• Research News

    JQI Scientists Monroe and Gorshkov are Part of a New, $15 Million NSF Quantum Computing Project

    NSF has announced a $15 million award to a collaboration of seven institutions including the University of Maryland. The goal: Build the world’s first practical quantum computer. "Quantum computers will change everything about the technology we use and how we use it, and we Read More
  • Research News

    Complexity Test Offers New Perspective on Small Quantum Computers

    State-of-the-art quantum devices are not yet large enough to be called full-scale computers. The biggest comprise just a few dozen qubits—a meager count compared to the billions of bits in an ordinary computer’s memory. But steady progress means that these machines now routinely string Read More
  • Research News

    Chris Monroe Co-authors Piece on National Quantum Initiative - The Washington Times

    Quantum technology harnesses the radical power of quantum systems — such as isolated atoms, photons and electrons — to transform how we process and communicate information. But that potential can be realized only if our nation’s resources are focused in a way that helps bring quantum Read More
  • Research News

    IceCube Neutrinos Point to Long-Sought Cosmic Ray Accelerator

    An international team of scientists, with key contributions from researchers at the University of Maryland, has found the first evidence of a source of high-energy cosmic neutrinos—ghostly subatomic particles that travel to Earth unhindered for billions of light years from the most extreme environments Read More
  • Research News

    Semiconductor Quantum Transistor Opens the Door for Photon-based Computing

    Transistors are tiny switches that form the bedrock of modern computing—billions of them route electrical signals around inside a smartphone, for instance. Quantum computers will need analogous hardware to manipulate quantum information. But the design constraints for this new technology are stringent, and today’s Read More
  • Research News

    Quantum Gas Reveals First Signs of Path-bending Monopole

    Magnets, whether in the form of a bar, horseshoe or electromagnet, always have two poles. If you break a magnet in half, you’ll end up with two new magnets, each with its own magnetic north and south. But some physics theories predict the existence Read More
  • Research News

    Searching for the Quantumness of Gravity

    Brian Swingle’s first passion was condensed-matter physics. As a graduate student, he performed calculations to uncover and understand new quantum phases of matter, such as topological insulators and spin liquids. But then Swingle signed up for a string theory class. There he realized that Read More
  • Research News

    A New Way to Measure Energy in Microscopic Machines

    What drives cells to live and engines to move? It all comes down to a quantity that scientists call “free energy,” essentially the energy that can be extracted from any system to perform useful work. Without this available energy, a living organism would eventually Read More
  • Research News

    Life at the Edge of the World

    What's it like living and working in Antarctica? Upon returning from a five-week trip to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, UMD graduate student Liz Friedman sat down with Chris and Emily to chat about her experience. In this episode, Friedman shares some of her Read More
  • 1 JQI Scientists Monroe and Gorshkov are Part of a New, $15 Million NSF Quantum Computing Project
  • 2 Complexity Test Offers New Perspective on Small Quantum Computers
  • 3 Chris Monroe Co-authors Piece on National Quantum Initiative - The Washington Times
  • 4 IceCube Neutrinos Point to Long-Sought Cosmic Ray Accelerator
  • 5 Semiconductor Quantum Transistor Opens the Door for Photon-based Computing
  • 6 Quantum Gas Reveals First Signs of Path-bending Monopole
  • 7 Searching for the Quantumness of Gravity
  • 8 A New Way to Measure Energy in Microscopic Machines
  • 9 Life at the Edge of the World
  • Outreach
  • Student Spotlight

Summer 2018

Congratulations to eight graduate students who have received awards from the Graduate School for the 2018-2019 Academic Year!

Pablo Solano Palma
Dissertation Title:  "Quantum Optics in Optical Nanofibers:
Dissertation Advisor:  Professor Luis A. Orozco
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Department News

  • Aug 3, 2018 Davoudi Receives Ken Wilson Award Assistant Professor Zohreh Davoudi has been honored with the 2018 Kenneth G. Wilson Award for Excellence in Lattice Field Theory during the 36th Annual International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory held July 22–28 at Michigan State University. Davoudi was cited for her fundamental contributions to Read More
  • Jul 3, 2018 Promotions Effective July, 2018 Michelle Girvan, who was promoted to the rank of Professor, works in the emerging area of network science, which focuses on complex connectivity patterns among interacting units and joins physics with the domains of mathematics, biology, environmental studies, economics, sociology, and psychology, among others. Her analysis Read More
  • Jun 22, 2018 Jack Wimberley Received Ph.D Thesis Award UMD graduate student Jack Wimberley is one of two recipients of the 2018 Ph.D. thesis awards given by the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) collaboration at CERN. These awards recognize students for excellent theses and additional work over and above the central thesis topic that Read More
  • Jun 12, 2018 Physics Graduate Student Zachary Eldredge Awarded ARCS Scholarship The Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation awarded two students from the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences with $15,000 scholarships for the 2018-2019 school year. This year’s scholars are physics graduate student Zachary Eldredge and chemistry graduate student Matthew Thum. Read More
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Upcoming Events

17 Aug
JQI summer school
Fri, Aug 17, 2018 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
31 Aug
Nuclear Theory Seminar
Fri, Aug 31, 2018 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
4 Sep
Physics Colloquium
Tue, Sep 4, 2018 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
11 Sep
Physics Colloquium
Tue, Sep 11, 2018 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
18 Sep
Physics Colloquium
Tue, Sep 18, 2018 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Sprangle Wins 2013 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics

The American Physical Society (APS) has awarded Phillip Sprangle the 2013 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics for " pioneering contributions to the physics of high intensity laser interactions with plasmas, and to the development of plasma accelerators, free-electron lasers, gyrotrons and high current electron accelerators."

The prize is the highest honor bestowed to plasma physicists by the APS. It will presented at the annual meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics, November 11-15, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.

Phillip Sprangle

Physics Graduate Students Receive Dissertation Awards

Physics graduate student Sergii Pershoguba, advised by Victor Yakovenko, has been awarded an Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship. The fellowship, created for students who are in the final stages of writing their dissertations, includes a stipend of $10,000, tuition remission and financial assistance towards the cost of health insurance.

Pershoguba works in theoretical condensed matter physics. He is currently studying the behavior of electrons in such novel systems as graphene, 2D surface of a topological insulator, CuO2 plane of a high-temperature superconductor. In nature, these 2D systems often exist as layers of the 3D crystals. His interests are in the unusual phenomena which occur due to the interaction between the 2D layers in 3D geometry.

In addition, Kaji Rajibul Islam was awarded a Distinguished Dissertation Award for Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering. Islam was advised by Chirstopher Monroe. His dissertation, Quantum Simulations of Interacting Spin Models with Trapped Ions, was completed and submitted in 2012.

Full Lists


UMD Physics Efforts Cited Among 2012's Most Important

Physics World's compilation of the year's biggest discoveries included the work of several UMD physicists. The highest-rated discovery was that of the Higgs particle reported by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at CERN. Professors Drew Baden, Sarah Eno, Nick Hadley and Andris Skuja are all collaborators on CMS, and have made significant contributions in the building, running, and analysis of the data. Professor Alberto Belloni will join the department from ATLAS in January, and will become the fifth faculty member on CMS, an international collaboration.

One of the next highest-rated discoveries was attributed to Leo Kouwenhoven and colleagues at Delft University for confirmation of the Majorana fermion, closely following a prediction by Sankar Das Sarma and UMD/JQI colleagues in 2010.

The BaBar experiment's discovery of time-reversal invariance in the quark sector also made the top-10 list. Professors Hassan Jawahery and Doug Roberts played key roles on BaBar, another large international experiment using electron-position beams at SLAC. Jawahery served as the physics analysis coordinator and later as spokesperson (overall leader) of the experiment.

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Physics Students Earn Goldwater Scholarships

Stephen Randall and Noah Roth Mandell have been awarded scholarships by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which encourages students to pursue advanced study and careers in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Randall is a double major in physics and mathematics and plans to pursue a doctorate in theoretical physics. Mandell plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics.

The Goldwater Scholarship program was created in 1986 to identify students of outstanding ability and promise in science, engineering and mathematics, and to engage their pursuit of advanced study and research careers. The University of Maryland had three Goldwater winners this year and 44 total since its inception 27 years ago.

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Gates Receives National Medal of Science, Regents Professorship



University of Maryland Professor of Physics Sylvester James "Jim" Gates Jr. was one of 23 extraordinary scientists and innovators honored recently with the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.  Gates, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics, is Director of the Center for String and Particle Theory and, most recently, a University System of Maryland Regents Professor. 

President Obama presented the National Medal of Science to Gates in a White House ceremony on Friday, Feb. 1.

Dr. Gates was featured in The Washington Post on Feb. 1.

The White House features the ceremony in a blog post on STEM education, and has posted a video online.

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