Department of Physics

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Colloquia & Seminars, Spring 2017

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Quantum Network of Entangled Atoms: Colluding Rydberg Physics and Quantum Information Processing

Speaker: Dr. Turker Topcu
Date: Friday, April 7, 2017
Time: 4pm
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract: One of the prominent schemes for realizing Quantum Information Processing (QIP) involves using large dipole-dipole interactions between highly excited Rydberg states of trapped atoms. Neutral atoms trapped in optical lattices exhibit strong long-range interactions when in Rydberg states, and this is used to mediate conditional logic in quantum gate operations. I will discuss our work on entangling a network of spatially separated atomic clouds for realizing a quantum network of entangled atomic clocks. Creating an entangled set of spatially separated atomic clocks is directly relevant to QIP, as such a clock network can be utilized as a distributed platform for quantum computing by repurposing the clock states as qubit states. I will then discuss how going beyond the 2-level picture can benefit quantum gate design and describe possible future directions. Such future projects include enhancing long-range Rydberg interactions to increase quantum gate fidelity using Stark states and multi-photon Rydberg blockade. Other projects aimed at better estimating gate errors include evaluation of accurate ionization rates in optical lattices by going beyond the dipole approximation. I will explain how students can get involved in these research projects given the computational nature of this research.

About the speaker:  Dr. Turker Topcu is a volunteer research scholar at the University of Nevada, Reno and is a sole instructor of Differential Equations in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

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Quantum Computing With Solid-State Elements

Speaker: Dr. Joydip Ghosh
Date: Monday, April 3, 2017
Time: 4pm
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract: A quantum computer, a computing device powered by the laws of quantum mechanics, would be capable of solving a class of mathematical problems exponentially faster than classical computers. Systematic research on solid-state devices, such as superconducting and semiconducting elements, has shown how quantum properties of these devices can be harnessed in fabricating a quantum bit (or a ‘qubit’), a primary building block of a quantum computer. Solid-state implementations have thus turned out to be one of the most promising approaches toward practical quantum computing. Realizing a scalable and fault-tolerant architecture of a solid-state quantum computer, however, involves challenges posed by the fragility of quantum information under various noise mechanisms. In this talk, I will discuss some of the most pressing challenges in the arena of solid-state quantum computing. I will also present some recent developments in designing high-fidelity quantum operations and quantum error correction with semiconducting and superconducting components. Finally, I will outline a few promising directions of possible future research that can directly address some of the existing roadblocks in constructing a scalable fault-tolerant solid-state quantum computer.

About the speaker:  Dr. Joydip Ghosh is a research associate in the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working in quantum information science.

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Mathematica 11 in Education and Research

Speaker: Matthew Woodbury
Date: Friday, March 31, 2017
Time: 4pm
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract: This technical talk will show live calculations in Mathematica 11 and other Wolfram technologies relevant to courses and research. Specific topics include:

  • Enter calculations in everyday English, or using the flexible Wolfram Language
  • Visualize data, functions, surfaces, and more in 2D or 3D
  • Store and share documents locally or in the Wolfram Cloud
  • Use the Predictive Interface to get suggestions for the next useful calculation or function options
  • Access trillions of bits of on-demand data
  • Use semantic import to enrich your data using Wolfram curated data
  • Easily turn static examples into mouse-driven, dynamic applications
  • Access 10,000 free course-ready applications
  • Utilize the Wolfram Language's wide scope of built-in functions, or create your own
  • Get deep support for specialized areas including machine learning, time series, image processing, parallelization, and control systems, with no add-ons required

Current users will benefit from seeing the many improvements and new features of Mathematica 11 (https://www.wolfram.com/mathematica/new-in-11/), but prior knowledge of Mathematica is not required

About the speaker: Dr. William Peters is a research scientist II at the University of Tennessee & Oak Ridge National Laboratory through the Joint Institute for Nuclear Physics and Applications.

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How to Improve Your Non-Destructive Assay With Nuclear Physics

Speaker: Dr. William Peters
Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Time: 4pm
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract: The detection of enriched uranium and other special nuclear material is of particular importance to nonproliferation monitoring and radiological clean-up efforts around the globe. Fluorine (19F) is commonly used with actinide compounds (e.g., UF6, UF4, PuF4) in the nuclear fuel cycle and for long term storage in large barrels. The 19F(α,n)22Na reaction, driven by the α particles from actinide-decay, generates a neutron signal that can be used to determine the quantity of enriched material inside a container without disturbing the contents; a non-destructive assay (NDA). The accuracy of this assay depends linearly on the poorly-known 19F(α,n)22Na cross section. I will present results from a project funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration is to measure the 19F(α,n)22Na cross section using the Versatile Array of Neutron Detectors at Low Energy (VANDLE) with both fluorine and α beams. Our results reduced the uncertainty of this method of NDA considerably and the project team was just awarded a Joule Award from the NNSA. The project was a collaborative effort including Idaho National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and students from Rutgers University, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Notre Dame. Details of the experiments as well as the results and implications will be presented. I will also discuss recent results from a similar 13C(α,n) measurement and future plans for other applied and basic research.

About the speaker: Dr. William Peters is a research scientist II at the University of Tennessee & Oak Ridge National Laboratory through the Joint Institute for Nuclear Physics and Applications.

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Optically Faint Compact Radio Sources

Speaker: Mr. Jacob Brown
Date: Friday, February 17, 2017
Time: 4pm
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Abstract: The Optical-Faint Compact Radio Sources or OFCORS are a sample of 135 radio sources selected from the Radio Fundamental Catalog (RFC). These sources are completely invisible from the optical data taken by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), despite the fact that they are extremely strong radio sources. They have accurate VLBI positions, have ultra-compact radio morphologies (>10 mas), and have median radio flux density of ~ 100 mJy or greater. While it is natural to guess that the OFCORS are powerful AGN, their exact nature is unclear. To understand their nature, we have been performing a multi-wavelength study over the optical, infrared, and radio regimes. In this talk, I will present the details of this new study.

About the speaker: Mr. Jacob Brown is a Physics graduate of Western Illinois University with a BS in Physics and Mathematics, 2009; and a MS in Physics in 2011. He was a Physics Teaching Support Assistant during 2009-2011. Currently, he is attending the University of Missouri in Columbia where he will graduate May 17, 2017 with a Ph.D. in Physics and a minor in College Teaching.

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