Research Highlights

Quantum Information Science & Technology
Using Quantum Knots to Build a Secure Internet

When looking within a quantum internet, the Sun Lab is looking at specifically photons. By entangling these photons, scientists tie little quantum knots between them, so they jointly represent the information to be delivered. The photons aren’t just paired off within these quantum knots. They’re connected to hundreds of other photons in a tree-shaped pattern. The robust redundancy of these photons means that scientists can still read the information, even if a few photons are lost.

PI: Shuo Sun
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Astrophysics | Precision Measurement | Quantum Information Science & Technology
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. Now, a team of researchers have used an innovative technique called “quantum squeezing” to dramatically speed up the search for one candidate for dark matter in the lab. 

PI: Konrad Lehnert
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Atomic & Molecular Physics | Laser Physics | Quantum Information Science & Technology
New JILA Tools ‘Turn On’ Quantum Gases of Ultracold Molecules

For the first time, researchers can turn on an electric field to manipulate molecular interactions, get them to cool down further, and start to explore collective physics where all molecules are coupled to each other.

PI: Jun Ye
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Atomic & Molecular Physics | Laser Physics | Quantum Information Science & Technology
JILA’s Electric ‘Knob’ Tunes Chemical Reaction Rates in Quantum Gas

Building on their newfound ability to induce molecules in ultracold gases to interact with each other over long distances, JILA researchers have used an electric “knob” to influence molecular collisions and dramatically raise or lower chemical reaction rates.

PI: Jun Ye
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Atomic & Molecular Physics | Laser Physics | Quantum Information Science & Technology
Advanced Atomic Clock Makes a Better Dark Matter Detector

JILA researchers have used a state-of-the-art atomic clock to narrow the search for elusive dark matter, an example of how continual improvements in clocks have value beyond timekeeping.

PI: Jun Ye
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Atomic & Molecular Physics
Measuring Spinning Donuts

Follow that electron! JILA researchers have proposed a means of capturing an electron's flight path during ionization, and in doing so, determining the state of the atom at that moment.

PI: Andreas Becker | PI: Agnieszka Jaron-Becker
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Chemical Physics
Electron Fly-Bys on the Chemical Reaction Pathway

When it comes to chemical reactions, shape matters. The Lewandowski Group have studied acetylene and its reactions with propyne and allene to find out how an isomer changes the chemical reaction pathway.

PI: Heather Lewandowski
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Physics Education
Now Hiring: The New Quantum Workforce

We're in the Second Quantum Revolution, and companies are eager to build and market new technology based on rapid advances in quantum physics. JILA Fellow Heather Lewandowski and her group decided to find out what qualifications these companies were looking for in the new quantum workforce. 

PI: Heather Lewandowski
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Chemical Physics
The Rules of Photon Thunderdome

During upconversion photoluminescence in rubrene, four triplet state ions fight it out to release a single high-energy photon. 

PI: J. Mathias Weber
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Atomic & Molecular Physics
Total Ellipse of the SU(N)

A strangely shaped cloud of fermions revealed a record-fast way of cooling atoms for quantum devices.

PI: Jun Ye | PI: Ana Maria Rey
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Biophysics
Grabbing Proteins by the Tail

"Unraveling" cell membrane proteins could help us understand how to build better drugs and treatments for disease.

PI: Thomas Perkins
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Physics Education
What to Know if You’re Teaching Physics Labs Remotely

In the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, instructors are planning their courses for virtual platforms—a major challenge for laboratory classes. JILA Fellow Heather Lewandowski has gathered some helpful tools for those teaching physics labs in a virtual classroom.

PI: Heather Lewandowski
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Atomic & Molecular Physics | Precision Measurement
Falling Dominos and an Army of Schrödinger’s Cats

Using the laser from the strontium optical atomic clock, physicists can generate multiple cat-state atoms quickly and easily.

PI: Ana Maria Rey
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Laser Physics
Scientists Open New Window into the Nano World

Electronics keep shrinking. As they shrink the properties of the materials that make them change too. 

PI: Margaret Murnane
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Astrophysics
The Collective Power of the Solar System's Dark, Icy Bodies

Within our solar system are icy planetary bodies that do not orbit the Sun. JILA Fellow Ann Marie Madigan's group suggest that these detached objects have steadily nudged themselves out of solar orbit over millions of years.

PI: Ann-Marie Madigan
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Atomic & Molecular Physics
The Sisyphean Task of Cooling Molecules

Bringing molecules down to ultracold temperatures takes a mythic approach, but the Ye Group finds that their new scheme can hold up under tough conditions.

PI: Jun Ye
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Atomic & Molecular Physics | Laser Physics | Nanoscience
Reading the Secrets of the Nanoworld with Infrared Light

The secrets of nature are written in nanoscale. Now the Raschke Group has found a way to read those secrets.

PI: Markus Raschke
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Atomic & Molecular Physics
Phases on the Move: A Quantum Game of Catch

The world is out-of-equilibrium, and JILA scientists are trying to learn what rules govern the dynamic systems that make our universe so complex and beautiful, from black holes to our living bodies.

PI: Ana Maria Rey | PI: James Thompson
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Laser Physics
Breathing Stars and the Most Beautiful Scalpel

In a new study from the Kapteyn-Murnane Group, ultrafast laser pulses can precisely cut through and manipulate the interaction between electrons and phonons in tantalum diselenide, changing its properties.

PI: Margaret Murnane
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Quantum Information Science & Technology
Playing Games with Quantum Entanglement

Could quantum entanglement improve our cell phone networks? The Graeme Smith Group at JILA found the answer by playing mathematical logic games.

PI: Graeme Smith
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