by: Jon Atherton

Enshrined by the laws of Austrian physicists Josef Stefan and Ludwig Boltzmann in the late 19th Century, scientists have long understood the general principles of heat-energy transfer between the sun and planet Earth.

But at much closer separations, where photons can effectively “tunnel” between two bodies, the maximum rate and size at which two objects – one hot, one cold – can transfer heat has remained unknown.

From their emerging field of near-field nanophotonics, a group of Yale scientists have taken a new step in advancing the ‘Stefan-Boltzmann law’ by creating a mathematical framework to identify the upper bounds of light interactions and radiative energy transfer. Read full article at YaleNews.

Hui Cao, newly named as the John C. Malone Professor of Applied Physics and of Physics, focuses her research on mesoscopic physics and nanophotonics. Read full article at Yale News.

By Jon Atherton

The thinnest flake, just one atom thick, has provided scientists at Yale and the Brookhaven National Laboratory with new insight into a promising material for the next generation of high-speed electronics and a host of practical applications. Read full article at YaleNews.

By Jim Shelton

Yale scientists have discovered that laser light can be used to cool traveling sound waves in a silicon chip. Their findings appear in the Nov. 27 online edition of the journal Physical Review X.

In the last several decades, the ability to cool clouds of atoms using laser light has revolutionized atomic physics, leading to the discovery of new states of matter and better atomic clocks. Laser cooling relies on the fact that photons, or light particles, carry momentum and can exert a force on other objects.

These techniques have recently been adapted to slow down, or cool, mechanical oscillators comprised of billions of atoms. This type of cooling has become an enabling technique for exploring the quantum properties of mechanical objects and reducing forms of noise that would otherwise corrupt precision measurement.

Read full article at the YaleNews.

By Bill Hathaway

Four Yale faculty members have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

The 416 members have been awarded this honor by the AAAS in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The awardees are: Charles H. Ahn, the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Applied Physics and chair of the Department of Applied Physics; Richard G. Bribiescas, professor of anthropology and ecology and evolutionary biology and deputy provost for faculty development and diversity; Christopher G. Burd, professor and deputy chair of cell biology; and Dragomir Radev, the A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of Computer Science. 

Full article at YaleNews.

Most scientists will never have the opportunity to travel to the South Pole for their research, but then again, most scientists aren’t Faustin Carter (PhD ’15). Carter works as a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory in the High Energy Physics division. He is part of a group that specializes in building detectors for esoteric applications. The group’s primary focus over the last several years has been building and testing detectors for a massive upgrade to a telescope located at the geographic South Pole in Antarctica.

Read full article on the Yale GSAS site.

Dan Prober received the IEEE Council on Superconductivity award for 2018.
The award given in recognition of  his continuing and significant contributions in the field of superconductive electronics, in particular: 
  • for pioneering work on SIS quasiparticle mixers, including the first demonstration of detector sensitivity approaching the quantum limit;
  • for inventing the diffusion-cooled hot electron bolometer, a high sensitivity and large-bandwidth superconducting heterodyne mixer;
  • for advancements in nanofabrication that have been used to develop ultra-sensitive devices based on superconducting nanostructures; and
  • for fundamental studies of noise in mesoscopic superconducting systems, which have improved our understanding of the sensitivity limits of superconducting devices.

See more information at IEEE Council on Superconductivity (IEEE CSC).

by Jim Shelton

by Jim Shelton

An international, Yale-led research team has taken a new approach to stabilizing high-power lasers: They’re fighting chaos with chaos.

There has been a rapidly growing demand for high-power lasers for applications such as materials processing, large-scale displays, laser surgery, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) remote sensing systems. A long-standing challenge for powerful lasers is taming their erratic pulsations and chaotic fluctuations of emission power and beam profile. These issues hinder practical applications that require stable, controllable laser light. Read full article at YaleNews

BoSS code: electron described as separate charge and spin

We are happy to announce the public release of the slave-boson code “BoSS” (Boson Slave Solver) today!  This is a free software avaialble to you to perform slave-boson calculations that include electron correlations for extended Hubbard models.  Software is available at

Yale’s next wave of quantum computing research will get a boost from a $16 million grant from the U.S. Army Research Office.

The four-year grant will help fund the work of dozens of faculty members, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers affiliated with the Yale Quantum Institute. The grant also will help pay for a variety of specialized technical gear, including electronics and cooling equipment. Read full article at YaleNews.

Yale scientists have created a new type of silicon laser that uses sound waves to amplify light. A study about the discovery appears in the online edition of the journal Science. More on YaleNews.

The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering has elected 24 of the state’s leading experts in science, engineering, and technology to membership in the academy, with 10 new members coming from Yale. Nicholas Read, the Henry Ford II Professor of Physics and professor of applied physics and mathematics, and Peter E. Schiffer, Vice Provost for Research and Professor of Applied Physics are among the newly elected members. More details on Yale News.

As a Yale undergraduate, Peter Schiffer ’88 admits he spent more time at the Yale Political Union (YPU) than in the lab. It’s rather ironic that, nearly three decades later, the Piersonite and Progressive Party member has returned to Yale as vice provost for research, a role “intended to support research and scholarship across the entire enterprise and not just science and engineering — the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts.” Read more

Yale scientists Hui Cao, Peter Raymond, and Karen Seto have been named by their peers as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

They will be among 396 members elevated to the rank of fellow at the Feb. 17 AAAS annual meeting in Austin, Texas. Each honoree will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin.

Read more

Yale scientists have created a simple-to-produce device that uses sound waves to store quantum information and convert it from one form to another, all inside a single, integrated chip.

The device allows a superconducting artificial atom — a qubit — to exchange energy and quantum information with a high frequency bulk acoustic wave resonator (HBAR). The ability to manipulate and store fragile quantum data in a robust and easy-to-manufacture way is a crucial step in the development of quantum computing technology.

The work is a collaboration at Yale between the labs of Robert Schoelkopf, the Sterling Professor of Applied Physics and Physics, and Peter Rakich, assistant professor of physics. Yiwen Chu, a postdoctoral associate in Schoelkopf’s lab, led the effort and is first author of a study that appears Sept. 21 in the online edition of the journal Science. Read more

Peter Schiffer, an experimental physicist currently at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, has been named the university’s inaugural vice provost for research — a post created to bring a new level of strategic attention to Yale’s science and research enterprise, announced President Peter Salovey and Provost Benjamin Polak.

Schiffer will arrive in New Haven — also joining the Yale faculty as professor of applied physics — in October. Read more…

In October 2016, the Yale Quantum Institute launched a Call for Art Proposals to commission quantum physics themed artwork to fill a bare wall at the entrance of the institute. A few months after the call, we received 26 proposals from Yale Students and New Haven based artists. The proposals were all of great quality and we were very impressed by the connection these artists have made with quantum physics, a fairly hard to access subject.

During this review of all the proposals, we invited Martha W Lewis, one of the participating artist, to give a talk about the relationship between her art and science (read the Yale News article about this event). This non-technical talk was co-sponsored by The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.

 “While scientists have strict guidelines for testing their theories about the universe, artists are free to express ideas without rigorous quantification”, Martha said. “Yet where art and science intersect, is in the use of visual metaphors to represent highly complex or unseen concepts.”

Four Yale professors elected to National Academy of Sciences

Professors Robert Crabtree, Nicholas Read, Karen Seto, and Daniel Spielman have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Read more

Yale’s Robert Schoelkopf, Sterling Professor of Applied Physics and Physics and director of the Yale Quantum Institute, was awarded the 2017 Connecticut Medal of Science for his seminal contributions to the field of quantum science and to the new field of circuit quantum electrodynamics. The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) announced the honor. Read more

“Schrödinger’s cat that lives and dies in two boxes at once”, the research done by Chen Wang and his team was chosen to be one of the top 10 breakthroughs by Physics World editors and reporters. Click to read more.

Our work developing new, general bounds to near-field radiative heat transfer has been highlighted in our SPIE Newsroom article

Professor Michel Devoret has received the 2016 Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize for his pioneering investigations and applications of macroscopic quantum phenomena at low temperatures. The prize was announced on August 16th 2016 at the international Quantum Fluids and Solids Conference (QFS2016) in Praque, Czech Republic.

Yale Researchers have crossed the “break even” point in preserving a bit of quantum information for longer than the lifetime of its constituent parts, as published in Nature.

A novel system has been created to encode, spot errors, decode, and correct errors in a quantum bit, also known as a “qubit.” The development of such a robust method of Quantum Error Correction (QEC) has been one of the biggest remaining hurdles in quantum computation.

See News Reports:

[New Scientist] Error fix for long-lived qubits brings quantum computers nearer

[YQI News] RSL Lab-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information

 A Chilean projects a laser during a moon eclipse at Mamayuta Observatory in Chile

Robert Schoelkopf, Sterling Professor of Applied Physics and Physics, Steven Girvin, Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, and Nikhil Padmanabhan, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, are listed among “The World’s Most Influential Scientic Minds - 2015”, published by Thomson Reuters. A full copy of the report can be found here

The Applied Physics department congratulates Peter Rakich on being awarded the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.  The fellowship is wonderful recognition for Peter, a leader in the burgeoning field of quantum phononics. 

Congratulations, Peter!

Nick Read has been awarded the 2015 Dirac Medal along with Greg Moore (formerly of Yale) and Alexei Kitaev, for their work on conformal field theory and non-abelian quasiparticle statistics in condensed matter systems and the application of these ideas to quantum computation.  Previous winners span the breadth of theoretical physics and include Roberto Car, Sidney Coleman, Ed Witten, and Peter Zoller.  It’s great recognition of Nick’s outstanding contributions to the physics community.

To read more about the 2015 medalists, click here Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Nick!


The IEEE Council on Superconductivity has awarded a 2015 Graduate Study Fellowship to Applied Physics Graduate Student Matthew Reagor. Matthew is a graduate researcher in the Schoelkopf lab. Congratulations Matt!

Former Applied Physics undergraduate major and prizewinner, Kimberley (Kimee) Moore, ‘13, has been awarded a prestigious National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship to support her PhD studies in Earth Sciences and Geophysics at Harvard.  The Fellowship covers 3 full years of tuition and stipend.

A. Douglas Stone, the Carl A. Morse Professor and chairman of applied physics, and professor of physics, has won the 2014 Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science.

Stone won the prize for his book, “Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian,” published in 2013 by Princeton University Press. Written for a general audience as well as for scholars, it is an exploration of Albert Einstein’s central role in the quantum physics revolution of the early 20th century.

“I wish I’d had this book to read when I was an undergraduate,” a member of the award’s selection panel said. “Statistical mechanics and thermodynamics are taught as such dry topics … (this book) brings the subject to life.”

The award will be presented at a dinner at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 5. It comes with a $10,000 prize.

Stone’s book has been reviewed by publications such as Nature and Physics Today, as well as National Public Radio’s “Science Friday” program. It was listed in Scientific American’s top ten popular physics books of 2013 and was selected as an NPR top science book.

“I wanted to allow the reader to enter into the challenges and excitement of scientific discovery,” said Stone, who joined the Yale faculty in 1986. “I wanted readers to appreciate Einstein’s genius from the inside, as he was struggling. This was a turning point in human civilization. Either the human race was going to understand the atom, or it wasn’t.”

Michel Devoret (F.W. Beinecke Professor of Applied Physics), Robert Schoelkopf (Sterling Professor of Applied Physics), John Martinis (UCSB) have won the 2014 Fritz London Memorial Prize, “in recognition of their fundamental and pioneering experimental advances in quantum control, quantum information processing and quantum optics with superconducting qubits and microwave photons.” The prize will be presented at the International Meeting of Low Temperature Physics LT27 in Buenos Aires, August 2014. Click here for further information.

Albert Einstein’s celebrated genius may be underappreciated, according to a new book by Yale physicist A. Douglas Stone: The father of relativity theory deserves far more credit than he gets for his insights into quantum theory.

“I estimate that his contributions to quantum theory would have been worthy of four Nobel Prizes if different scientists had done them, compared to the one that he received,” says Stone, author of “Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian(Princeton University Press).

Einstein ultimately rejected quantum theory’s inherent randomness and uncertainty. Yet, asserts Stone, “A careful examination of the historical record shows that Einstein was responsible for more of the fundamental new concepts of (quantum theory) than any other single scientist. This is arguably his greatest scientific legacy, despite his fame for Relativity Theory.”

ale University scientists have found a way to observe quantum information while preserving its integrity, an achievement that offers researchers greater control in the volatile realm of quantum mechanics and greatly improves the prospects of quantum computing.

Quantum computers would be exponentially faster than the most powerful computers of today.

“Our experiment is a dress rehearsal for a type of process essential for quantum computing,” said Michel Devoret, the Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Applied Physics & Physics at Yale and principal investigator of research published Jan. 11 in the journal Science. “What this experiment really allows is an active understanding of quantum mechanics. It’s one thing to stare at a theoretical formula and it’s another thing to be able to control a real quantum object.”

In quantum systems, microscopic units called qubits represent information. Qubits can assume either of two states — “0” or “1” — or both simultaneously. Correctly recognizing, interpreting, and tracking their state is necessary for quantum computing. However, the act of monitoring them usually damages their information content.

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New Haven, Conn. — The rules that govern the world of the very small, quantum mechanics, are known for being bizarre. One of the strangest tenets is something called quantum entanglement, in which two or more objects (such as particles of light, called photons) become inextricably linked, so that measuring certain properties of one object reveals information about the other(s), even if they are separated by thousands of miles. Einstein found the consequences of entanglement so unpalatable he famously dubbed it “spooky action at a distance.”

Now a team led by Yale researchers has harnessed this counterintuitive aspect of quantum mechanics and achieved the entanglement of three solid-state qubits, or quantum bits, for the first time. Their accomplishment, described in the Sept. 30 issue of the journal Nature, is a first step towards quantum error correction, a crucial aspect of future quantum computing.

“Entanglement between three objects has been demonstrated before with photons and charged particles,” said Steven Girvin, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics & Applied Physics at Yale and an author of the paper. “But this is the first three-qubit, solid-state device that looks and feels like a conventional microprocessor.”

The new result builds on the team’s development last year of the world’s first rudimentary solid-state quantum processor, which they demonstrated was capable of executing simple algorithms using two qubits.

The American Physical Society (APS) has chosen two Yale physicists to receive two of its prestigious annual awards.

Ramamurti Shankar, the John Randolph Huffman Professor of Physics, is the 2009 winner of the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize, “awarded for outstanding contributions to physics by a single individual who also has exceptional skills in lecturing to diverse audiences,” according to APS.

Robert Schoelkopf, a professor of applied physics and physics, has been awarded the 2009 Joseph F. Keithley Award for Advances in Measurement Science, “for outstanding advances in measurement science or products that impact the physics community by providing better measurements.” Read more…