Research Features


Robert Baker (Chemistry)

The Baker group focuses on understanding surface electron dynamics and interfacial charge transfer in catalytic systems. Much more is currently known about molecular photophysics and photochemical reaction dynamics compared to surface photochemistry due to the challenge of probing surfaces selectively with sensitivity to oxidation state, spin state, carrier thermalization, lattice distortions, and charge trapping at defect states. Femtosecond soft x-ray reflectivity developed in our group is now enabling such studies with the goal of advancing the field of surface chemical physics.

Gauthier Lab Cryostat

Daniel Gauthier (Physics)

Dr. Gauthier is an experimental Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physicist who studies the physics of information.  He is developing systems for achieving secure communication between two parties, known as quantum key distribution, and has achieved record-setting rates for key exchange.  In collaboration with Prof. Gregory Lafyatis, he is also developing superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors for applications in quantum optics and quantum computing and studies photonic approaches for quantum computing and quantum machine learning.  On the classical information side, he uses Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to study the dynamics of large networks with applications to information processing, artificial neural networks, and artificial intelligence.

Long-exposure photo of laser-cooling beams trapped barium ions in Olmschenk lab

Steven Olmschenk (Astronomy/Physics)

Steven Olmschenk does research in experimental atomic physics and quantum information with laser-cooled, trapped ions.  Trapped atomic ions are one of the leading platforms for applications in quantum information due to their long trapping times, good coherence properties, and the precise control of quantum states enabled by microwave and laser radiation.  Dr. Olmschenk is pursuing methods to directly interface trapped ions with infrared, telecom-compatible photons, where the attenuation in optical fiber is minimized.  Interfacing ions with infrared photons is expected to be advantageous for protocols that utilize atom-photon entanglement, including quantum networks for applications in secure communication and distributed computation.

Plick Quantum Optics

William N. Plick (Theoretical Physics)

William N. Plick is a Theoretical Physicist working in Quantum Optics and Quantum Foundations. His research focuses on quantum-optical metrology with non-classical light, as well as the properties and generation of complex optical modes - and by extension their use in higher-dimensional quantum information and communication. He also does research into local-realistic inequalities for the characterization of quantum technologies, and more recently, he has been investigating how the formalism of quantum theory may be applied to other fields like psychology and sociology.

Reano Optical Chip

Ronald Reano (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Reano's research activity is in the area of integrated optics and photonics. Integrated optics involves the manipulation of light at the micrometer and nanometer scales. It is analogous to integrated electronics. Instead of electrons, however, photons are guided and controlled on the surface of an optical chip. Thin-film technology is applied to realize optical circuits and devices for the purpose of achieving high-performance optical systems with advantages in efficiency, miniaturization, mechanical stability, and economies of scale. Applications span sensors, communications systems, and computing. 

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