JILA News

Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse Announces Significant Funding Headed to NIST & CU’s JILA Lab Renovation
Published: September 07, 2023

Since its inception in 1962, JILA has been a vital part of the University of Colorado’s physics research department, leading the way in the science of precision measurement while also teaching the next generation of physicists. Congressman Neguse recently released an update on funds for JILA provided by the Community Project Funding (PCF) status, saying: “Colorado has become world-renowned for its research ecosystem, and I could not be more excited that we’ve secured funding to help support the development of these groundbreaking labs in Colorado’s Second District. Thanks to this funding, JILA researchers and scientists will be able to complete much needed renovations to their lab—equipping this facility with the tools needed to remain a leader in their field.”

 

PI(s):
John Bohn
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JILA Fellow and University of Colorado Boulder Professor Robert Parson Retires from Teaching
Published: August 31, 2023

In the intricate domain of theoretical chemical dynamics, Robert Parson resonates profoundly as a trailblazer whose work has transformed our comprehension of molecular interactions and reactions. As a distinguished Fellow at JILA (formerly known as the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics), Parson's retirement marks the culmination of a remarkable career that indelibly shaped the field and inspired a new generation of researchers. Parson’s career spanned over 30 years and focused on theoretical chemistry and Physical Education Research (PER). 

PI(s):
Robert Parson
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JILA and NIST Fellows Jun Ye's and Eric Cornell's eEDM Research Highlighted in "Physics World"
Published: August 24, 2023

JILA and NIST Fellows Jun Ye and Eric Cornell's recent research on advancing electron electric dipole moment (eEDM) measurements has been highlighted in Physics World. 

PI(s):
Eric Cornell | Jun Ye
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JILA and NIST Fellow Jun Ye's Research is Highlighted in a New University of Colorado Boulder Start Up Program
Published: August 16, 2023

Around 150 promising inventions are generated annually within the University of Colorado Boulder. To support these inventions, the Venture Partners at CU Boulder organization established the Embark Deep Tech Startup Creator, an accelerator program for start-up companies coming out of CU Boulder. This year, Venture Partners at CU Boulder announced the Embark Entrepreneurs in Residence cohort. This cohort pairs entrepreneurs with promising inventions. 

In the case of JILA, entrepreneur Eva Yao will lead FLARI in bringing to market a breathalyzer capable of detecting molecules in breath or air samples invented by Jun Ye for fast detection of diseases and contaminants. 

PI(s):
Jun Ye
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JILA Fellow Daniel Dessau's work featured in "The Washington Post"
Published: August 15, 2023

JILA Fellow and University of Colorado Boulder physics professor Daniel Dessau's research was recently highlighted in an article from The Washington Post focusing on the recent room-temperature superconductor and its controversial science.

PI(s):
Daniel Dessau
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Humans of JILA: Rachael Merritt
Published: August 01, 2023

While many researchers within JILA focus on pushing the limits of particles in the quantum realm or learning more about the dynamics of black holes, others, like Rachael Merritt, look at how physics is currently being taught and ways to improve this process. Known as Physics Education Research (PER), this field is crucial in enhancing the quality of physics education by providing evidence-based insights into teaching and learning practices. As a postdoctoral research associate in JILA Fellow Heather Lewandowski’s group, Merritt helps to lead some of the most cutting-edge research in PER in the United States.

PI(s):
Heather Lewandowski
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JILA Fellow and University of Colorado Boulder Physics Professor Heather Lewandowski interviewed by Colorado 9News
Published: July 25, 2023

Colorado 9News recently interviewed JILA Fellow and University of Colorado Boulder physics professor Heather Lewandowski as she discussed a recent paper with over 1,000 authors. This recent paper, published in the Astrophysical Journal, focused on solving the mystery of the Sun's corona, a ring of significantly hotter temperatures surrounding the Sun compared to its core. Lewandowski recruited over 1,000 undergraduate students as researchers to study this phenomenon as they analyzed data from observations of the corona. The entire project took multiple years and culminated in over 56,000 hours of research. In the 9News interview, Lewandowski stated: "It's really important for us to understand our Sun because it has a large impact on Earth."

PI(s):
Heather Lewandowski
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JILA Graduate Student Enrique Segura Carrillo highlighted in an APS Physics article
Published: July 21, 2023

JILA graduate student and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) researcher Enrique Segura Carrillo has been highlighted in the July/August issue of the American Physical Society's (APS Physics) newsletter. Segura Carrillo, whose research focuses on quantum science, is part of the  APS’s Industry Mentoring Program (IMPact), which began in 2015.

PI(s):
Other JILA Researcher
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JILA and NIST Fellow Ana Maria Rey Awarded a 2023 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship from the Department of Defense
Published: July 20, 2023

Ana Maria Rey, a JILA and NIST Fellow, has been honored with the prestigious 2023 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship from the Department of Defense (DOD). The Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, named after the visionary American engineer and science administrator, aims to support exceptional researchers with outstanding scientific and technological leadership. It provides recipients substantial financial support over five years, allowing them to pursue innovative and high-impact research endeavors.

 

PI(s):
Ana Maria Rey
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Remembering JILA Founder Lewis M. Branscomb
Published: July 10, 2023

It is with heavy hearts that the JILA and NIST communities mourn the loss of renowned physicist Lewis Branscomb, who passed away on May 31, 2023, leaving behind an indelible legacy in the world of science and a profound impact on JILA. Branscomb, a brilliant mind and a cherished member of JILA will forever be remembered for his groundbreaking contributions to the field of physics and his unwavering commitment to advancing scientific knowledge. His dedication to founding JILA and serving as its first Fellow Chair will remain forever in JILA’s collective memory. His insatiable curiosity and intellectual prowess paved the way for a remarkable career that spanned over six decades.

PI(s):
Lewis Branscomb
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Illuminating the Cosmos with Brilliance: Remembering JILA Fellow James E. Faller
Published: July 05, 2023

The JILA and NIST communities are recently saddened by the passing of physicist James “Jim” E. Faller. Faller was a visionary whose scientific contributions have contributed to our understanding of the universe. Faller’s work as a JILA Fellow spanned over 50 years (since 1972), and he remained actively engaged in the scientific research process, serving as NIST QPD Division Chief for a time. With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to a brilliant mind, a passionate explorer, and a respected member of the scientific community.

PI(s):
James Faller
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Margaret Murnane is Awarded a Honorary Doctorate from the University of Salamanca
Published: June 21, 2023

Renowned scientist, JILA Fellow, and University of Colorado Boulder professor Margaret Murnane has been granted an honorary doctorate from the prestigious University of Salamanca, recognizing her outstanding contributions to the field of ultrafast laser science. As a trailblazer in her field, Murnane's groundbreaking research has revolutionized our understanding of light and opened up new avenues for scientific discovery and technological innovation. This esteemed recognition from one of the oldest universities in the world serves as a testament to Murnane's remarkable achievements and lasting impact on the scientific community.

PI(s):
Margaret Murnane
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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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