News

  • 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.”