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  • richardmitnick 10:48 am on March 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chicago Quantum Exchange, , U Chicago, , UW-Madison adds expertise to hub for research and development of quantum technology, UW-Madison’s expertise inneutral atom qubits and superconducting qubits and silicon quantum dot qubits   

    From University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Chicago: “University of Wisconsin-Madison joins Chicago Quantum Exchange” 

    U Wisconsin

    From University of Wisconsin Madison

    via

    U Chicago bloc

    University of Chicago

    Feb 28, 2019

    1
    Photo by John Zich

    UW-Madison adds expertise to hub for research and development of quantum technology.

    The Chicago Quantum Exchange, a growing hub for the research and development of quantum technology, is adding the University of Wisconsin–Madison as its newest member.

    UW-Madison is joining forces with the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in developing a national leading collaboration in the rapidly emerging field of quantum information.

    The new partnership comes as UW-Madison makes significant investments in quantum science, a field with potential to revolutionize computing, communication, security and more using the powerful capabilities of quantum mechanics.

    The federal government is increasingly interested in quantum technologies, launching late last year the National Quantum Initiative, which authorized an investment of more than $1.2 billion in quantum research over the next decade.

    “I think quantum science is one of the most exciting areas in physics right now,” said Robert McDermott, a professor of physics at UW–Madison. “Joining the Chicago Quantum Exchange is going to put us in a very strong position in the landscape of academic institutions that are developing quantum technologies throughout the United States.”

    The Chicago Quantum Exchange works toward advancing academic, industrial and governmental efforts in the science and engineering of quantum information, with the goal of applying research innovations to develop radically new types of devices, materials and computing techniques.

    “Bringing UW-Madison’s expertise in qubits and quantum information to the Chicago Quantum Exchange allows us to strengthen one of the largest quantum research efforts in the U.S. and will help us accelerate scientific developments that can lead toward promising new technologies,” said David Awschalom, director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, the Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at UChicago and an Argonne senior scientist.

    The Chicago Quantum Exchange’s continued growth enhances the position of the Chicago area, and the Midwest, to attract industry partnerships and government funding, while making it a leader in training the new quantum workforce.

    UW–Madison has institutional research expertise in three areas of qubits, which is the basic unit of quantum information rendered as an electronic or optical device. These areas are neutral atom qubits, superconducting qubits and silicon quantum dot qubits—along with quantum sensing research being conducted by faculty such as College of Engineering Assistant Professor Jennifer Choy and Assistant Professor of Physics Shimon Kolkowitz, and condensed matter research being conducted in the Department of Physics by Professors Maxim Vavilov and Robert Joynt, Associate Professor Alex Levchenko and Senior Scientist Lara Faoro.

    “We are looking forward to joint research projects within the CQE, which will give our students experience to enhance their education at UW–Madison,” said Mark Eriksson, a professor of physics at UW-Madison. “That collaboration is really important these days because a lot of expertise is needed to attack quantum computing problems from many different directions.”

    As the field of quantum information science continues to grow, so will the demand for quantum engineers in industry, government and at universities. The Chicago Quantum Exchange, through its member institutions, offers both undergraduate and graduate students access to world-class expertise and research facilities in quantum science and engineering.

    “Developing a next-generation quantum workforce is a huge priority nationally and worldwide,” Eriksson said. “We are training students to have this broad base of expertise that will equip them to make a high impact in this developing field of technology.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

    In achievement and prestige, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has long been recognized as one of America’s great universities. A public, land-grant institution, UW–Madison offers a complete spectrum of liberal arts studies, professional programs and student activities. Spanning 936 acres along the southern shore of Lake Mendota, the campus is located in the city of Madison.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:36 am on February 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: U Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Thousands of tiny quakes shake Antarctic ice at night” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Feb 27, 2019
    Louise Lerner

    1
    Using seismometers, UChicago scientists (including Becky Goodsell, above) recorded hundreds of thousands of “ice quakes,” a phenomenon that may help track glacier melting.

    Scientists record seismic phenomenon that may help track melting glaciers.

    Stay overnight on an Antarctic ice shelf, and you may feel the shaking from thousands of tiny quakes as the ice re-forms after melting during the day.

    In a recent study [Annals of Glaciology], UChicago scientists placed seismometers on the McMurdo Ice Shelf and recorded hundreds of thousands of tiny “ice quakes” that appear to be caused by pools of partially melted ice expanding and freezing at night. The phenomenon may be able to help scientists track glacier melting—and to help explain the breakup of large ice shelves.

    “In these areas we would record tens, hundreds, up to thousands of these per night,” said study co-author Douglas MacAyeal, a professor of geophysical sciences and renowned glaciologist who has been traveling to the Antarctic to study the behavior of ice and snow for decades. “It’s possible that seismometers may be a practical way for us to remotely monitor glacier melting.”

    Climate change is causing the Antarctic to melt, but glaciologists are still mapping how, where and why. There is much we still don’t understand about the process—as evidenced by the massive Larsen B ice shelf collapse in 2002, which took glaciologists by surprise—and understanding these mechanisms is key to predicting the future for the ice.

    MacAyeal and the team were interested in the role of “quakes” on the floating ice shelves. (You may remember reports of ice or frost quakes around Chicago and the Midwest during the cold snap caused by the polar vortex weeks ago, when residents reported booms or cracking sounds at night; this is the same mechanism.) But they wondered how often the phenomenon was occurring in ice in the Antarctic, and what role it might play in the melting and breakup of ice.

    The team set up seismometers for 60 days during the melt season in two locations near seasonal meltwater lakes on the McMurdo Ice Shelf. One was drier; the other was slushier, with pools of melted water forming and refreezing. The wetter location, they found, was alive with seismic activity at night.

    “In these ponds, there’s often a layer of ice on top of melted water below, like you see with a lake that’s only frozen on top,” MacAyeal explained. “As the temperature cools at night, the ice on the top contracts, and the water below expands as it undergoes freezing. This warps the top lid, until it finally breaks with a snap.”

    2
    Researchers Grant Macdonald and Phillip Chung plant a seismometer on the McMurdo Ice Shelf. Photo by Alison Banwell.

    The energy vibrates out into the surroundings, where it’s picked up by seismometers. Some of the cracks re-heal, but some do not, MacAyeal said.

    It may explain why icebergs actually break off more frequently during colder times of the year. “Perhaps this is happening at longer, slower scales,” MacAyeal said.

    The discovery adds an important piece to our understanding of the physics and processes around melting ponds on ice shelves—especially if it can help researchers remotely keep track of Antarctic melting. “It may be very useful to add this to our other ways of monitoring ice,” MacAyeal said.

    UChicago scientists Jinqiao Lin, Becky Goodsell and Grant Macdonald co-authored the study. Other researchers on the study were Alison Banwell and Ian Willis with the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Cambridge, and Emile Okal with Northwestern University.

    Funding: National Science Foundation, NASA, Leverhulme Trust.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    University of Chicago

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:07 pm on February 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researchers use ‘laser tweezers’ to boost liquid crystal technology", , , , Liquid crystals with their uniform molecular structure and orientation offer exciting possibilities for future technology, , To create the defects in the liquid crystals researchers used laser tweezers—a laser system that can manipulate particles at the nanoscale—to heat up and melt either a tiny point or a line within , U Chicago, We can keep the defect alive for as long as we want   

    From University of Chicago: “Researchers use ‘laser tweezers’ to boost liquid crystal technology” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Feb 22, 2019
    Emily Ayshford

    1
    Illustration copyright Wikimedia Commons

    Institute for Molecular Engineering breakthrough could lead to new display or sensor technologies.

    Liquid crystals, with their uniform molecular structure and orientation, offer exciting possibilities for future technology.

    They are already the basis of displays, which use the crystals’ orientation to exhibit a wide array of colors. Researchers have wondered whether they could manipulate tiny defects in the crystals to introduce new functions within the liquid—as microchannels for a tiny circuit, or to host chemical reactions, for example. But the first step is to keep the defects stable.

    Researchers with the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, along with partners at the University of Ljubljana, have shown that by using a combination of flow and light, they can create defects that remain stable in the liquid crystal over long periods of time. The breakthrough, published Feb. 15 in the journal Science Advances, could ultimately result in using liquids in new ways, such as to create new kinds of autonomous materials or nanoscale reactors.

    “For the first time, we can create defects in pure liquids and control them, without introducing anything else into the system,” said Juan de Pablo, the Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, who co-authored the research. “It could result in really interesting new objects or materials.”

    To create the defects in the liquid crystals, researchers used laser tweezers—a laser system that can manipulate particles at the nanoscale—to heat up and melt either a tiny point or a line within the material. While the bulk of the liquid crystal remained ordered, the melted spot — several microns in size, just a little smaller than a single red blood cell—became disorganized. As it cooled, the molten liquid becomes reordered, and forms a defect on its trail.

    Because such defects cost the material energy, the material experiences strong driving forces to eliminate them, and it eventually reverts to a uniform, defect-free state.

    But researchers found that if they place the defect into a flow state in a microfluidic device—introducing forces that continually push the defect in different directions—it could not reorient and annihilate itself, and instead remained stable.

    “By doing this, we can keep the defect alive for as long as we want,” said de Pablo, whose pioneering work develops molecular models and advanced computational simulations of molecular and large-scale phenomena.

    Such a system also allowed them to have complete control over the size and shape of the defects. A second laser burst, for example, could break the defect into pieces, or move it from one spot to another.

    To create this system, de Pablo and his group developed computational models of liquid crystals at rest, their defects and the precise forces needed to keep them stabilized. Then the researchers at the University of Ljubljana performed the experiments using this information and theoretical treatments of the underlying materials.

    This system could pave the way for new display or sensor technologies. De Pablo and his collaborators are interested in using this technique to develop complicated networks of microfluidic channels that could serve as miniature factories, with built-in reactors, separation units and transport mechanisms.

    They also are looking to develop autonomous material systems that can stabilize defects on their own using flows. Such a material could “decide” by itself what shape to take in response to external cues, ultimately acting as an integrated system that could perform simple tasks on its own.

    “This technique could have really interesting applications,” de Pablo said. “We have ambitious ideas.”

    Other authors included Rui Zhang, a postdoctoral researcher in de Pablo’s group; and Uroš Tkalec, Tadej Emeršič, Žiga Kos, Simon Čopar and Natan Osterman of the University of Ljubljana.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    University of Chicago

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:39 pm on February 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: An innovative way for different types of quantum technology to “talk” to each other using sound, ANL Advanced Photon Source, , “Spins”—a property of an electron that can be up or down or both, “The object is to couple the sound waves with the spins of electrons in the material”, , , Sound waves let quantum systems ‘talk’ to one another, U Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Sound waves let quantum systems ‘talk’ to one another” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Feb 15, 2019
    Louise Lerner

    1
    An X-ray image of sound waves. Image courtesy of Kevin Satzinger and Samuel Whiteley

    Researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have invented an innovative way for different types of quantum technology to “talk” to each other using sound. The study, published Feb. 11 in Nature Physics, is an important step in bringing quantum technology closer to reality.

    Researchers are eyeing quantum systems, which tap the quirky behavior of the smallest particles as the key to a fundamentally new generation of atomic-scale electronics for computation and communication. But a persistent challenge has been transferring information between different types of technology, such as quantum memories and quantum processors.

    “We approached this question by asking: Can we manipulate and connect quantum states of matter with sound waves?” said senior study author David Awschalom, the Liew Family Professor with the Institute for Molecular Engineering and senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.

    One way to run a quantum computing operation is to use “spins”—a property of an electron that can be up, down or both. Scientists can use these like zeroes and ones in today’s binary computer programming language. But getting this information elsewhere requires a translator, and scientists thought sound waves could help.

    “The object is to couple the sound waves with the spins of electrons in the material,” said graduate student Samuel Whiteley, the co-first author on the paper. “But the first challenge is to get the spins to pay attention.” So they built a system with curved electrodes to concentrate the sound waves, like using a magnifying lens to focus a point of light.

    The results were promising, but they needed more data. To get a better look at what was happening, they worked with scientists at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne to observe the system in real time. Essentially, they used extremely bright, powerful X-rays from the lab’s giant synchrotron, the Advanced Photon Source, as a microscope to peer at the atoms inside the material as the sound waves moved through it at nearly 7,000 kilometers per second.

    ANL Advanced Photon Source

    “This new method allows us to observe the atomic dynamics and structure in quantum materials at extremely small length scales,” said Awschalom. “This is one of only a few locations worldwide with the instrumentation to directly watch atoms move in a lattice as sound waves passes through them.”

    2
    Argonne nanoscientist Martin Holt took X-ray images of the acoustic waves with the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe at the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Advanced Photon Source, both at Argonne. Image courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.

    One of the many surprising results, the researchers said, was that the quantum effects of sound waves were more complicated than they’d first imagined. To build a comprehensive theory behind what they were observing at the subatomic level, they turned to Prof. Giulia Galli, the Liew Family Professor at the IME and a senior scientist at Argonne. Modeling the system involves marshalling the interactions of every single particle in the system, which grows exponentially, Awschalom said, “but Professor Galli is a world expert in taking this kind of challenging problem and interpreting the underlying physics, which allowed us to further improve the system.”

    It’s normally difficult to send quantum information for more than a few microns, said Whiteley—that’s the width of a single strand of spider silk. This technique could extend control across an entire chip or wafer.

    “The results gave us new ways to control our systems, and opens venues of research and technological applications such as quantum sensing,” said postdoctoral researcher Gary Wolfowicz, the other co-first author of the study.

    The discovery is another from the University of Chicago’s world-leading program in quantum information science and engineering; Awschalom is currently leading a project to build a quantum “teleportation” network between Argonne and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to test principles for a potentially unhackable communications system.

    The scientists pointed to the confluence of expertise, resources and facilities at the University of Chicago, Institute for Molecular Engineering and Argonne as key to fully exploring the technology.

    3
    An acoustic chip is used to generate and control sound waves. Photo courtesy of Kevin Satzinger

    “No one group has the ability to explore these complex quantum systems and solve this class of problems; it takes state-of-the-art facilities, theorists and experimentalists working in close collaboration,” Awschalom said. “The strong connection between Argonne and the University of Chicago enables our students to address some of the most challenging questions in this rapidly moving area of science and technology.”

    Other coauthors on the paper are Assoc. Prof. David Schuster, and Prof. Andrew Cleland; Argonne scientists Joseph Heremans and Martin Holt; graduate students Christopher Anderson, Alexandre Bourassa, He Ma and Kevin Satzinger; and postdoctoral researcher Meng Ye.

    The devices were fabricated in the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility at the William Eckhardt Research Center. Materials characterization was performed at the UChicago Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

    Funding: Air Force Office of Scientific Research, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    University of Chicago

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:15 pm on February 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: IBM's Quantum Experience, Pauli exclusion principle- two electrons cannot occupy the same position in space at the same time, , The discovery is another breakthrough at the frontier of quantum efforts at the University, three-laboratory quantum “teleporter”, U Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Scientists tap into open-access quantum computer to tease out quantum secrets” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Jan 31, 2019
    Louise Lerner

    U Chicago Researchers used IBM’s Quantum Experience, an open-access quantum computer, to test fundamental principles of quantum mechanics.

    UChicago, IME scientists use IBM Q to verify elusive quantum mechanics principles.

    The rules of quantum mechanics describe how atoms and molecules act very differently from the world around us. Scientists have made progress toward teasing out these rules—essential for finding ways to make new molecules and better technology—but some are so complex that they evade experimental verification.

    With the advent of open-access quantum computers, scientists at the University of Chicago saw an opportunity to do a very unusual experiment to test some of these quantum principles. Their study, which appeared Jan. 31 in Nature Communications Physics, taps into a quantum computer to discover fundamental truths about the quantum behavior of electrons in molecules.

    “Quantum computing is a really exciting realm to explore fundamental questions. It allows us to observe aspects of quantum theory that are absolutely untouchable with classical computers,” said Prof. David Mazziotti, professor of chemistry and author on the paper.

    One particular rule of quantum mechanics, called the Pauli exclusion principle, is that two electrons cannot occupy the same position in space at the same time. In many cases, a molecule’s electrons experience additional restrictions on their locations; these are known as the generalized Pauli constraints. “These rules inform the way that all molecules and matter form,” said Mazziotti.

    In this study, Mazziotti, Prof. David Shuster and graduate student Scott Smart created a set of algorithms that would ask IBM’s Q Experience computer to randomly generate quantum states in three-electron systems, and then measure where the electrons are most probably located.

    “Suppose that the generalized Pauli constraints were not true: In that scenario, about half of the quantum states would exhibit a violation,” said Smart, the first author on the paper. Instead, in the many quantum states formed, they found that violations of generalized Pauli constraints occurred very rarely in a pattern consistent with noise in the quantum circuit.

    The results provide strong experimental verification, the scientists said.

    “The simplest generalized Pauli constraints were discovered theoretically on a classical computer at IBM in the early 1970s, so it is fitting that for the first time they would be experimentally verified on an IBM quantum computer,” Mazziotti said.

    The discovery is another breakthrough at the frontier of quantum efforts at the University; recent efforts have included a three-laboratory quantum “teleporter,” steps toward more powerful quantum sensors, and a collaboration to develop algorithms for emerging quantum computers.

    An open question is how the generalized Pauli constraints may be useful for improving quantum technology. “They will potentially contribute to achieving more efficient quantum calculations as well as better error correction schemes—critical for quantum computers to reach their full potential,” Mazziotti said.

    The discovery is another breakthrough at the frontier of quantum efforts at the University; recent efforts have included a three-laboratory quantum “teleporter,” steps toward more powerful quantum sensors, and a collaboration to develop algorithms for emerging quantum computers.

    U Chicago three-laboratory quantum “teleporter”

    Argonne National Laboratory The Quantum Link is an ambitious project by Argonne, Fermilab and the University of Chicago to bring the property of entanglement into the real world.

    University of Chicago Prof. David Awschalom works in his lab at the with PhD students Kevin Miao (left) and Alexandre Bourassa.

    An open question is how the generalized Pauli constraints may be useful for improving quantum technology. “They will potentially contribute to achieving more efficient quantum calculations as well as better error correction schemes—critical for quantum computers to reach their full potential,” Mazziotti said.

    Citation:

    Experimental data from a quantum computer verifies the generalized Pauli exclusion principle. Smart et al, Nature Communications Physics, Jan. 31, 2018.

    IBM iconic image of Quantum computer

    See the full article here .
    See also from U Chicago here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    University of Chicago

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
    • Jodi Toubes 2:48 pm on February 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Okay… I read the blog’s origin story. Not sure you wanted critique but I will just say, it was nice to read, I found one typo (in case you want to know)… At the start to the 6th paragraph, you have “Some where” instead of somewhere. Not sure if that was on purpose or a typo. Also, I thought it ended a little abruptly, but maybe you had just said all that you wanted to and didn’t need a softer ending. Very nice for anyone who is interested to see how the ScienceSprings blog came to be.

      love, me

      >

      Like

  • richardmitnick 3:29 pm on October 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Gravitational waves could soon provide measure of universe’s expansion, , U Chicago,   

    From University of Chicago: “Gravitational waves could soon provide measure of universe’s expansion” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Oct 22, 2018
    Louise Lerner

    1
    Image by Robin Dienel/The Carnegie Institution for Science

    UChicago scientists estimate, based on LIGO’s quick first detection of a first neutron star collision, that they could have an extremely precise measurement of the universe’s rate of expansion within five to ten years. [Too bad for me, I’ll be long gone.]

    Twenty years ago, scientists were shocked to realize that our universe is not only expanding, but that it’s expanding faster over time.

    Pinning down the exact rate of expansion, called the Hubble constant after famed astronomer and UChicago alumnus Edwin Hubble, has been surprisingly difficult. Since then scientists have used two methods to calculate the value, and they spit out distressingly different results. But last year’s surprising capture of gravitational waves radiating from a neutron star collision offered a third way to calculate the Hubble constant.

    Edwin Hubble at Caltech Palomar Samuel Oschin 48 inch Telescope, (credit: Emilio Segre Visual Archives/AIP/SPL)

    That was only a single data point from one collision, but in a new paper published Oct. 17 in Nature, three University of Chicago scientists estimate that given how quickly researchers saw the first neutron star collision, they could have a very accurate measurement of the Hubble constant within five to ten years.

    “The Hubble constant tells you the size and the age of the universe; it’s been a holy grail since the birth of cosmology. Calculating this with gravitational waves could give us an entirely new perspective on the universe,” said study author Daniel Holz, a UChicago professor in physics who co-authored the first such calculation from the 2017 discovery. “The question is: When does it become game-changing for cosmology?”

    In 1929, Edwin Hubble announced that based on his observations of galaxies beyond the Milky Way, they seemed to be moving away from us—and the farther away the galaxy, the faster it was receding. This is a cornerstone of the Big Bang theory, and it kicked off a nearly century-long search for the exact rate at which this is occurring.

    To calculate the rate at which the universe is expanding, scientists need two numbers. One is the distance to a faraway object; the other is how fast the object is moving away from us because of the expansion of the universe. If you can see it with a telescope, the second quantity is relatively easy to determine, because the light you see when you look at a distant star gets shifted into the red as it recedes. Astronomers have been using that trick to see how fast an object is moving for more than a century—it’s like the Doppler effect, in which a siren changes pitch as an ambulance passes.

    Major questions in calculations

    But getting an exact measure of the distance is much harder. Traditionally, astrophysicists have used a technique called the cosmic distance ladder, in which the brightness of certain variable stars and supernovae can be used to build a series of comparisons that reach out to the object in question.

    Cosmic Distance Ladder, skynetblogs

    “The problem is, if you scratch beneath the surface, there are a lot of steps with a lot of assumptions along the way,” Holz said.

    Perhaps the supernovae used as markers aren’t as consistent as thought. Maybe we’re mistaking some kinds of supernovae for others, or there’s some unknown error in our measurement of distances to nearby stars. “There’s a lot of complicated astrophysics there that could throw off readings in a number of ways,” he said.

    The other major way to calculate the Hubble constant is to look at the cosmic microwave background [CMB]—the pulse of light created at the very beginning of the universe, which is still faintly detectable.

    CMB per ESA/Planck

    While also useful, this method also relies on assumptions about how the universe works.

    The surprising thing is that even though scientists doing each calculation are confident about their results, they don’t match. One says the universe is expanding almost 10 percent faster than the other. “This is a major question in cosmology right now,” said the study’s first author, Hsin-Yu Chen, then a graduate student at UChicago and now a fellow with Harvard University’s Black Hole Initiative.

    Then the LIGO detectors picked up their first ripple in the fabric of space-time from the collision of two stars last year.


    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo Hanford, WA, USA installation


    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA

    Cornell SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project

    Gravitational waves. Credit: MPI for Gravitational Physics/W.Benger

    ESA/eLISA the future of gravitational wave research

    1
    Skymap showing how adding Virgo to LIGO helps in reducing the size of the source-likely region in the sky. (Credit: Giuseppe Greco (Virgo Urbino group)

    This not only shook the observatory, but the field of astronomy itself: Being able to both feel the gravitational wave and see the light of the collision’s aftermath with a telescope gave scientists a powerful new tool. “It was kind of an embarrassment of riches,” Holz said.

    Gravitational waves offer a completely different way to calculate the Hubble constant. When two massive stars crash into each other, they send out ripples in the fabric of space-time that can be detected on Earth. By measuring that signal, scientists can get a signature of the mass and energy of the colliding stars. When they compare this reading with the strength of the gravitational waves, they can infer how far away it is.

    This measurement is cleaner and holds fewer assumptions about the universe, which should make it more precise, Holz said. Along with Scott Hughes at MIT, he suggested the idea of making this measurement with gravitational waves paired with telescope readings in 2005. The only question is how often scientists could catch these events, and how good the data from them would be.

    4
    Illustration by A. Simon
    Unlike previous LIGO detections of black holes merging, the two neutron stars that collided sent out a bright flash of light—making it visible to telescopes on Earth.

    [ See https://sciencesprings.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/from-ucsc-neutron-stars-gravitational-waves-and-all-the-gold-in-the-universe/ ]

    ‘It’s only going to get more interesting’

    The paper predicts that once scientists have detected 25 readings from neutron star collisions, they’ll measure the expansion of the universe within an accuracy of 3 percent. With 200 readings, that number narrows to 1 percent.

    “It was quite a surprise for me when we got into the simulations,” Chen said. “It was clear we could reach precision, and we could reach it fast.”

    A precise new number for the Hubble constant would be fascinating no matter the answer, the scientists said. For example, one possible reason for the mismatch in the other two methods is that the nature of gravity itself might have changed over time. The reading also might shed light on dark energy, a mysterious force responsible for the expansion of the universe.

    “With the collision we saw last year, we got lucky—it was close to us, so it was relatively easy to find and analyze,” said Maya Fishbach, a UChicago graduate student and the other author on the paper. “Future detections will be much farther away, but once we get the next generation of telescopes, we should be able to find counterparts for these distant detections as well.”

    The LIGO detectors are planned to begin a new observing run in February 2019, joined by their Italian counterparts at VIRGO. Thanks to an upgrade, the detectors’ sensitivities will be much higher—expanding the number and distance of astronomical events they can pick up.

    “It’s only going to get more interesting from here,” Holz said.

    The authors ran calculations at the University of Chicago Research Computing Center.

    Funding: Kavli Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, National Science Foundation.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    University of Chicago

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:39 pm on September 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , U Chicago, UChicago to offer major in astrophysics   

    From University of Chicago: “UChicago to offer major in astrophysics” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    1
    Photo of the Milky Way from the Atacama Desert in Chile, where the University of Chicago is part of a project to build the Giant Magellan Telescope to take unprecedented images of the cosmos. By Carlos Eduardo Fairbairn

    Giant Magellan Telescope, to be at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Las Campanas Observatory, to be built some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high

    Sep 28, 2018
    Louise Lerner

    Program adds research involvement, statistics, computer science to physics coursework.

    Scientists at the University of Chicago have been unraveling the secrets of the far-flung universe for more than a century, but starting in 2018-19, undergraduates will be able to formally declare a major in astrophysics.

    “I am thrilled to see the astrophysics major come to fruition and the interest that it has already generated,” said Angela Olinto, the Albert A. Michelson Distinguished Service Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics and dean of the Division of the Physical Sciences. “We know our students are proud of the department’s incredible legacy in the field, and we are delighted to deepen that connection with a formal major.”

    Previously, students interested in the habits of stars and galaxies would major in physics, which underlies much of the study of the universe, and enroll in elective courses in astrophysics. The new major will continue to require physics coursework, but also feature a central sequence tuned to major topics in astronomy and astrophysics; courses in statistics, computer science and observational techniques useful to prepare for research; and an effort to match students with a research placement by the summer of their second year.

    “The new astrophysics major is a splendid addition to an already very strong set of research and teaching programs in the physical sciences,” said John W. Boyer, dean of the College. “Given the extraordinary distinction of the Department’s faculty, students will have remarkable opportunities to engage with leading scholars and to encounter path-breaking research about the nature of our universe.”

    2
    Jonathan Kyl, then an undergrad, uses a telescope atop the Eckhardt Research Center in 2016. Photo by Chris Sheehy

    2
    William Eckhardt Center (Credit: Tom Rossiter Photography)

    The major is designed to get students into research ASAP, said Julia Borst Brazas, the administrator of academic affairs for the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. “We have this incredible faculty working on the biggest questions in the field right here, and we want to get students invested early,” she said.

    Rebecca Chen, a rising fourth-year, is one of 10 students expected to graduate this year with the new degree. “I think it’s great—it really provides people with the flexibility and foundations that they really need for the field,” she said. “It gave me a little more space to take courses that directly impact my future research.”

    Chen has conducted research with Profs. Rich Kron and Chihway Chang during her tenure, working both with telescope equipment and analyzing the data from large astronomical surveys. “That really gave me a feel for what the different areas of research are like and which is the best fit for me,” she said.

    The University has been home to luminaries in astronomy and astrophysics since the department was founded in 1897 by George Ellery Hale, who built some of the leading telescopes of the day.

    Caltech Palomar 200 inch Hale Telescope, at Mt Wilson, CA, USA, Altitude 1,712 m (5,617 ft)

    Other faculty and alumni whose names are scattered across space and stars today include Edwin Hubble, SB 1910, PhD 1917, an astronomer who played a crucial role in establishing the field of extragalactic astronomy;

    Edwin Hubble at Caltech Palomar Samuel Oschin 48 inch Telescope, (credit: Emilio Segre Visual Archives/AIP/SPL)

    Gerard Kuiper, sometimes referred to as the father of modern planetary science; Subramanyan Chandrasekhar, a Nobel laureate who described the evolution of stars and black holes; and Eugene Parker, who discovered the solar wind and described magnetic fields in space, among many others.

    NASA Parker Solar Probe Plus named to honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    University of Chicago

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:21 pm on July 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Meteorite Crystals Older than Earth Reveal Early Sun Secrets, , U Chicago   

    From From U Chicago via Discover Magazine: “Meteorite Crystals Older than Earth Reveal Early Sun Secrets” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    via
    DiscoverMag

    Discover Magazine

    July 30, 2018
    Erika K. Carlson

    1
    Artist’s illustration of the dusty disk of the early Solar System with an inset microscope image of a hibonite crystal. (Credit: Field Museum, University of Chicago, NASA, ESA, and E. Feild (STSCL))

    Tiny crystals in meteorites were witness to the sun’s unruly behavior in its earliest years.

    The sun sends a lot more than sunshine and rainbows our way. High-energy particles capable of messing with the nuclei of atoms stream off our star constantly. Earth’s magnetic fields shield us from many of the harmful effects of this energetic particles shower but not every solar system object is as protected.

    The sun was even more active, researchers found, in the earliest years of the solar system, before Earth existed. Scientists investigated tiny crystals from the Murchison meteorite that fell to Earth in 1969 — crystals called hibonites. These crystals were probably some of the earliest minerals to form in the solar system, emerging even before Earth did some 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists found that the hibonite crystals had lots of helium and neon atoms, a result of being bombarded by tons of energetic particles from an infant sun. The results were described Monday in Nature Astronomy.

    Ancient Crystals

    Astronomers have observed that young stars are generally very active and emit a lot of high-energy particles compared to stars farther along in their lives. To confirm whether the sun went through an active phase like this, scientists have been studying the chemical composition of meteorites to look for tell-tale signs of reactions caused by energetic particles. In the past, they’d found evidence suggesting the sun had an active early phase thanks to other known elements in the meteorites, but these helium and neon measurements in hibonite crystals are the most conclusive evidence yet.

    “What came together here was that we looked at samples that are probably the oldest or among the oldest materials that we have access to from a meteorite, because it was important to look at very old materials, and then we looked at helium and neon,” says geoscientist Levke Kööp, the first author of this study.

    Helium and neon atoms found in the crystals were the giveaway. Since helium and neon are in the family of elements called noble gases, they almost never form chemical bonds and wouldn’t have bonded to the hibonite crystals as they were forming. So how did these noble gas elements get there?

    Hibonite crystals are made up of several elements, including calcium and aluminum. When high-energy particles like those from the Sun hit some of these atoms, they can split into smaller atoms — like helium and neon. Kööp and her collaborators conclude that since these noble gases couldn’t have bonded into the crystals as they formed, the helium and neon atoms they found in hibonite crystals must be the products of this splitting caused by high-energy particles.

    The researchers found that other grains from the meteorite did not show the particle radiation’s effects to the same degree. This implies that a lot of the energetic particle bombardment that affected the hibonite crystals must have happened very early on in the history of the solar system, when the crystals were still young and hadn’t been incorporated into larger rocky bodies that would eventually fall to Earth as meteorites.

    2
    A microscope image of a tiny hibonite crystal, only about as wide across as a few human hairs. Scientists say these hibonite crystals found in meteorites were some of the earliest minerals to form in our solar system and are older than the Earth. (Credit: Andy Davis, University of Chicago)

    Something Changed

    Comparing the old hibonite crystals to crystals that formed later in the solar system’s history revealed that the sun was very active early in its life, but something changed dramatically in the early solar system so that later crystals did not experience as much energetic particle radiation.

    “Something changed in the irradiation condition,” Kööp says. “For some reason the hibonites were irradiated, but the later formed materials were not. And we don’t know exactly why that is.”

    Kööp says it could have been some change in the properties of the dusty disk of the early Solar System, which would have shielded minerals from the some of the sun’s radiation, or it could have been a change in how much energetic particle radiation the Sun was emitting very early on.

    Next steps, Kööp says, would be to look for the same helium and neon effects in other early Solar System minerals. She also thinks this work will be useful for simulations modeling the evolution of the early Solar System and its dusty disk properties.

    In any case, Kööp is happy that the helium and neon atoms managed to stick around inside these tiny crystals for so long.

    “It actually worked out so nicely, that the signature was so clear,” she says. “There are many, many reasons why we might have not seen it. So actually it seemed like all the stars aligned.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    University of Chicago

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:54 pm on July 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Joshua Frieman, , U Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Studying universe requires ‘archaeology on the grand scale,’ physicist says” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Jul 12, 2018
    Ali Sundermier

    1
    Prof. Josh Frieman. Photo by Drew Reynolds

    Joshua Frieman looks to future as head of particle physics research at Fermilab.

    2
    Particle physics research from Fermilab and SLAC are helping to improve our daily lives and the products we use. | Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago.

    As director of the Dark Energy Survey, an international collaboration to map several hundred million galaxies using one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras, Fermilab scientist and University of Chicago professor Josh Frieman, PhD’89, leads more than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions across the world in the quest to unravel mysteries of the universe.

    Dark Energy Survey


    Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at FNAL


    NOAO/CTIO Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile, housing DECam at an altitude of 7200 feet

    The role, he said, has given him the opportunity to work with diverse groups of people toward a common goal, a skill that comes in handy as he takes on the role of Particle Physics Division head at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    “Not only is Josh an outstanding scientist, he’s demonstrated an ability to lead a collaboration of hundreds of researchers who are situated all over the world,” said Fermilab Deputy Director Joe Lykken. “It requires a kind of cooperative spirit and skill that makes him perfect to lead one of the largest and most scientifically diverse divisions at Fermilab.”

    With a physicist for a father, Frieman said physics was certainly in the air when he was growing up. But it wasn’t until he was halfway through his undergraduate career that he discovered his passion for cosmology.

    “It was around 1980,” he said, “when the field was starting to go through a renaissance by marrying ideas from particle physics with cosmology so that we could make theories of the early universe. The idea of cosmology as archaeology on the grand scale—that we could make observations of the universe and use them like pottery shards to piece together the first few moments after the Big Bang—was very compelling to me. That’s how I decided to become a physicist, through the desire to understand the beginning of the universe.”

    Frieman did his graduate work on cosmological theory at the University of Chicago, going on to complete a postdoctoral position at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. In the late 1980s, he returned to Illinois to join the scientific staff at Fermilab, teaching astronomy and astrophysics part-time at the University of Chicago.

    Although Frieman started out in cosmological theory, as the field of cosmology evolved his interests became increasingly entangled with observations as opposed to pure theory, he said. In the late 1990s, he began working on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a project that later inspired him and other colleagues to develop the idea for the Dark Energy Survey.

    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot NM, USA, Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft)

    “My career has been partly a migration or expansion from theory to observations,” Frieman said. “Though I still think of myself as a lapsed or recovering theorist. Over that evolution, I have become involved with larger and larger international collaborations.”

    Frieman takes over as head of the Particle Physics Division from Fermilab scientist Patty McBride, who will become deputy spokesperson of the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, one of the two major ongoing experiments at Europe’s Large Hadron Collider.

    CERN CMS Higgs Event


    CERN/CMS Detector

    The Particle Physics Division is home to a number of major efforts at Fermilab, including as an anchor to the U.S. participation in and contribution to the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment.

    Frieman said one of his main focuses is going to be working with the scientific staff to create a new vision for how to probe cosmic phenomena such as dark energy, dark matter and cosmic inflation, areas in which he has a wealth of experience.

    Dark Matter Research

    Universe map Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey

    Scientists studying the cosmic microwave background hope to learn about more than just how the universe grew—it could also offer insight into dark matter, dark energy and the mass of the neutrino.

    Dark matter cosmic web and the large-scale structure it forms The Millenium Simulation, V. Springel et al

    Dark Matter Particle Explorer China

    DEAP Dark Matter detector, The DEAP-3600, suspended in the SNOLAB deep in Sudbury’s Creighton Mine

    LUX Dark matter Experiment at SURF, Lead, SD, USA

    ADMX Axion Dark Matter Experiment, U Uashington

    Inflation

    4
    Alan Guth, from Highland Park High School and M.I.T., who first proposed cosmic inflation

    HPHS Owls

    Lambda-Cold Dark Matter, Accelerated Expansion of the Universe, Big Bang-Inflation (timeline of the universe) Date 2010 Credit: Alex MittelmannColdcreation

    Alan Guth’s notes:
    5

    “I’m looking forward to the excitement of creating that plan and putting the laboratory on a good path toward its future in the cosmic frontier,” he said.

    The division also leads the laboratory’s muon program, and it works to answer questions about dark energy, dark matter and the cosmic microwave background [CMB].

    FNAL Muon G-2 studio

    CMB per ESA/Planck


    ESA/Planck 2009 to 2013

    In support of these scientific efforts, Frieman said, the division has a large complement of people conducting technical and engineering work as well as research and development towards new sorts of technologies for high-energy physics experiments.

    “It’s quite a broad portfolio, and part of the division head’s responsibilities is managing all of that effort,” Frieman said. “I’m hoping to enable people to accomplish the different objectives of each of those projects, which involve designing, building, operating and analyzing particle physics experiments, understanding them through theory, and interpreting and providing context for them.”

    To Frieman, the most rewarding aspect of working in physics is working with people to make discoveries about the universe.

    “What I’m looking forward to most is the continued excitement of discovery,” Frieman said. “It’s why many of us go into science. Increasingly we see that science, and in particular big science like particle physics, has become a real team or even community effort. And these communities face significant challenges. I see a large part of my job as fostering a positive environment in which this community can thrive so that people can do their best work and make fundamental discoveries. We’re making progress here every day, and that’s quite exciting.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:38 pm on May 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Primed for a quantum leap in research", , U Chicago   

    From University of Chicago: “Primed for a quantum leap in research” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    5.10.18
    Louise Lerner

    UChicago scientists and engineers at forefront of technology revolution.

    1
    Photo courtesy of Kevin Satzinger

    Since being proposed a half-century ago, quantum computing has been confined to science fiction and the daydreams of physicists.

    Then that all changed.

    “In the last decade, the field of quantum information science has rapidly expanded beyond fundamental research toward real-world applications,” said Prof. David Awschalom of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago.

    Behind the scenes, a number of breakthroughs have made it possible for scientists to encode and manipulate information in quantum systems, which behave according to the strange laws of quantum mechanics. Today, university scientists like those at the IME are fleshing out the fundamental rules of controlling such systems, while Google, IBM, Microsoft and Intel are pouring millions of dollars in a race to build those concepts into working computers.


    Scientists at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering are exploring a vast new field made possible by the ability to manipulate quantum systems.
    (Video by UChicago Creative)

    Quantum computers should be able to solve certain problems much faster than current computers. Because they naturally process multiple possibilities in parallel, it’s thought they could speed up searches for new pharmaceuticals, improve batteries and find greener ways to make chemicals. (They’re also of significant interest to governments because such computers might be able to factor the large numbers that currently encrypt the world’s financial, political and military secrets.)

    But computing isn’t the only way to tap quantum quirks. Scientists at UChicago are shaping a vast new field made possible by our growing ability to manipulate quantum systems. In fact, of the major quantum technologies, researchers see computers as the furthest out to achieve. Before then, there are possibilities for innately secure communication and precise navigation systems. Quantum sensors might find hidden underground oil pockets, improve earthquake monitoring, unravel the structure of single molecules or peek at the busy dance of proteins inside a cell.

    2
    A UChicago team accidentally discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum circuits. (Artist’s rendition by Peter Allen)

    “The Institute for Molecular Engineering is looking 10 or 15 years down the line,” said Matthew Tirrell, the founding Pritzker Director and dean of the Institute for Molecular Engineering. “While Google and Intel are working to build prototype systems, we need to lay down a scientific foundation of understanding for these quantum technologies, and to do that, we are building an institute that brings together experts with deep knowledge in a variety of adjacent fields.”

    The right ingredients for discovery

    The IME is uniquely positioned to tackle the science from which quantum technologies will emerge. In addition to its state-of-the-art Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility, the institute works closely with UChicago’s two affiliated national laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab; in fact, last year, the IME formed a hub called the Chicago Quantum Exchange to coordinate research among the three institutions. The institute is also tied with UChicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to commercialize breakthroughs.

    The institute is set up to solve problems that span multiple scientific fields—encouraging researchers to leverage the wide range of expertise around them, which is key to quickly realizing the full potential of discoveries made in the lab.

    ___________________________________________________________

    “You need to lay down a scientific foundation of understanding for these quantum technologies, and to do that, you need a center that combines really deep knowledge in a variety of fields.”

    —Matt Tirrell, the founding Pritzker Director and dean of the Institute for Molecular Engineering

    “In the last decade, the field of quantum information science has rapidly expanded beyond fundamental research toward real-world applications.”

    —Prof. David Awschalom

    ___________________________________________________________

    For example: A few years ago, Awschalom’s research group discovered quantum behavior in a common material called silicon carbide. No one had expected to see it there; and no one could explain why it was happening. So they reached out to fellow researchers, including Giulia Galli, the Liew Family Professor of Electronic Structure and Simulations at the Institute for Molecular Engineering.

    “We met with Giulia, who is a theoretical physicist. Within a few months, she and her students came up with some clever modeling to explain the underlying behavior we observed,” Awschalom said. “Now we are collaborating with Andrew Cleland next door to start incorporating these quantum states into hybrid devices. There are now hundreds of potential ways to develop these materials into useful systems.”

    The result of all this is research that can more quickly spin up to become part of our lives. “Ultimately, we think quantum technologies will impact the world in many ways beyond computing,” said Awschalom.

    3
    Asst. Prof. Jonathan Simon makes “quantum Legos” out of photons to explore principles of quantum systems. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

    Leave your intuition at the door

    Quantum mechanics is how scientists describe the behavior of fundamental particles. The theory was built over the 20th century, and some of its central tenets were proposed by Einstein, though he was famously uneasy about their implications. Physicists originally began to test these theories by observing the behavior of particles, such as photons of light, which act both as waves and as particles. Pull on that thread, and you discover a universe that does not square with the world as we’re used to.

    “It’s very hard to develop a good intuition for quantum behavior,” Awschalom said, “because everything behaves so differently from the classical world we know.”

    According to quantum mechanics, objects can occupy different locations at the same time; they can go through walls; and they can be entangled with one another, acting as though they “know” what’s happening miles or even light-years away. And if you measure a quantum state, it can change. So scientists have to build systems that create, manipulate and move these particles, while studiously avoiding interacting with them more than strictly necessary.

    The property that sparked the idea for quantum computers is that particles can exist in two positions at the same time, a concept called “superposition.” You might be familiar with the binary language that underwrites all of today’s computers, which contains just two options: 0 and 1. A quantum computer could expand that language by encoding information that exists in more than one state at a time, which lets you attack questions very differently. Since nature behaves quantum-mechanically, at a certain point, we need a quantum computer to simulate those processes. Along with completely new computers comes a need for new algorithms: across the street from the IME, a $10 million NSF project headed by Fred Chong, the Seymour Goodman Professor in the Department of Computer Science, will design hardware and software to help realize the potential of quantum computing more rapidly.

    4
    IME scientists invented a configuration that can flip the state of a quantum bit, from ‘off’ to ‘on,’ 300 percent faster than conventional methods. (Artist’s rendition by Peter Allen)

    There are already some small systems of about five quantum bits (called qubits) that anyone can play with online. Within the year, some of the largest tech companies are expected to unveil working systems with 50 or more qubits.

    “Every time you add a qubit, you double the computer’s power, which gets you enormous power very quickly,” said Andrew Cleland, the John A. MacLean Sr. Professor for Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise. “But it’s very hard to keep them all behaving the way you want.”

    The difficult bit

    Quantum systems are extremely sensitive. They get thrown out of alignment by the tiniest changes in temperature or magnetism, noise or someone walking by. “A major challenge in this field is to preserve the integrity of quantum signals in real-world devices,” Awschalom said.

    “Our really good systems now last for tens of microseconds,” said Asst. Prof. David Schuster. “But you can do a lot in that time.”

    5
    A quantum device known as the “0-Pi” circuit, the first of a new class of protected superconducting qubits being developed at the University of Chicago in the lab of Prof. David Schuster. (Courtesy of Nate Earnest and Abigail Shearrow)

    But quantum’s quirks are what make it interesting. While not being able to read your information without screwing everything up is frustrating, it makes it perfect for designing a hack-proof communication system: If someone eavesdrops, the information will be destroyed.

    Similarly, quantum systems’ tendency to respond to the least disturbances make them perfect sensors. “With quantum sensors, you are dealing with the absolute smallest amounts of energy, so you can sense things that other technologies cannot,” Cleland said.

    They could detect something as small as tiny shifts in gravity that indicate the ground is denser in one area than another—which could detect untapped pockets of oil or minerals or get us closer to predicting earthquakes. They could even potentially detect dark matter.

    Medicine is interested, too. Untangling the structure of proteins and cellular structures is central to making better pharmaceuticals, and it’s thought that quantum sensors could do this much faster and with better sensitivity. It could even one day peer inside the workings of our own cells. “Think of the possibilities for advancing biology and medicine if we can place nano-scale quantum sensors into living cells and observe their behavior in real time,” Awschalom said.

    Yet the applications will only come once scientists understand the underlying principles of how to properly control quantum systems. First they need to understand how to prevent magnetic fields from knocking such systems out quickly; how to make bigger systems hold together; and how to interface them with existing technology.

    “These are important questions for university scientists and engineers, because this underlying physics will ultimately determine the limits of quantum technologies,” Awschalom said. “To answer these questions, we need groups of computer scientists, engineers and physicists working together.”

    And as that science grows into full-fledged technology, the world will need a new generation of quantum engineers, Awschalom said. Another $1.5 million from NSF will fund an innovative program, headed by Awschalom and Harvard’s Evelyn Hu, that pairs graduate students to tackle specific problems along with mentors from both academia and industry.

    The field is exciting to work in, IME researchers said, especially for scientists who’ve seen the field evolving before their eyes. “When I was in grad school, this was all pretty pictures in textbooks, that you knew you couldn’t apply to anything in the real world,” Cleland said. “But the barriers started falling away, and now we’re not only actually doing those textbook examples, but going well beyond them.”

    See the full article here .

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