looks at diagnosing COVID-19 and other diseases.

PI(s):
Jun Ye | David Nesbitt
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NIST and the Department of Commerce Awards JILA and NIST Fellows Jun Ye and Judah Levine with Gold and Silver Medals
Published: March 21, 2023

Every year the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) grant honor awards in the form of Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals. According to the DOC website: “the Gold and Silver Medals are the highest and second highest honor granted by the Secretary for distinguished and exceptional performance.” Two of JILA’s Fellows, Jun Ye, and Judah Levine, have been awarded these medals.

PI(s):
Jun Ye | Judah Levine
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NASA Awards Grant to Group of Quantum Institutes Including JILA and the University of Colorado Boulder for Researching Quantum in Space
Published: March 16, 2023

JILA (a world-leading physics research institute set up by NIST and the University of Colorado Boulder) is part of a multi-university research group that will build quantum-based tools for space-based Earth sensing.  NASA expects to award a $15 million grant for five years to the group of universities. This cohort includes researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, JILA, the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), the University of California Santa Barbara (USCB), the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). “The award establishes the Quantum Pathways Institute, supported by a NASA STRI (Space Technology Research Institute), led by Prof. Srinivas Bettadpur of the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, with CU and UCSB as collaborating institutions,” explained Dana Anderson, a JILA Fellow and CU Boulder professor who is involved in the project. The Quantum Pathways Institute is the first of its kind, as it strives to translate the capabilities of quantum physics into usable devices called “Quantum 2.0.” Besides these developments, the Institute will offer educational training for graduate students and postdocs in quantum theory and quantum experimentation.

PI(s):
Murray Holland | Dana Anderson
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Finkelstein to lead CUbit quantum education and workforce efforts
Published: February 20, 2023

The CUbit Quantum Initiative at the University of Colorado Boulder has appointed physics professor Noah Finkelstein to serve as faculty director of education and workforce. Finkelstein will lead CUbit’s establishment of a coordinated educational approach that cultivates leaders of the next-generation quantum workforce. 

PI(s):
Other
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Associate JILA Fellow Shuo Sun has been awarded a 2023 Sloan Research Fellowship
Published: February 16, 2023

Associate JILA Fellow and University of Colorado Boulder Assistant Professor Dr. Shuo Sun has been awarded a 2023 Sloan Research Fellowship. Along with 124 other winners, Sun's work has been recognized as being of the highest quality. 

PI(s):
Shuo Sun
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JILA Hosts Women in Science Panel to Celebrate International Women in Science Day
Published: February 13, 2023

Some of the most important research and discoveries in science have been made by women. To celebrate these inspiring individuals and to support the next generation of female scientists, the United Nations dedicated February 11 as "International Women and Girls in Science" day. To honor this tradition, JILA hosted a panel discussion/open-forum with both JILA Fellows and JILA staff as speakers.

PI(s):
Margaret Murnane | Ana Maria Rey
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Former JILA Researchers Tobias Bothwell and Colin Kennedy receive the 2022 PML Distinguished Associate Award
Published: January 30, 2023

Former JILA Ph.D. student Tobias Bothwell and former JILA postdoctoral researcher Colin Kennedy have been honored by NIST's (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) with the 2022 Distinguished Associate Awards. 

PI(s):
Other JILA Researcher
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JILA Fellow Adjoint Jeff Linksy is elected as a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society
Published: January 28, 2023

JILA Fellow Adjoint and the University of Colorado Boulder professor Dr. Jeffrey Linksy has been selected as a Fellow for the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Linksy was cited for "decades of innovative studies of the heliosphere and the local interstellar medium; for his models of stellar chromospheres, for productive observing programs on multiple satellites and for establishing the deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio in the local disk, among other scientific contributions, and for his decades of service to the astronomical community.” At JILA, Linksy's research involves the analysis of high-resolution stellar spectra, primarily in the ultraviolet, to measure the physical properties of stars, the atmospheres of exoplanets, gas in the local interstellar medium, and the abundance of deuterium in the Galaxy. Congratulations Dr. Linksy! 

PI(s):
Jeffrey Linsky
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