News & Events

  • We are investigating the role that gravity plays as an environment in causing the rapid decoherence of matter superposition states. Our approach is based on the viewpoint that the standard perturbative quantization of general relativity provides an effective description of quantum gravity that is valid at ordinary energies.

    FACULTY CONTACT: Miles Blencowe

  • Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) is a technique used to transfer spin polarization from electron to nuclear spins. Since the magnetic moment of the electron is over three orders of magnitude larger than that of most nuclear spins, this results in a dramatic increase in the magnitude of nuclear magnetic resonance signals. DNP is increasingly being used across a wide range of applications to improve the sensitivity of NMR measurements. Our goal is to use the tools of quantum control to...

    [more]
  • Our improving ability to control quantum mechanical systems is heralding a new generation of quantum devices whose performance is ultimately only limited by the laws of physics. Spins in semiconductors are a promising platform for such devices as they can have long coherence times, and could leverage the existing capabilities of the semiconductor industry. Our goal is to demonstrate high fidelity control and readout schemes for electron and nuclear spins in semiconductors such as silicon and...

    [more]
  • Solid state nuclear spin systems are an excellent platform on which to explore many-body quantum dynamics, as the spins are well-isolated from other degrees of freedom and the Hamiltonian of the system is well-known. We use the tools of magnetic resonance to engineer specific Hamiltonians in both 1D (naturally-occurring crystals of fluorapatite) and 2D (the 13-C spins of a graphene layer) spin systems. Our goal is to understand the emergence of quantum chaos in the dynamical behavior of the...

    [more]
  • We have a research program in astrobiology, in particular in modeling the role of the environment on the emergence of early life on Earth and how it may inform our search for life elsewhere. Topics of interest include the origin of biochirality and the role of information on the origin of the genetic code.

    FACULTY CONTACT: Marcelo Gleiser

  • We have been developing a formalism to describe and quantify the role of information theory in Nature. For this purpose, we use tools from field theory, in particular as applied to localized structures such as solitons and other nonlinear configurations from the subatomic to the astrophysical scale, to explore the connection of order and complexity in the natural world. The overarching theme of this research is How did the universe evolve from a soup of free particles to being a crucible for...

    [more]
  • According to current cosmological theory, the big bang is not the first thing that happened in the universe but the explosive heating-up that happened after a phase of rapid expansion known as cosmic inflation. We are interested in understanding the physics of this crucial transition, and how it has impacted the nature of the Universe. For this, we make use of a combination of numerical and analytical techniques to model the nonlinear, nonequilibrium physics of the early universe.

    ...

    [more]
  • Dark energy may not be completely dark -- it may harbor couplings to the Standard Model or dark matter that for one reason or another have eluded our grasp. Yet, if the Standard Model itself is a guide, then no couplings are superfluous: anything not prohibited is mandatory. So we may ask whether the allowed couplings of dark energy are essential to its behavior as the universal accelerant. A number of our projects (Bielefeld, Caldwell & Linder 2014, Caldwell, Gluscevic &...

    [more]
  • The cosmic microwave background (CMB), the "afterglow of creation," is a spectrum of 2.75K radiation. Small variations in the temperature at different directions on the sky give us clues to the large scale distribution of matter in the universe, spanning nearly 14 billion years of cosmic history. Small distortions of the spectrum -- departures from a perfect blackbody -- give deeper clues. We are currently using these spectral distortions in fundamental tests of cosmology, to probe theories...

    [more]
  • The physics underlying the accelerated expansion of the universe is unknown. Most of my recent research aims to explore various explanations. Examples include: a dynamical scalar field, quintessence; new gravitational phenomena; and alternative scenarios that dispense with dark energy altogether. My students and I develop these ideas, to make predictions for comparison with observations and experiments.

    FACULTY CONTACT: Robert Caldwell

Pages