Rochester researchers join national initiative to advance quantum science: NewsCenter


July 30, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy has given a major grant to researchers at the University of Rochester, led by chemistry professor Todd Krauss (above), as part of an initiative to advance science and quantum technology. Researchers will tackle a major challenge in quantum science: Quantum states of matter are only stable at temperatures much colder than ever recorded on Earth. If stability can be achieved at room temperature, the benefits of quantum applications can be realized on a larger scale. (J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

The Department of Energy grant recognizes the long history of quantum research at the University.

Todd Krauss, chair of the chemistry department at the University of Rochester, and his fellow researchers are joining a $ 73 million initiative funded by the US Department of Energy to advance quantum science and technology. Krauss’s project, “Understanding Coherence in Light-Matter Interfaces for Quantum Science”, is one of 29 projects designed to help scientists better understand and harness the “quantum world” for the benefit of it. people and society.

“It’s exciting to see the University recognized for its work in the emerging field of quantum information science,” says Krauss.

The university has a long history in quantum science, dating back to physicist Leonard Mandel, considered a pioneer of quantum optics, in the 1960s. And Krauss says he and his colleagues are now relying on Mandel’s work. and other Rochester giants, as well as on the talents of the university’s current generation of quantum researchers.

Quantum science “the next technological revolution”

“Quantum science represents the next technological revolution and the next frontier in the information age, and America is at the forefront,” Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said in the course. the announcement of funding by the DOE. “At DOE, we are investing in basic research, led by universities and our national laboratories, that will improve our resilience in the face of growing cyber threats and climate disasters, paving the way for a cleaner and safer future.

One of the main challenges of this line of research, explains Krauss, is that quantum states of matter are generally only stable at temperatures below 10 degrees Kelvin; that’s roughly –441 degrees Fahrenheit. By comparison, the coldest temperature recorded on Earth was -128.6 at the Russian Vostok station in Antarctica in 1983. If stability can be achieved at room temperature, the benefits of quantum applications can be realized on a larger scale.

Faster computers, better sensors, more secure systems

More robust quantum states could produce exponentially faster computers, highly responsive chemical or biological sensors, and more secure communication systems, an area that Krauss’s project focuses on. “In quantum state communications, it will be possible to know when someone else is monitoring your mail,” Krauss explains.

Krauss is receiving $ 1.95 million over three years for his project on light-matter interfaces. Basically, says Krauss, “we glue colloidal nanoparticles into optical cavities in order to interact with the nanoparticles with quantum light from the cavity.” The work will be divided between four researchers:

  • Krauss will focus on the synthesis, characterization and spectroscopy of materials.
  • Nick Vamivakas, professor of quantum optics and quantum physics at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, will work on cavity fabrication and quantum optics measurements.
  • Pengfei Huo, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester, will be the group’s theorist and provide critical modeling of the experiments.
  • Steven Cundiff, professor of physics at the University of Michigan, will perform ultra-fast, non-linear, and advanced spectroscopic measurements.

“We are excited to take the field of quantum optics in completely new and unexplored directions with our studies of quantum optics of nanoparticles,” said Krauss.

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Keywords: Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Institute of Optics, Nick Vamivakas, Pengfei Huo, quantum, Todd Krauss

Category: Scientific technology

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