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Published: 10/27/2017 - 8:47am Type of Content: News

The American Physical Society has bestowed its 2018 Excellence in Physics Education Award upon the PhET Interactive Simulations Team. The team includes Stanford University Professor Carl Wieman, PhET’s Founder and senior advisor; PhET Director Kathy Perkins (University of Colorado); Ariel Paul, Director of Development; Michael Dubson, Physics faculty, University of Colorado; Emily B. Moore,...

Published: 10/09/2017 - 11:13am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Why are we here? This is an age-old philosophical question. However, physicists like Will Cairncross, Dan Gresh and their advisors Eric Cornell and Jun Ye actually want to figure out out why people like us exist at all. If there had been the same amount of matter and antimatter created in the Big Bang, the future of stars, galaxies, our Solar System, and life would have disappeared in a flash...

Published: 10/05/2017 - 12:38pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Imagine A Future . . . The International Moon Station team is busy on the Moon’s surface using sensitive detectors of gravity and magnetic and electric fields looking for underground water-rich materials, iron-containing ores, and other raw materials required for building a year-round Moon station. The station’s mission: launching colonists and supplies to Mars for colonization. Meanwhile,...

Published: 10/05/2017 - 12:20pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Newly minted JILA Ph.D. Catherine Klauss and her colleagues in the Jin and Cornell group decided to see what would happen to a Bose-Einstein condensate of Rubidium-85 (85Rb) atoms if they suddenly threw the whole experiment wildly out of equilibrium by quickly lowering the magnetic field through a Feshbach resonance.1 Theoretically, this maneuver is predicted to make the atoms infinitely...

Published: 09/26/2017 - 4:59pm Type of Content: News

PhET Interactive Simulations, based at the University of Colorado Boulder, has been named one of six recipients of the 2017 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Awards.

PhET was founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate and JILA Fellow Adjoint Carl Wieman. It was previously funded by the JILA Physics Frontier Center. PhET creates interactive math and science simulations in game-like...

Published: 09/20/2017 - 12:37pm Type of Content: News

Former JILAn Dennis F. Gardner Jr. (Kapteyn-Murnane group) has been awarded the 2017 American Physical Society’s Carl E. Anderson Division of Laser Science Dissertation Award for his doctoral work in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) imaging. Gardner received $1,000 and a certificate citing his contribution to laser science.

Gardner’s thesis, entitled “Coherent diffractive imaging near the...

Published: 09/18/2017 - 9:15am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Quantum computers require systems that can encode, manipulate, and transmit quantum bits, or qubits. A creative way to accomplish all this was recently demonstrated by Adam Reed and his colleagues in the Lehnert group. The researchers converted propagating qubits (encoded as superpositions1 of zero and one microwave photons) into the motion of a tiny aluminum drum. The successful conversion is...

Published: 09/07/2017 - 1:15pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Researchers at JILA and around the world are starting a grand adventure of precisely controlling the internal and external quantum states of ultracold molecules after years of intense experimental and theoretical study. Such control of small molecules, which are the most complex quantum systems that can currently be completely understood from the principles of quantum mechanics, will allow...

Published: 08/29/2017 - 10:36am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

When Steven Spielberg’s adorable extra-terrestrial, E. T., wanted to phone home, he should have contacted an information theorist like JILA’s Graeme Smith. Smith could have at least explained how E. T. could have used a cell phone to send a low-noise message to a cell phone tower,1 and from there––well to outer space (which is a problem that's much, much harder to solve than cell phone to cell...

Published: 08/28/2017 - 1:16pm Type of Content: News

Fellow Tom Perkins has won a 2017 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research. Perkins will receive the award from Governor John Hickenlooper at an event sponsored by the CO-LABS consortium at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on October 5, 2017. This year’s ninth annual event will honor Colorado’s top scientists and engineers for projects having a significant impact on society.

“...

Published: 08/02/2017 - 1:51pm Type of Content: News

Ana Maria Rey has been appointed a NIST Fellow as of August 21,2017 by the Acting Director of NIST. JILA is a research and training partnership between the University of Colorado and NIST, and Ana Maria is one of the several JILA Fellows who are NIST employees. Ana Maria was named a NIST Fellow in recognition of her world-leading program in quantum theory, her pioneering work in quantum many-...

Published: 07/21/2017 - 2:56pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Perkins group has made dramatic advances in the use of Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs) to study large single biomolecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids (DNA, RNA), that are important for life. After previously improving AFM measurements of biomolecules by orders of magnitude for stability, sensitivity and time response, the Perkins group has now developed ways to make these precision...

Published: 07/18/2017 - 11:08am Type of Content: News

Leah Dodson won the Miller Prize at the 72nd International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, held June 19–23 in Urbana, Illinois. Dodson is an NRC postdoc whose official advisor is Jun Ye, but who primarily works on molecular spectroscopy in the Mathias Weber lab. Her award-winning talk was entitled “Oxalate Formation in Titanium––Carbon Dioxide Anionic Clusters Studied by Infrared...

Published: 07/17/2017 - 2:30pm Type of Content: News

Bryce Bjork’s talk entitled “Direct Measurement of OD+CO-> cis-DOCO, trans-DOCO, and D+CO2 Branching Kinetics using Time-Resolved Frequency Comb Spectroscopy” was selected by a panel of judges at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy as one of three winners of the 2017 Rao Prize. The prize will be presented to Bjork at the June 2018 Symposium.

In addition, Bjork was...

Published: 07/10/2017 - 8:47am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Getting lasers to have a precise single frequency (color) can be trickier than herding cats. So it’s no small accomplishment that the Thompson group has figured out how to use magnetic fields to create atomic cowpokes to wrangle a specific single color into place so that it doesn’t wander hither and yon. The researchers do this with a magnetic field that causes strontium atoms in an optical...

Published: 06/20/2017 - 3:15pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Kapteyn-Murnane group has come up with a novel way to use fast bursts of extreme ultraviolet light to capture how strongly electrons interact with each other in materials. This research is important for figuring out how quickly materials can change their state from insulating to conducting, or from magnetic to nonmagnetic. In the future such fast switching may lead to faster and more...

Published: 06/13/2017 - 11:06am Type of Content: News

NPR’s education reporter Eric Westervelt is excited about Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman’s passion for transforming how undergraduate science courses are taught. On June 7, 2017, Westervelt talked with Wieman about his new book Improving How Universities Teach Science: Lessons from the Science Education Initiative, which was published by Harvard University Press in May of 2017.

Wieman’...

Published: 05/22/2017 - 9:45am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

JILA and NIST scientists are hot on the trail of understanding quantum correlations (or entanglement) among groups of quantum particles such as atoms or ions. Such particles are the building blocks of larger and larger chunks of matter that make up the everyday world. Interestingly, correlated atoms and ions exhibit exotic behaviors and accomplish tasks that are impossible for noninteracting...

Published: 04/28/2017 - 9:23am Type of Content: News

The American Physical Society is memorializing Fellow Deborah Jin by renaming the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) Award for “Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physics." Henceforward, the award will be called the Deborah Jin Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physics.

On April...

Published: 04/21/2017 - 8:19am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Regal group recently met the challenge of measurements in an extreme situation with a device called an interferometer. The researchers succeeded by using creative alterations to the device itself and quantum correlations. Quantum correlations are unique, and often counterintuitive, quantum mechanical interactions that occur among quantum objects such as photons and atoms. The group...

Published: 03/07/2017 - 9:51am Type of Content: News

Christina Porter has won the 2017 Karel Urbanek Best Student Paper Award. The award consists of a wall plaque, honorarium, and trophy. The award was presented  on Thursday March 2, 2017, at this year's Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography conference at the SPIE Advanced LIthography in San Jose, California. The award is sponsored by KLA-Tencor.

Porter...

Published: 03/02/2017 - 1:45pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Perkins group continues to extend the performance of its unique Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) technology, revealing for the first time a dozen new short-lived intermediate states in the folding and unfolding of a membrane protein that controls the exchange of chemicals and ions into and out of living cells. Measuring the energetics and dynamics of membrane proteins is crucial to...

Published: 02/16/2017 - 2:41pm Type of Content: News

Margaret Murnane has been awarded the 2017 Optical Society of America’s (OSA’s) Frederic Ives Medal/Quinn Prize. The award recognizes overall distinction in optics and is the highest award given by OSA. The award was given to Murnane “for pioneering and sustained contributions to ultrafast science ranging from femtosecond lasers to soft x-ray high-harmonic generation to attosecond studies of...

Published: 02/03/2017 - 1:36pm Type of Content: News

Ralph Jimenez received a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for Superior Federal Service at a ceremony held in mid-December 2016. The Medal is the highest honor presented by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Willie E. May presided over the awards ceremony, which was held concurrently at NIST's...

Published: 01/10/2017 - 10:00am Type of Content: News

Deborah Jin and Katharine Gebbie are two of 10 prominent scientists featured in "Gone in 2016: Notable Women in Science and Technology" written by Maia Weinstock. The article appeared online in Scientific American blogs on December 28, 2016. Jin, who died on September 15, 2016 at age 47, was a visionary researcher in ultracold atomic physics. Gebbie, who died on August 17 at age 84,...

Published: 12/21/2016 - 11:09am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Research associate Shimon Kolkowitz and his colleagues in the Ye group and Rey theory group have developed a powerful new way to experimentally simulate the complex behavior of electrons in solids. In these experiments, the team uses its strontium lattice optical clock not to track time, but to take advantage of the ultracold atoms in the clock mimicking the quantum behavior of electrons in a...

Published: 12/19/2016 - 12:01pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Deborah Jin, Jun Ye, and their students wrote a review during the summer of 2016 for Nature Physics highlighting the accomplishments and future directions of the relatively new field of ultracold-molecule research. The field was pioneered by the group’s creation of the world’s first gas of ultracold potassium-rubidium (KRb) molecules in 2008.

The molecules were made by first creating...

Published: 12/12/2016 - 8:00am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Rey and Ye groups discovered the strange rules of quantum baseball earlier this year. But now, quantum baseball games happen faster, and players (dipolar particles) are no longer free to move or stand wherever they want. Players must not only be stronger to jump and catch the balls (photons), but also more organized. At the same time, they must be good spinners. And, only a small amount of...

Published: 11/21/2016 - 9:24am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Graduate student Mike Thompson of the Weber group wants to understand the basic science of taking carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by burning fossil fuels and converting it back into useful fuels. People could then use these fuels to generate electricity, heat homes and office buildings, power automobiles and trains, fly airplanes, and drive the industrial processes of modern life.

However...

Published: 11/11/2016 - 3:12pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

For a long time, there’s been a mystery concerning how tiny interactions between individual atoms could lead to really big changes in a whole cloud of independent-minded particles. The reason this behavior is mysterious is that the atoms interact weakly, and only when they are very close to each other. Yet, the atoms clear across the cloud seem to know when it’s time to participate in some big...

Published: 11/04/2016 - 11:06am Type of Content: News

 

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education just got a big boost from a new iPad App developed by the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado. The 99¢ App is an extension of the award-winning collection of computer simulations of topics in science and mathematics produced by the project.

The project was founded in 2002 by...

Published: 10/31/2016 - 7:58am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Far-red fluorescent light emitted from proteins could one day illuminate the inner workings of life. But before that happens, scientists like Fellow Ralph Jimenez must figure out how fluorescent proteins’ light-emitting structures work. As part of this effort, Jimenez wants to answer a simple question: How do we design red fluorescent proteins to emit longer-wavelength, or redder, light?

...
Published: 10/27/2016 - 12:06pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Using frequency comb spectroscopy, the Ye group has directly observed transient intermediate steps in a chemical reaction that plays a key role in combustion, atmospheric chemistry, and chemistry in the interstellar medium. The group was able to make this first-ever measurement because frequency combs generate a wide range of laser wavelengths in ultrafast pulses. These pulses made it possible...

Published: 10/11/2016 - 9:35am Type of Content: News

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has just published a profile of Fellow Henry Kapteyn, a recently elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. The profile presents highlights of Kapteyn's life as well as his long and productive career in developing ultrashort-wavelength lasers, including table-top x-ray lasers. Many of Kapteyn's achievements occurred during a long and...

Published: 09/27/2016 - 1:30pm Type of Content: Video Gallery

A Colorado Public Radio interview with Eric Cornell about his colleague, Deborah Jin, after her passing.

Published: 09/26/2016 - 12:00pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Nesbitt group has invented a nifty technique for exploring the physics and chemistry of a gas interacting with molecules on the surface of a liquid. The group originally envisioned the technique because it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of understanding surface chemistry. For instance, ozone depletion in the atmosphere occurs because of chemical reactions of hydrochloric acid...

Published: 09/26/2016 - 11:55am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Exciting new theory from the Rey group reveals the profound effects of electron interactions on the flow of electric currents in metals. Controlling currents of strongly interacting electrons is critical to the development of tomorrow’s advanced microelectronics systems, including spintronics devices that will process data faster, use less power than today’s technology, and operate in...

Published: 09/21/2016 - 12:04pm Type of Content: News

Science News has a delightful profile of Senior Research Associate Tenio Popmintchev as part of the magazines annual feature: The SN10: Meet the scientists making the next big discoveries.

The magazine showcases Popmintchev’s accomplishments at JILA as a laser physicist, including his having played a key role in the invention of the world’s first tabletop x-ray laser. The magazine...

Published: 09/21/2016 - 11:28am Type of Content: News

Fellows Jun Ye and Deborah Jin (1968–2016) have been named Highly Cited Researchers for 2016 by Thomson Reuters. Highly Cited Researchers is an annual list that recognizes leading researchers from around the world based on an analysis of their research publications The 2016 list recognizes the most-cited authors of research publications in the period 2004 through 2014. Ye and Jin are two of...

Published: 09/19/2016 - 7:25am Type of Content: News

Note: Please read some remembrances here.

Deborah Jin passed away September 15, 2016, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 47. Jin was an internationally renowned physicist and Fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Professor Adjunct in the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a Fellow of JILA, a joint institute...

Published: 09/16/2016 - 8:34am Type of Content: News

Graduate student Maya Fabrikant has won one of three prizes awarded to the best posters presented by young researchers during the MOLEC 2016 conference held in Toledo, Spain September 11–16. Both graduate students and postdoctoral researchers were eligible for the prizes, which included a $200 Visa gift card. The three prizes were presented by the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

...

Published: 08/30/2016 - 12:00pm Type of Content: News

Fellows Cindy Regal and Konrad Lehnert have won the 2016 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research in Foundational Science and Technology, CO-LABS announced today. JILA Chair Dana Anderson submitted the nomination of their joint research on building, studying, and using devices that exploit the strange and powerful properties of quantum mechanics. The nomination was entitled, The JILA Quantum...

Published: 08/24/2016 - 2:28pm Type of Content: News

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has awarded David Nesbitt the 2017 E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy. The award, sponsored by the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry, recognizes outstanding accomplishments in fundamental or applied spectroscopy in chemistry. It consists of $5,000 and a certificate.

Nesbitt will be honored at an awards ceremony on April 4, 2017, held in...

Published: 07/29/2016 - 8:39am Type of Content: News

NRC Postdoc Ed Marti received an Outstanding Presentation Award for his presentation of the poster "Spin-Orbit Coupled Fermions in an Optical Clock" at the 2016  Boulder Laboratories Postdoctoral Poster Symposium held on July 20. This recognition was shared with NRC Postdoc Shimon Kolkowitz, who originally submitted the abstract as well as prepared the poster and a two-minute–...

Published: 07/28/2016 - 1:57pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Newly minted Ph.D. Ming-Guang Hu and his colleagues in the Jin and Cornell groups recently investigated immersing an impurity in a quantum bath consisting of a Bose-Einstein condensate, or BEC. The researchers expected the strong impurity-boson interactions to “dress” the impurity, i.e., cause it to get bigger and heavier. In the experiment, dressing the impurity resulted in it becoming a...

Published: 07/25/2016 - 2:39pm Type of Content: News

Jennifer Ellis won an Optical Society of America (OSA) award in recognition of her excellent oral contribution at the International Conference on Ultrafast Phenomena, held July 17–22 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ellis, who is a graduate student with the Kapteyn/Murnane group, spoke about her work on Femtosecond Dynamics of Solvated Electrons in Nanodroplets Probed with Extreme Ultraviolet Beams....

Published: 07/20/2016 - 9:27am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Bob Peterson and his colleagues in the Lehnert-Regal lab recently set out to try something that had never been done before: use laser cooling to systematically reduce the temperature of a tiny drum made of silicon nitride as low as allowed by the laws of quantum mechanics. Although laser cooling has become commonplace for atoms, researchers have only recently used lasers to cool tiny silicon...

Published: 06/20/2016 - 10:12am Type of Content: News

Adam Kaufman has been awarded the 2016 DAMOP Thesis Prize for his outstanding thesis research on assembling neutral atoms in optical tweezers, work conducted in the Regal group at JILA. As part of this  work, Kaufman and his coworkers developed an experiment that allowed the team to use laser cooling to assemble arrays of ground-state neutral atoms in optical tweezers. First, the team...

Published: 06/02/2016 - 12:12pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Kapteyn/Murnane group has measured how long it takes an electron born into an excited state inside a piece of nickel to escape from its birthplace. The electron’s escape is related to the structure of the metal. The escape is the fastest material process that has been measured before in the laboratory––on a time scale of a few hundred attoseconds, or 10-18 s. This groundbreaking experiment...

Published: 05/24/2016 - 10:25am Type of Content: News

President Barack Obama announced on May 20, 2016, his intent to appoint Dr. W. Carl Lineberger to a second term on the National Science Board. The National Science Board serves as an advisory board to the President and Congress on issues involving science and engineering. Lineberger’s duties will include helping to establish the policies of the National Science Foundation. He is currently...

Published: 05/04/2016 - 11:26am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Ye group just solved a major problem for using molecular fingerprinting techniques to identify large, complex molecules: The researchers used an infrared (IR) frequency comb laser to identify four different large or complicated molecules. The IR laser-light absorption technique worked well for the first time with these larger molecules because the group combined it with buffer gas...

Published: 04/21/2016 - 8:24am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Move over, single-atom laser cooling! The Holland theory group has just come up with a stunning idea for a new kind of laser cooling for use with ensembles of atoms that all “talk” to each other. In other words, the theory looks at laser cooling not from the perspective of cooling a single atom, but rather from the perspective of many atoms working together to rapidly cool themselves to a...

Published: 04/20/2016 - 1:04pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The old JILA molecule factory (built in 2002) produced the world’s first ultracold polar molecules [potassium-rubidium (KRb)] in 2008. The old factory has been used since then for ultracold chemistry investigations and studies of the quantum behavior of ultracold molecules and the atoms that form them. The Jin-Ye group, which runs the molecule factory, is now wrapping up operations in the old...

Published: 03/31/2016 - 10:20am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Ye and Rey groups have discovered the strange rules of quantum baseball in which strontium (Sr) atoms are the players, and photons of light are the balls. The balls control the players by not only getting the atoms excited, but also working together. The players coordinate throwing and catching the balls. While this is going on, the balls can change the state of the players! Sometimes the...

Published: 02/19/2016 - 1:44pm Type of Content: News

Graduate Student Matt Norcia (Thompson group) received a JILA Scientific Achievement Award on February 18. The announcement took place during a special snack time in the Sunrise Room of the JILA Tower.

Norcia was cited for building a strontium cavity-QED experiment from scratch. Norcia’s advisor, James Thompson, nominated him for the prestigious award. Thompson noted that Norcia’s...

Published: 02/10/2016 - 3:26pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Cong Chen and his colleagues in the Kapteyn/Murnane group have generated one of the most complex coherent light fields ever produced using attosecond (10-18 s) pulses of circularly polarized extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light. (The circularly polarized EUV light is shown as rotating blue sphere on the left of the picture. The complex coherent light field is illustrated with the teal, lilac, and...

Published: 01/28/2016 - 7:52am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Rey and Ye groups are in the midst of an extended collaboration on using the Ye group’s strontium (Sr) lattice clock for studies of spin-orbit coupling in pancake-like layers of cold Sr atoms. Spin-orbit coupling means an atom’s motion is correlated with its spin. It occurs in everyday materials when negatively charged electrons move in response to electromagnetic fields inside a crystal....

Published: 12/16/2015 - 12:31pm Type of Content: News

President Obama has selected JILA Fellow Jun Ye of NIST's Quantum Physics Division to receive a 2015 Presidential Rank Award. The award cited Ye's work advancing "the frontier of light-matter interaction and focusing on precision measurement, quantum physics and ultracold matter, optical frequency metrology, and ultrafast science."

The Presidential Rank Awards honor a select group...

Published: 12/03/2015 - 1:20pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Imagine laser-like x-ray beams that can “see” through materials––all the way into the heart of atoms. Or, envision an exquisitely controlled four-dimensional x-ray microscope that can capture electron motions or watch chemical reactions as they happen. Such exquisite imaging may soon be possible with laser-like x-rays produced on a laboratory optical table. These possibilities have opened up...

Published: 11/30/2015 - 7:53am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

In the future, quantum microwave networks may handle quantum information transfer via optical fibers or microwave cables. The evolution of a quantum microwave network will rely on innovative microwave circuits currently being developed and characterized by the Lehnert group. Applications for this innovative technology could one day include quantum computing, converters that transform microwave...

Published: 11/19/2015 - 4:14pm Type of Content: News

Graduate student Chris Mancuso and senior research associate Dan Hickstein of the Kapteyn/Murnane group recently spoke with Amanda Grennell, a 5th year PhD candidate in Chemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder. The researchers discussed the K/M group’s paper “Strong-field ionization with two-color circularly polarized laser fields,” which appeared in Physical Review A in March, 2015....

Published: 11/06/2015 - 7:59am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

JILA’s cold molecule collaboration (Jin and Ye Groups, with theory support from the Rey Group) recently made a breakthrough in its efforts to use ultracold polar molecules to study the complex physics of large numbers of interacting quantum particles. By closely packing the molecules into a 3D optical lattice (a sort of “crystal of light”), the team was able to create the first “highly...

Published: 11/02/2015 - 9:15am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Regal and Rey groups have come up with a novel way to generate and propagate quantum entanglement [1], a key feature required for quantum computing. Quantum computing requires that bits of information called qubits be moved from one location to another, be available to interact in prescribed ways, and then be isolated for storage or subsequent interactions. The group showed that single...

Published: 10/21/2015 - 8:02am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Scientists often use ultracold atoms to study the behavior of atoms and electrons in solids and liquids (a.k.a. condensed matter). Their goal is to uncover microscopic quantum behavior of these condensed matter systems and develop a controlled environment to model materials with new and advanced functionality.

In an exciting new theory investigation, Fellow Ana Maria Rey and research...

Published: 10/16/2015 - 3:10pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Perkins Group has demonstrated a 50-to-100 times improvement in the time resolution for studying the details of protein folding and unfolding on a commercial Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). This enhanced real time probing of protein folding is revealing details in these complex processes never seen before. This substantial enhancement in AFM force spectroscopy may one day have powerful...

Published: 10/08/2015 - 12:54pm Type of Content: News

Deborah Jin and Jun Ye are Highly Cited Researchers for 2015, according to the Thomas Reuters website. The website states, "Highly Cited Researchers 2015 represents some of world’s most influential scientific minds. About three thousand researchers earned this distinction by writing the greatest number of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers—...

Published: 10/05/2015 - 9:56am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

It took Eric Cornell three years to build JILA’s first Top Trap with his own two hands in the lab. The innovative trap relied primarily on magnetic fields and gravity to trap ultracold atoms. In 1995, Cornell and his colleagues used the Top Trap to make the world’s first Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), an achievement that earned Cornell and Carl Wieman the Nobel Prize in 2001.

The Nobel...

Published: 09/21/2015 - 10:12am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Kapteyn/Murnane group, with Visiting Fellow Charles Durfee, has figured out how to use visible lasers to control x-ray light! The new method not only preserves the beautiful coherence of laser light, but also makes an array of perfect x-ray laser beams with controlled direction and polarization. Such pulses may soon be used for observing chemical reactions or investigating the electronic...

Published: 09/21/2015 - 9:05am Type of Content: News

JILA Fellow Margaret Murnane was named an honorary doctor on September 21, 2015, by the Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University, Sweden's oldest institution of higher learning. Murnane was noted in the Uppsala University press release as being a world-leading expert in ultrafast quantum optics. In this field, Murnane is well known for her work on high-harmonic generation of...

Published: 09/18/2015 - 8:31am Type of Content: News

Jun Ye gave a fascinating talk entitled "Let There Be Light (and Thus, Time)" at a DARPA conference on Friday Sept. 11 in St. Louis. Ye described how ultrasensitive lasers can measure the very nature of time as well as the ever-changing distance between the Earth and the Moon. Ye's talk was highlighted the following week in a Sept. 15 article by Rebecca Boyle in...

Published: 08/19/2015 - 9:00am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Graduate student Brian Lester of the Regal group has taken an important step toward building larger, more complex systems from single-atom building blocks. His accomplishment opens the door to advances in neutral-atom quantum computing, investigations of the interplay of spin and motion as well as the synthesis of novel single molecules from different atoms.

What Lester did was to...

Published: 08/10/2015 - 8:22am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Compact and transportable optical lattices are coming soon to a laboratory near you, thanks to the Anderson group and its spin-off company, ColdQuanta. A new robust on-chip lattice system (which measures 2.3 cm on a side) is now commercially available. The chip comes with a miniature vacuum system, lasers, and mounting platform.

Graduate student Cameron Straatsma and his colleagues...

Published: 07/27/2015 - 9:04am Type of Content: News

Kevin Cox received an Outstanding Presentation Award at the July 15, 2015, NIST Boulder Laboratories Postdoctoral Poster Symposium. Cox was recognized for his presentation “17 dB of Spin Squeezing with QND Measurements.” Cox is a graduate student in the James Thompson group at JILA. He co-authored the poster with Graham Greve, Joshua Weiner, and Thompson.

The award citation read, “The...

Published: 07/22/2015 - 3:59pm Type of Content: News

JILA Fellow W. Carl Lineberger has been awarded the 2015 Dudley Herschbach Prize for Experiment, which includes a Dynamics of Molecular Collisions Medal. Lineberger is E. U. Condon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The 2015 Dudley Herschbach Prize for Theory and a Dynamics of Molecular Collisions Medal were given to Millard Alexander, University of...

Published: 07/20/2015 - 8:16am Type of Content: News

Deborah Jin has been selected as chair-elect of the American Physical Society (APS) Nominating Committee. Beginning January 1, 2016, she will serve one year as Chair Elect, a year as Chair, and a year as Past Chair of the committee. The committee is charged with preparing a slate of at least two candidates for the positions of Vice President, Treasurer, Chair Elect of the Nominating Committee...

Published: 07/06/2015 - 10:24am Type of Content: News

Margaret Murnane was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Trinity College Dublin on June 26, 2015. The entire ceremony was conducted in Latin and included a lively presentation of Murnane's accomplishments in laser science. It began, "Lucida diei patefacere res omnes quae oculis videantur," or "We see and understand the world through light," the words spoken by Murnane to open her lecture at the...

Published: 07/01/2015 - 11:00am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

A grand challenge of ultracold physics is figuring out how fermions become bosons. This is an important question because the tiniest quantum particles of matter are all fermions. However, these fermions can form larger chunks of matter, such as atoms and molecules, which can be either fermions or bosons.

An interesting feature of fermions and bosons is that they behave very differently...

Published: 06/25/2015 - 10:57am Type of Content: News

University College Dublin conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Science on Margaret Murnane, June 16, 2015, at a ceremony on the campus in Dublin, Ireland. This award, the highest awarded by the university, is given to remarkable individuals who have achieved distinction in their fields of endeavour. It is given on Bloomsday in honor of UCD alum James Joyce.

Published: 06/24/2015 - 3:48pm Type of Content: News

A National Science Foundation Discovery feature highlights the work of the Ye Lab in their dramatic development of laser frequency comb applications that have, according to the article "transformed basic scientific research and led to new technologies in so many different fields--timekeeping, medical research, communications, remote sensing, astronomy, just to name a few."

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Published: 04/27/2015 - 10:46am Type of Content: News

JILA Fellow and University of Colorado Distinguished Professor of Physics Margaret Murnane has been elected to the American Philosophical Society in Class 1: Mathematical and Physical Sciences. She received the honor in April 2015.

The American Philosophical Society was  founded in 1743 and is the first "learned" society of United States. Tom Cech is currently a...

Published: 04/27/2015 - 7:57am Type of Content: News

W. Carl Lineberger, JILA Fellow and E. U. Condon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder, has won the 2015 NAS Award in Chemical Sciences. He was recognized for the development of negative ion photoelectron spectroscopy, which scientists can use to determine the electron affinity of the neutral version of an atom or molecule. Electron...

Published: 04/21/2015 - 9:16am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Ye group has just improved the accuracy of the world’s best optical atomic clock by another factor of three and set a new record for clock stability. The accuracy and stability of the improved strontium lattice optical clocks is now about 2 x 10-18, or the equivalent of not varying from perfect time by more than one second in 15 billion years—more than the age of the Universe. Clocks like...

Published: 04/20/2015 - 1:12pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Ye Group recently investigated what first appeared to be a “bug” in an experiment and made an unexpected discovery about a new way to generate high-harmonic light using molecular gases rather than gases of noble atoms.

Graduate student Craig Benko and his colleagues in the Ye group were studying the interaction of light from an extreme ultraviolet (XUV) frequency comb with molecules...

Published: 04/16/2015 - 9:06am Type of Content: News

APS Physics has produced a lovely story entitled The World's Time by Andrei Derevianko on its Forum on International Physics. The story features Judah Levine, Jun Ye and other scientists from around the world. 

Published: 03/30/2015 - 9:44am Type of Content: News

Ana Maria Rey has been awarded an APS Fellowship by the American Physical Society. The award cited "her pioneering research on developing fundamental understanding and control of novel quantum systems and finding applications for a wide range of scientific fields including quantum metrology and the emerging interface between Atomic, Molecular, and Optical physics, condensed matter, and quantum...

Published: 03/02/2015 - 8:09am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The photoelectric effect has been well known since the publication of Albert Einstein’s 1905 paper explaining that quantized particles of light can stimulate the emission of electrons from materials. The nature of this quantum mechanical effect is closely related to the question how much time it might take for an electron to leave a material such as a helium atom. The exciting news at JILA is...

Published: 02/27/2015 - 12:14pm Type of Content: News

JILA Fellow Margaret Murnane was one of three prominent scientists profiled in Nature's Optics: Leading lights: Shape it, squeeze it, energize it or tie it into knots. Scientists are taking light to new extremes published online in Nature on February 12, 2015.

Murnane was the focus of Fast Light: Margaret Murnane creates ultrashort laser pulses on a tabletop. Her...

Published: 02/27/2015 - 11:36am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

When the Rey theory group first modeled a quantum system at JILA, it investigated the interactions of strontium atoms in the Ye group’s strontium-lattice clock. The quantum behavior of these collective interactions was relatively simple to model. However, the group has now successfully tackled some more complicated systems, including the ultracold polar KRb molecule experiment run by the Jin...

Published: 01/22/2015 - 3:49pm Type of Content: News

Carl Lineberger has won the 2015 National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences. The award was given for his "development of molecular negative ion photoelectron spectroscopy, and the fundamental insights into molecular electron affinities and intramolecular dynamics derived therefrom." Lineberger is the E. U. Condon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the...

Published: 01/20/2015 - 9:09am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Because red fluorescent proteins are important tools for cellular imaging, the Jimenez group is working to improve them to further biophysics research. The group’s quest for a better red-fluorescent protein began with a computer simulation of a protein called mCherry that fluoresces red light after laser illumination. The simulation identified a floppy (i.e., less stable) portion of the...

Published: 12/10/2014 - 9:02am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Until recently, researchers who wanted to understand how magnetic materials work had to reserve time on a large, stadium-sized X-ray machine called a synchrotron. Synchrotrons can produce X-ray beams that can be sculpted very precisely to capture how the spins in magnetic materials work together to give us beautiful and useful magnetic properties – for example to store data in a computer hard...

Published: 11/03/2014 - 11:29am Type of Content: News

At the nearby University of Colorado Boulder [Ye Lab] is a clock even more precise than the [clock used for the U.S. Time standard].

At the heart of this new clock is the element strontium. Inside a small chamber, the strontium atoms are suspended in a lattice of crisscrossing laser beams. Researchers then give them a little ping, like ringing a bell. The strontium vibrates at an...

Published: 10/31/2014 - 7:40am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

New theory describing the spin behavior of ultracold polar molecules is opening the door to explorations of exciting, new physics in JILA’s cold molecular lab, operated by the Jin and Ye groups. According to the Rey theory group and its collaborators, ultracold dipolar molecules can do even more interesting things than swapping spins. For instance, spin swapping occurs naturally when ultracold...

Published: 10/14/2014 - 11:59am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Dynamical phase transitions in the quantum world are wildly noisy and chaotic. They don’t look anything like the phase transitions we observe in our everyday world. In Colorado, we see phase transitions caused by temperature changes all the time: snow banks melting in the spring, water boiling on the stove, slick spots on the sidewalk after the first freeze. Quantum phase transitions happen,...

Published: 10/14/2014 - 10:05am Type of Content: News

Fellow Dana Anderson has won a CO-LABS 2014 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research in Foundational Technology. Anderson’s work in the commercialization of cold-atom technology also received an Honorable Mention for the development of a strong public/private partnership.

Anderson will be recognized on November 12 when CO-LABS and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy host a night at the...

Published: 10/08/2014 - 9:04am Type of Content: News

Fellow Margaret Murnane has won a Moore Experimental Investigator in Quantum Materials Award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Palo Alto, CA). The award is part of the foundation’s $90 million Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems Initiative. It is designed to facilitate scientific breakthroughs by giving Murnane and other awardees the opportunity to take risks, collaborate with...

Published: 08/21/2014 - 10:28am Type of Content: News

Graduate student Kevin Cox, of the Thompson Lab, received an "ICAP 2014 Best Poster Presentation" award at this year's International Conference on Atomic Physics in Washington DC. His poster was entitled:  "Synchronization in Superradiant Lasers".

Published: 08/19/2014 - 11:34am Type of Content: News

Graduate student Adam Kaufman received one of the poster prizes awarded at this year's International Conference on Atomic Physics in Washington DC.  His poster was entitled:  "Atomic Hong-Ou-Mandel effect in tunnel-coupled optical tweezers".

Published: 08/18/2014 - 7:47am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Symmetries described by SU(N) group theory made it possible for physicists in the 1950s to explain how quarks combine to make protons and neutrons and JILA theorists in 2013 to model the behavior of atoms inside a laser. Now, the Ye group has observed a manifestation of SU(N≤10) symmetry in the magnetic behavior of strontium-87 (87Sr) atoms trapped in crystals of light created by intersecting...

Published: 07/24/2014 - 12:43pm Type of Content: News

NRC post-doc Rob Walder has won a “Best Poster” award at the Single Molecule Approaches to Biology Gordon Research Conference in Italy for his poster entitled  “An Ultrastable Platform for Single Molecule Measurements: Sub-Nanometer Drift in 3D for Hours.” Walder works with the Perkins group.

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