JQI Summer Student Named Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalist

Timothy Qian, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School, has been named a finalist in the Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) 2021 competition(link is external) for the research from his summer internship at the University of Maryland. He performed the work with the mentorship of Adjunct Associate Professor Alexey Gorshkov and graduate student Jacob Bringewatt. Gorshkov, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS).

“Researching at JQI and QuICS was a new and interesting experience,” Qian says. “My mentors showed me how the research process worked and helped me immensely throughout my project. Being named a finalist is a huge honor, as well as a recognition of the research my mentors and I conducted.”Timothy Qian (credit: Feng Qian)Timothy Qian (credit: Feng Qian)

The Regeneron STS competition is designed to acknowledge original research by high school students in a topic related to science, technology, engineering or math. As a finalist, Qian is one of the top 40 students out of 1,760 entrants and will receive at least $25,000.

“Timothy was super impressive and fun to work with,” Bringewatt says. “He worked really hard and showed a lot of creative independence–in fact he arrived at the essential mathematical insight that broke open the problem for us by making clever use of a beautiful duality theorem he found in the mathematics literature.”

In Qian’s project, titled “Optimal Measurement of Field Properties with Quantum Sensor Networks,” he developed, with the aid of Gorshkov’s lab, a procedure for using networks of quantum sensors to perform optimal measurements of field properties—things like the electric field generated at a particular point by a distribution of electrons or the magnetic field produced by atomic nuclei. The procedure can be used to get the best accuracy that is possible in a limited amount of time or to take the shortest amount of time possible to get a needed level of accuracy. This optimized procedure should help people design quantum technologies that can efficiently work together to gather information about the surrounding world.

“As quantum computers and quantum networks are developed, the global internet of computers and things will inevitably include quantum computers and other quantum devices, such as quantum sensors and quantum clocks,” Bringewatt says. “The protocol that Tim discovered will be a crucial ingredient for allowing us to fully take advantage of this inevitability.”

Gorshkov has mentored other high school students who expressed interest in his lab’s work, including Qian’s older brother, Kevin. Kevin Qian was also acknowledged for his work in Gorshkov’s lab; he was selected as a 2019 Regeneron STS Finalist and placed second in the physics and astronomy category at the International Science and Engineering Fair 2019.

Timothy Qian and this year’s other finalists will have the opportunity to present their work to the public and to compete for the top 10 awards—including a $250,000 prize for the overall winner—in a virtual competition scheduled for March.

Original story by Bailey Bedford: https://jqi.umd.edu/news/gorshkov-summer-student-named-regeneron-science-talent-search-finalist

Taylor Receives Department of Commerce Gold Medal

Adjunct Professor Jake Taylor has been recognized by the federal government for his role in expanding U.S. policy and efforts in the fiercely competitive field of quantum information science.

Taylor, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology(link is external) (NIST), is the recipient of the 2020 Gold Medal Award from the Department of Commerce.

This is the highest award given by the department, which oversees activities at NIST. It recognizes individuals or groups that provide extraordinary, notable or prestigious contributions that reflect favorably on the department and impact its mission.

Taylor was specifically cited for his work in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where he served from 2017–2019 and spearheaded an initiative to expand and coordinate federal efforts involving quantum computing, sensing, and communication research and development.

While at OSTP, Taylor interacted with a multitude of federal agencies and external stakeholders to craft a comprehensive U.S. policy in quantum science, organized the quantum information science (QIS) community, and worked closely with policy teams both within and outside the White House to integrate administration approaches with legislative efforts and enable effective execution of the nation’s expanded QIS research agenda.

The result was the National Quantum Initiative Act(link is external), passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and signed into law on December 21, 2018.

The legislation commits the federal government to providing $1.2 billion to fund activities promoting quantum information science over an initial five-year period; additional funding was also approved by Congress in its session ending January 1, 2021, leading to more than $350 million for FY 2021 alone.

One important aim of the plan is to create new research centers that bring together academics from different disciplines—such as computer science, physics and engineering—to help conduct experiments and train future quantum researchers. Eight of these centers were launched in 2020, led by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

The law also encourages large companies and startups to pool some of their knowledge and resources in joint research efforts with government institutes. It also supports the Quantum Economic Development Consortium(link is external), which Taylor helped lay the groundwork for while at NIST in 2017 and at OSTP in the following years.

Finally, the legislation calls for coordination of activities and outreach, both areas that Taylor actively engaged in. This included the creation of the National Quantum Coordination Office(link is external), in which Taylor served as the first director; the launch of the Q–12 education partnership(link is external) to enable middle and high school curriculum development and teaching of quantum concepts; and the launch of quantum.gov(link is external), which serves as a central home for federal QIS research and development.

“I am honored to receive the Gold Medal Award from the Department of Commerce, and feel a tremendous sense of gratitude to the quantum information science community for coming together to focus on a positive approach to change,” says Taylor.

Many voices in concert have enabled the U.S. to expand its resolution to advance new discoveries in quantum computing and quantum information science, Taylor adds.

“But there’s no sleeping on the job,” he says. “The national quantum coordination office and the federal, academic, and private sector teams all have a tremendous amount left to do. Still, I believe the foundation laid by myself and others at the start of this decade have put us in a place where the work moving forward will have the most impact—from enhancing middle school curriculums to building large-scale quantum computers.”

Taylor is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute and of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science. He reseasrches  hybrid quantum systems, applications of quantum information science, and fundamental questions about the limits of quantum and classical behavior.

A Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, Taylor is also the recipient of the Department of Commerce Silver Medal, the IUPAP C15 Young Scientist Award, the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal: Call to Service, the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering, and the Newcomb Cleveland prize of the AAAS. He has published more than 150 scientific papers, several book chapters, and holds numerous patents in quantum technologies.

Adapted from a story originally published by QuICS

Parker, Jawahery Discuss Findings in Symmetry Magazine

LHCb experiment. Image courtesy of CERN.LHCb experiment. Image courtesy of CERN.In November 2020, the LHCb collaboration announced a major new development, based on data collected during LHC Run 2, confirming and significantly strengthening an anomalous observation in decays of B mesons. 

Postdoc Will Parker and Distinguished University Professor Hassan Jawahery of the UMD flavor physics group recently discussed their work and "matter-antimatter weirdness" in Symmetry magazine. 

The 2020 result followed the LHCb's previous observation of CP violation in decays of D mesons. That finding was rated a Physics World Breakthrough of the Year finalist for 2019.

The Symmetry story is posted here: https://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/lhcb-finds-more-matter-antimatter-weirdness-in-b-mesons

Kollár Receives Air Force Young Investigator Grant

Assistant Professor Alicia Kollár has been awarded a grant by the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program (YIP). She is one of 36 early-career researchers around the US to receive the three-year, $450,000 award.

Kollár plans to develop a new breed of superconducting devices for studying quantum computing and quantum simulation. The devices will build upon an already successful platform—superconducting qubits connected together by photonic cavities—to create new interactions between qubits and new ways of connecting qubits together.Air Force Office of Scientific Research

“These systems realize artificial photonic materials for microwave photons with unprecedented levels of versatility and control,” says Kollár. “They can even be used to make lattices which cannot be found in nature, including things as exotic as lattices in curved hyperbolic spaces. Thanks to the generous support of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, we can now truly embark on harnessing this effect for new types of interactions and spin models.”

The YIP received more than 215 proposals this year, for research into everything from basic physics to machine learning and network science. Xiaodi Wu, a Fellow of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science and an assistant professor of computer science at UMD, was also awarded a YIP grant this year.

Original story by Chris Cesare: https://jqi.umd.edu/news/kollar-receives-air-force-young-investigator-grant

Das Sarma, Monroe Named 2020 Highly Cited Researchers

Sankar Das Sarma and Chris Monroe are included on the Clarivate Web of Science Group’s 2020 roster of Highly Cited Researchers(link is external) r, which recognizes influential scientists for their highly cited papers over the preceding decade. Both are Distinguished University Professors and Fellows of the Joint Quantum InstituteClarivate Highly Cited

Das Sarma is Director of the Condensed Matter Theory Center and holds the Richard E. Prange Chair. Monroe holds the Bice Zorn Professorship and is a Fellow of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science.

Das Sarma has been included every year that the list has been released. This is Monroe’s second consecutive year receiving the distinction.

Das Sarma explores the theories behind condensed matter physics, statistical mechanics and quantum information, while Monroe performs experiments related to atomic physics and quantum information science. Both researchers have contributed new ideas that pushed the boundaries of the burgeoning field of quantum computing.

Original story by Bailey Bedford: https://jqi.umd.edu/news/two-jqi-fellows-named-2020-highly-cited-researchers



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