Bryce Gadway selected for NSF CAREER Award

Siv Schwink for Illinois Physics

Illinois Physics Assistant Professor Bryce Gadway has been selected for a 2020 National Science Foundation CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development) Award. This award is conferred annually in support of junior faculty who excel in the role of teacher-scholars by integrating outstanding research programs with excellent educational programs. Receipt of this award also reflects great promise for a lifetime of leadership within the recipients’ respective fields.

Illinois Physics Professor Bryce Gadway works with members of his research group in his lab at Loomis Laboratory of Physics. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Illinois Physics Professor Bryce Gadway works with members of his research group in his lab at Loomis Laboratory of Physics. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Gadway is an atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) experimentalist, who has developed novel quantum simulation techniques for probing transport phenomena relevant to condensed matter systems. Quantum simulation is an experimental approach that yields insights into the behavior of complex systems by emulating them in an ideal model system. Gadway’s group uses finely tuned lasers both to trap ultracold atoms about a billion times colder than room temperature and to create a type of synthetic lattice made from atomic momentum states that replicates the properties and behaviors of electronic transport in real materials. AMO experimentation allows a wider control over experimental parameters than can typically be achieved in real materials: these simulated materials are without defect, and the properties of the lattices and the interactions between particles can be finely tuned.

Gadway’s CAREER Award will support a new research thrust, looking at strong particle interactions in engineered topological materials. More specifically, Gadway’s team will explore many-body transport phenomena in synthetic lattices, based on the internal degrees of freedom of ultracold Rydberg atoms. This research program and a partner project on topological mechanics will create several undergraduate research opportunities at Illinois Physics, in particular for students from groups historically underrepresented in physics.  Taken together, the efforts supported by this new CAREER award will help Gadway and his team investigate a broad range of new artificial topological materials.

Gadway is a member of the Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center, working to shed new light on quantum materials and their properties, to enable new capabilities in quantum sensing, quantum computing, and quantum simulation.

Gadway received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Colgate University in 2007 and a doctoral degree in physics from Stony Brook University in 2012. He was a National Research Council postdoctoral research fellow, completing his postdoctoral work at JILA in Boulder, CO, before joining the faculty at Physics Illinois in 2014. He is the recipient of Stony Brook University’s President's Award to Distinguished Doctoral Students (2013) and of the American Physical Society’s Leroy Apker Award (2007).

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