Angular Momentum Chain

Prof. Manjavacas Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

Professor Alejandro Manjavacas has been awarded a five-year NSF CAREER award for a project entitled Transfer of Momentum and Energy in the Nanoscale Using Quantum and Thermal Fluctuations. This unique project takes advantage of the quantum nature of the interaction of light and matter to develop possible new applications in nanotechnology. The work should point toward new ways of manipulating objects on the nanoscale, including in biological settings, as well as improvements in design of thermophotovoltaic devices and heat management in nanoelectronics.

Here is a detailed description of the proposal:

The interaction between light and matter in the nanoscale can be very different from our daily macroscopic experience. When the dimensions of material structures, or the space separating them, reach the range of nanometers, the quantum nature of light and matter emerges, giving rise to new phenomena. In that limit, Casimir interactions, which arise from quantum and thermal fluctuations of the electromagnetic field, play a dominant role and can overcome other interactions, such as gravitational forces, thus conditioning the dynamics of nanoscale objects. The fluctuations of the electromagnetic field are also at the origin of the radiative transfer of energy between bodies at different temperatures. In this context, and thanks to the enormous advances in nanofabrication technologies, we have reached the limit in which the effects caused by the quantum and thermal fluctuations of the electromagnetic field have important consequences for the mechanical and thermal dynamics of nanostructures. This has posed new challenges for the development of applications in nanotechnology. However, it also constitutes a unique opportunity to develop new approaches to manipulate the mechanical and thermal dynamics of nanostructures.

In this project, we will tackle this research challenge by investigating the transfer of momentum and energy between nanoscale objects within the context of two novel concepts that have recently emerged in nanophotonics: structures with atomic thickness and spin-orbit interactions of light. The investigation of these phenomena within a common theoretical framework will allow us to establish the foundations for new paradigms enabling noncontact transfer of momentum and energy in the nanoscale, which can help to develop novel approaches to manipulate nanoscale objects, including biologically relevant structures. Furthermore, the results on the energy transfer will have an impact on the improvement of thermophotovoltaic devices and heat management strategies in nanoelectronics. At the same time, this project will be an opportunity to improve the recruitment and retention of STEM students, which is one of the most important structural problems that education in New Mexico currently faces, with a special emphasis on targeting first-generation and low-income students from underrepresented minorities. To that end, we will implement a range of activities targeting students from middle school to the graduate level, which aim to build interest in STEM disciplines, preserve that interest, and mold it into essential skills and experience.

See the NSF Award Abstract

Virtual AMO Seminar series beginning April 3, 2020

Quantum information science researchers, Adam Kaufman, Shimon Kolkowitz, and Monika Schleier-Smith are organizing a Virtual AMO Seminar series for this period in which we are all working remotely and cannot travel. The hope is that this will help continue communication of scientific results and maintain community engagement.  The talk series will feature PIs as well as post-docs and graduate students.

Ivan Deutsch will nominate speakers, of both PIs as well as graduate students/post docs for 20 minute talks, on behalf of the CQuIC community.  Please contact Ivan Deutsch if you are interested in being nominated as a speaker during the Virtual AMO Seminar Series.  Please provide a presentation title and abstract for consideration.

Virtual AMO Seminar series

Time: Weekly,  Friday, 1 pm Mountain Daylight Time, beginning Friday, April 3, 2020

Capacity:  Attendance is capped at 300-500 participants on a first come first serve basis. Please connect on time to guarantee your participation.

Meeting Site:  TBD:  Please see the Seminar series website.

Upcoming Seminars:

  • Friday, April 3rd, 2020:

Vladan Vuletić, MIT

“Measurements of Isotope Shifts in Yb+ Search for Dark Matter”

  • Friday, April 10th, 2020:

Waseem Bakr, Princeton University


  • Friday, April 17th, 2020:

Adam Kaufman, JILA/CU/NIST


  • Friday, April 24th, 2020:

Daniel Slichter, NIST


  • Friday, May 1st, 2020:

Jonathan Simon, University of Chicago



22nd Annual SQuInT Workshop in Eugene, Oregon Feb 8-10, 2020

The 22nd Annual SQuInT Workshop took place in Eugene Oregon on February 8 – 10, 2020.  The scientific program was notable with an impressive group of invited speakers including Sergio Boixo and John Martinis from Google, CQuIC alum, Steven Flammia, from U Sydney, as well as Benjamin Brown, U Sydney, Jonathan Home, ETH Zurich, Jungsang Kim, Duke U, Alicia Kollar, U Maryland, Mark Saffman, U Wisconsin, Giulia Semeghini, Harvard U, and Birgitta Whaley, U California, Berkeley.   In addition to the invited talks, there were 35 contributed talks and 110 posters!  CQuIC faculty, Akimasa Miyake teamed with U Oregon faculty, Brian Smith to organize the program.  The venue was organized by Jorjie Arden at the U Oregon.  Thanks Jorjie!  Overall, it was a great meeting with a record-breaking number of attendees: 120 senior and 118 student participants.  The 23rd Annual SQuInT Workshop will take place in Albuquerque, NM in 2021.

Quantum Supremacy Explained at CQuIC Seminar

ECE / P&A Asst Prof Tameem Albash and P&A Asst Prof Elizabeth Crosson co-presented “What is quantum supremacy and did Google do it?” at the Center for Quantum Information and Control (CQuIC) Seminar on November 21 to give the general scientific community a slightly deeper exposition of the subject matter. Attendees represented multiple disciplines in the UNM community. The presenters put into context the significance of Google’s milestone of showing that a quantum computer can perform a task faster and more efficiently than the current fastest supercomputer. Crosson and Albash noted the work of other research groups that are following on the heels of Google’s announcement and trying to find ways to improve the computational time for supercomputers.

The focus of this seminar is a recently published paper by The Google Quantum AI team in Nature.

“Neither Elizabeth nor I are co-authors on this work,” said Albash. “However the work is rather important and has garnered a lot of press and we believed it would be both useful and fun to give the general scientific community a slightly deeper exposition of the subject matter.”

The Google Quantum AI team has recently published their work [Nature 574, 505–510 (2019)] detailing their demonstration of quantum supremacy on their 53 qubit ‘Sycamore’ processor, heralding (perhaps) a new era in quantum computing. But what is ‘quantum supremacy’, did Google actually achieve it, and what are the implications of this demonstration?

See the video (UNM NetID login required):

What is quantum supremacy and did Google do it?