News

  • Outreach
  • Quantum Information Science
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Quantum Computing

A two-day summit in Chicago taking place November 8 and 9 has brought together leading experts in quantum information science to advance U.S. efforts in what’s been called the next technological “space race”—and to position Illinois at the forefront of that race. The inaugural Chicago Quantum Summit, hosted by the Chicago Quantum Exchange, includes high-level representation from Microsoft, IBM, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently joined the Chicago Quantum Exchange as a core member, making it one of the largest quantum information science (QIS) collaborations in the world. The exchange was formed last year as an alliance between the University of Chicago and the two Illinois-based national laboratories, Argonne and Fermilab.

Representing the U of I at the summit are physics professors Brian DeMarco, Paul Kwiat, and Dale Van Harlingen, who are key players in the planned Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST) on the U of I campus. The U of I news bureau announced last week the university’s $15-million commitment to the new center, which will form a collaboration of physicists, engineers, and computer scientists to develop new algorithms, materials, and devices to advance QIS.

  • Research
  • Quantum Information Science
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is making a $15 million investment in the emerging area of quantum information science and engineering, a field poised to revolutionize computing, communication, security, measurement and sensing by utilizing the unique and powerful capabilities of quantum mechanics.

  • In the Media
  • Quantum Computing

“I see the country at a crossroads with quantum information systems,” said Brian DeMarco, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois who specializes in quantum computing and has worked with government organizations on the technology. “I can see things not working out, where the balance is not good, and it derails our ability to compete.”

  • Outreach
  • Quantum Information Science

Two University of Illinois faculty members are at the White House in Washington, D.C., today, attending the Advancing American Leadership in QIS Summit.

Quantum Information Science (QIS) and Technology has emerged over the last decade as one of the hottest topics in physics. Researchers collaborating across physics, engineering, and computer science have shown that quantum mechanics—one of the most successful theories of physics that explains nature from the scale of tiny atoms to massive neutron stars—can be a powerful platform for information processing and technologies that will revolutionize security, communication, and computing.

  • Accolades

Professor and Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs Brian DeMarco has been named a University Scholar by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The award recognizes faculty who have made significant contributions in their fields of research and teaching, in line with the university’s reputation for leading-edge innovation and excellence. DeMarco is among 12 faculty members in the University of Illinois System to be selected for this honor in 2018.

  • Research
  • AMO Physics
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Now, two teams at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, working together and attacking the problem from different physics disciplines, have shed new light on our understanding of disordered quantum materials. Professor Brian DeMarco and his group perform innovative experiments in atomic, molecular, and optical physics using ultracold atoms trapped in an optical lattice to simulate phenomena in solid materials. Professor David Ceperley and his group work in theoretical condensed matter physics; they perform supercomputing simulations to model phenomena in solid materials.

The two groups collaborated across physics disciplines to understand how disorder in a quantum material gives rise to an exotic quantum state called a Bose glass. The results are published in Nature Physics in the article, “Probing the Bose glass–superfluid transition using quantum quenches of disorder.”

  • In the Media
  • AMO/Quantum Physics
  • AMO Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

 Brian DeMarco’s group works in the ultracold-atom field that is my own home in physics. They start with a gas of potassium atoms, cool them to a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero, and place them in an “optical lattice,” which uses light to create an array of places where the atoms would “like” to sit.

  • Accolades

Three Physics Illinois faculty members—Professors Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, Vidya Madhavan, and Brian DeMarco—have been elected Fellows of the American Physical Society. Election to Fellowship is a distinct honor that recognizes significant contributions to the field, including outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education.

  • Accolades
  • AMO Physics/Quantum Physics
  • AMO Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

University of Illinois Professor of Physics Brian DeMarco has been selected as a member of the Defense Science Study Group (DSSG), a program that gives leading scientists and engineers a chance to participate in the dialogue on technological challenges and advancements relating to national security. Over the course of the program, DSSG members focus on defense policy, related research and development, and the systems, missions, and operations of the armed forces and the intelligence community.

“I’m excited about this opportunity because it is a chance to learn about how science can inform and impact policy within the federal government and defense agencies,” DeMarco comments. “The DSSG is also a pathway into important organizations such as JASON that can have a broad impact on how we react as a nation to challenges such as energy generation and climate change.”

  • Outreach

In his fourth year heading up Leal’s Science Night, Illinois Physics professor Brian DeMarco unashamedly acknowledges that he devotes his time and energy into organizing the event in hopes that it might result in youngsters choosing STEM careers.

“My own mission is to try to recruit as many talented, bright people as we can into this area,” admits DeMarco, “because science research is the most transformational thing we do as human beings…To solve all the challenges we have over the next fifty years, we need as many bright and talented scientists as we can get. So I would like to start solving that problem early.”