Alumni Listing

May 2017
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Corey Adams
First Detection of Low Energy Electron Neutrinos in Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers Electron neutrino appearance is the signature channel to address the most pressing questions in neutrino oscillations physics, at both long and short baselines. This includes the search for CP violation in the neutrino sector, which the U.S. flagship... Bonnie Fleming

Andrei Petrenko
Enhancing the Lifetime of Quantum Information with Cat States in Superconducting Cavities The field of quantum computation faces a central challenge that has thus far impeded the full-scale realization of quantum computing machines: decoherence.  Remarkably, however, protocols in Quantum Error Correction (QEC) exist to correct qubit errors... Robert Schoelkopf
December 2016
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Filip Kos
Bootstrapping 3D CFTs We use the method of conformal bootstrap to systematically study the space of allowed conformal field theories (CFT) in three spacetime dimensions. We consider the crossing symmetry equations coming from the correlators of several lowest dimension... David Poland

Tomomi Sunayama
Using galaxy surveys as a precision tool to measure dark energy Future surveys will provide a deeper understanding of dark energy, dark matter, and early universe physics through the measurements of large scale structure. In particular, the baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) method and the redshift-space distortion (... Nikhil Padamanabhan

Mitchell Underwood
Cryogenic Optomechanics with a Silicon Nitride Membrane The field of optomechanics involves the study of the interaction between light and matter via the radiation pressure force. Though the radiation pressure force is quite weak compared with forces we normally experience in the macroscopic world, modern... Jack Harris
May 2016
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Rostislav Boltyanskiy
Mechanical Response of Single Cells to Stretch A living cell is a complex soft matter system far from equilibrium. While it consists of components with definite mechanical properties such as stiffness, viscosity, and surface tension, the mechanics of a cell as a whole are more elusive. We explore... Eric Dufresne

Diego Caballero Orduna
Computational Studies of Protein Structure Despite the abundance of crystallographic and structural data and many recent advances in computational methods for protein design, we still lack a quantitative and predictive understanding of the driving forces that control protein folding and stability... Corey O'Hern

Jane Cummings
Tau Polarization at a Hadron Collider: W to tau,nu and Z to tau,tau decays at ATLAS In this thesis, the first measurement of tau polarization at a hadron collider, and the first measurement of tau polarization in W boson decays to a tau and neutrino altogether, is presented.  The measurement of tau polarization is a test of the... Sarah Demers

Arvin Kakekhani
Ferroelectrics to Tackle Fundamental Challenges in Catalysis Surface catalysis based on transition metals and their alloys has been one of the most important research fields in theoretical and experimental catalysis and chemistry. Recently, the development of a microscopic theoretical framework combined with the... Sohrab Ismail-Beigi

Nicole Larsen
An Effective Field Theory Analysis of The First LUX Dark Matter Search A wealth of astrophysical research supports the existence of dark matter in the universe, yet the exact nature of this unknown particle remains elusive. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is a 370-kg dual-phase xenon-based time projection... Daniel McKinsey

Manuel Mai
Outcome Prediction and Reconstruction for Systems of Ordinary Differential Equations I will present two related analyses of systems of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The first one investigates outcome prediction in several systems of ODEs for the immune response to infection. We show that patient-to-patient variability sets a... Corey O'Hern

Eric Norrgard
Magneto-optical trapping of diatomic molecules Laser cooling in a magneto-optical trap (MOT) is the workhorse technique for atomic physics in the ultracold regime, serving as the starting point in applications from optical clocks to quantum-degenerate gases. It was recently shown that optical cycling... David DeMille

Katrina Sliwa
Minimizing Effects Detrimental to the Heisenberg Back-Action of Qubit Measurements with Parametric Amplifiers The quantum back-action of the measurement apparatus arising from the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is both a fascinating phenomenon and a powerful manipulation tool. Unfortunately, there are other effects which may overwhelm the Heisenberg back-... Michel Devoret

William Smith
Modeling Diffusion and Motion in Cells at the Molecular Level Due to the complexity inherent in biological systems, many particles involved exhibit complicated spatiotemporal dynamics that go beyond the standard models of diffusion of molecules and dynamics of polymers. Here, we investigate two examples of this:... Corey O'Hern
December 2015
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Jeffrey Ammon
Progress towards a measurement of nuclear-spin-dependent parity violation in diatomic molecules Nuclear-spin-dependent parity violation (NSD-PV) effects arise from exchange of the Z boson between electrons and the nucleus, and from interaction of electrons with the nuclear anapole moment (a parity-odd magnetic moment induced by electroweak... David DeMille

Camille Avestruz
Modeling Galaxy Cluster Outskirts with Cosmological Simulations The observational study of galaxy cluster outskirts is a new territory to probe the thermodynamic and chemical structure of the X-ray emitting intracluster medium (ICM) and the intergalactic medium (IGM). Cluster outskirts are particularly important for... Daisuke Nagai

Barry Bradlyn
Linear response and Berry curvature in two-dimensional topological phases               In this thesis we examine the viscous and thermal transport properties of chiral topological phases, and their relationship to topological invariants. We start by developing a Kubo formalism for calculating the frequency dependent viscosity... Nicholas Read

Faustin Carter
A transition-edge-sensor-based instrument for the measurement of individual He2* excimers in a superfluid 4He bath at 100 mK This dissertation is an account of the first calorimetric detection of individual He2* excimers within a bath of superfluid 4He. When superfluid helium is subject to ionizing radiation, diatomic He molecules are created in both the singlet and triplet... Daniel Prober

Nathan Cooper
Structure of A = 76 Nuclei and Fast-Timing Studies of the Rare-Earth Region Photon strength of nuclei has been a topic of recent intrigue due to postulated exotic modes of excitation, such as a neutron skin resonance, as well as the difficulty of its measurement near the neutron separation energy. The large number of levels up... Volker Werner

Daniel Guest
A Search for Scalar Charm Quarks with the ATLAS Detector at the LHC This thesis presents the results of a search for pair-produced scalar charm quarks with the ATLAS detector at the LHC. The search uses 20.3 fb^-1 of data collected during the sqrt(s) = 8 TeV 2012 run. Each charm quark decays to neutrilinos and charm... Paul Tipton/Tobias Golling

Eric Holland
Cavity State Reservoir Engineering in Circuit Quantum Electrodynamics Engineered quantum systems are poised to revolutionize information science in the near future. A persistent challenge in applied quantum technology is creating controllable, quantum interactions while preventing information loss to the environment,... Robert Schoelkopf

Peter Koo
Novel optical-based methods and analyses for elucidating cellular mechanics and dynamics Resolving distinct biochemical interaction states by analyzing the diffusive behaviors of individual protein trajectories is challenging due to the limited statistics provided by short trajectories and experimental noise sources, which are intimately... Simon Mochrie

Daliang Li
Covariant Methods for Superconformal Field Theories In this thesis, we develop manifestly covariant methods for 4 dimensional, N = 1 superconformal field theories. First, we generalize the embedding formalism in conformal field theories (CFTs) to N = 1 superconformal field theories (SCFTs). As... Witold Skiba

Tudor Petrescu
Topological phases with ultracold atoms and photons In the first part of the talk, we introduce two–dimensional lattice tight–binding models that realize the quantum anomalous Hall effect (QAHE). For a Kagome lattice whose degrees of freedom are photons in microwave resonators, we discuss protocols to... Karyn Le Hur

Brian Vlastakis
Controlling coherent state superpositions with superconducting circuits Quantum computation requires a large yet controllable Hilbert space. While many implementations use discrete quantum variables such as the energy states of a two-level system to encode quantum information, continuous variables could allow access to a... Robert Schoelkopf
May 2015
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Tomas Aronsson
Cross section of bottom electrons in proton-proton collisions in the ALICE experiment High-energy heavy-ion collisions at the LHC allow for the study of the properties of the quark-gluon plasma (QGP). Heavy quarks, charm and bottom, produced in the initial hard scattering processes of the collision are excellent probes of the QGP. When... John Harris

Hongchul Joseph Bae
Wormhole Solutions to the Bianchi IX Wheeler-DeWitt Equation using the Euclidean-signature Semi-classical Method A Euclidean-signature semi-classical method is used to construct both ground and excited state solutions to the canonically quantized Bianchi IX (Mixmaster) cosmological models. Employing a modified form of the semi-classical ansatz, we solve the... Vincent Moncrief

Alexander Cerjan
Fundamental physics and device design using the steady-state ab initio laser theory In this thesis we generalize and extend the steady-state ab initio laser theory (SALT), first developed by Tureci and Stone, and apply it problems in laser design. SALT as first formulated modeled the gain medium as identical two-level atoms, leading to... A. Douglas Stone

Emma Ideal
A Search for the Standard Model Higgs Boson Produced in Association with a Vector Boson and Decaying to a Hadronically-Decaying Tau Pair at ATLAS On July 4, 2012, the discovery of the Higgs boson was simultaneously announced by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations. Since then, evidence for its decay to tau leptons has been claimed. As of now, there have been no Higgs discoveries in any of its... Sarah Demers

Andrew Leister
A Search for Z' Gauge Bosons Decaying to Tau-Antitau Pairs in Proton-Proton Collisions with the ATLAS Detector Although the Standard Model of Particle Physics has been generally successful in modeling fundamental particles and their interactions, it does not incorporate many observed physical phenomena. Many theoretical models attempting to explain physics beyond... Sarah Demers

Christopher McKitterick
Prospects for Ultra-sensitive Terahertz Photon Detection with Graphene This dissertation investigates a new scheme for the detection of terahertz (THz) photons. The vast majority of photons visible to outer space observatories occur in the far-infrared, but there do not yet exist detectors sensitive enough to accurately... Daniel Prober

Xiaoxiao Wang
Search for a supersymmetric partner of the top quark using boosted top quark identification with the ATLAS detector The Higgs discovery at the LHC has brought new attention to the hierarchy problem and the theory of Supersymmetry (SUSY). The supersymmetric partner of the top quark - the top squark (stop), is of paramount importance as it contributes the largest higher... Tobias Golling
December 2014
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Ana Malagon
Search for 140 microeV Pseudoscalar and Vector Dark Matter Using Microwave Cavities Dark matter plays an important role in structure formation and composes 26.8% of the total energy density in the universe. There are many postulated particles that are theorized to be the constituents of cold dark matter; however, none have been observed... O. Keith Baker

Gennady Voronov
The Extent of the Two-Color Fundamental Conformal Window The $SU\!\left(2\right)$ gauge theories with $N_{f}$ flavors of massless vector-like Dirac fermions transforming in the pseudo-real fundamental representation have an enhanced global chiral symmetry and a distinct symmetry breaking pattern. These... George Fleming

Liyao Wang
Heat capacity bound, energy fluctuations and convexity In classical statistical mechanics, the heuristic that in the canonical ensemble the energy distribution is sharply peaked at the mean energy is crucial in justifying the equivalence between the canonical and microcanonical ensembles. It turns out that... Mokshay Madiman
May 2014
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Colin Bruzewicz
Continuous Optical Production of Ultracold Vibronic Ground State Polar Molecules Polar molecules present an exciting new test bed for ultracold physics with applications in numerous fields, such as chemical reaction dynamics, many-body systems, and quantum computation. Creating large samples of these molecules that can be trapped for... David DeMille

Bernard Hicks
Differential Production Cross-Section of Heavy-Flavor Electrons in √s = 2.76 TeV pp collisions at the LHC with the ALICE detector Recent results at RHIC seem to confirm T.D.Lee’s hypothesis that a new form of matter, the quark- gluon plasma (QGP), could be formed in heavy-ion collisions at high energies. Heavy quarks, being formed in the early stages of heavy-ion collisions, form a... Helen Caines

Lawrence Lee
A Search for B-violating Supersymmetry in Multijet Signatures at the ATLAS Experiment With supersymmetry (SUSY) increasingly constrained, more attention is placed on alternate flavors of SUSY that allow for an unexcluded natural theory. A search for new physics phenomena in all-hadronic signatures in \sqrt{s}=8 TeV pp collisions using an... Tobias Golling

Rongrong Ma
Jet measurements in pp and Pb-Pb collisions in ALICE Lattice-QCD predicts the existence of a new form of hot, dense matter called the Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP) above a critical energy density. Such matter is believed to be created in relativistic heavy-ion collisions, where sufficient energy is expected to... John Harris

Tianqi Shen
Contact Percolation, Fragility and Frictional Packings This thesis presents four computational and theoretical studies of the structural, mechanical, and vibrational  properties of purely repulsive  disks, dimer-, and ellipse-shaped particles with and without friction.  The first study investigated the... Corey O'Hern
December 2013
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

John Barry
Laser cooling and slowing of a diatomic molecule Laser cooling and trapping are central to modern atomic physics. It has been roughly three decades since laser cooling techniques produced ultracold atoms, leading to rapid advances in a vast array of fields and a number of Nobel prizes. Prior to the... David DeMille

Prasenjit Dutt
Strongly correlated quantum transport out-of-equilibrium The revolutionary advances in nanotechnology have facilitated the precise control and manipulation of mesoscopic systems where quantum effects are pronounced. Typical experimental settings are capable of driving these systems far from equilibrium, where... R. Shankar

Merideth Frey
Using Novel Pulse Sequences for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Phosphorus-31 in Hard and Soft Solids Since its invention in 1973, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an invaluable tool for clinical medicine, fundamental biomedical research, the physical sciences, and engineering. The vast majority of all MRI studies, in medicine and beyond,... Sean Barrett

Kurtis Geerlings
Improving Coherence of Superconducting Qubits and Resonators Superconducting qubits and resonators with quality factors exceeding 10^7 are of great interest for quantum information processing applications. The improvement of present devices necessarily involves the consideration of participation ratios, which... Michel Devoret

Aaron Mertz
Collective Mechanics of Epithelial Cells Cell–cell and cell–matrix adhesions play essential roles in the function of tissues, yet little is known about how crosstalk between these two adhesion types regulate cells’ material properties and active processes. This dissertation combines experiment... Eric Dufresne

Konstantin Nesterov
Mesoscopic Effects in Chaotic Metallic Nanoparticles We study electron interactions in a nanosized chaotic metallic grain with a large Thouless conductance. We use the so-called universal Hamiltonian, which describes the low-energy physics of such a grain. The noninteracting part of this model fluctuates... Yoram Alhassid

Alice Ohlson
Investigating Parton Energy Loss with Jet-hadron Correlations and Jet vn at STAR A strongly-coupled, deconfined state of quarks and gluons, known as the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP), is created in high-energy collisions of heavy nuclei. The QGP can be probed by high-momentum quarks and gluons (collectively known as partons) that are... John Harris

Kinga Partyka
Exclusive Muon-Neutrino Charged Current mu+Np topologies in ArgoNeuT Neutrinos remain among the least understood fundamental particles even after decades of study. As we enter the precision era of neutrino measurements bigger and more sophisticated detectors have emerged. The leading candidate among them is a Liquid Argon... Bonnie Fleming

William Pontius
The Molecular Origins and Functional Role of Noise in a Simple Sensory Network Biological pathways perform calculations with often-small numbers of constituent molecules, leading to potentially significant variability in their output. In this thesis, I use the chemotaxis pathway of the bacterium Escherichia coli as a model to... Thierry Emonet

Matthew Reed
Entanglement and Quantum Error Correction with Superconducting Qubits A quantum computer will use the properties of quantum physics to solve certain computational problems much faster than otherwise possible. One promising potential implementation is to use superconducting quantum bits in the circuit quantum... Robert Schoelkopf

Charles Riley
Searching for Local Parity Violation in Heavy Ion Collisions Parity violation of the strong interaction is prohibited globally, however, it may be possible for parity to be violated locally in hot, dense, and deconfined QCD matter created in heavy ion collisions. Microscopic parity-odd domains in QCD are the... Jack Sandweiss

Flavius Schackert
A Practical Quantum-Limited Parametric Amplifier Based on the Josephson Ring Modulator This dissertation has addressed the problem of developing the Josephson Parametric Converter (JPC) as a practical phase-preserving microwave parametric amplifier operating at the quantum limit of added noise. The device consists of two superconducting... Michel Devoret

Adam Sears
Extending Coherence of Superconducting Qubits: from microseconds to milliseconds Circuit quantum electrodynamics (Circuit QED) is the extremely successful framework for studying quantum devices developed along with the transmon, a superconducting charge qubit with an insensitivity to several types of dephasing. It involves the... Robert Schoelkopf
May 2013
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Sourpouhi Bedikian
A Search for the Charged Higgs: Using Tau Polarimetry with Proton-Proton Collisions at the ATLAS Detector A search for a 130 GeV charged Higgs boson in ttbar events containing a tau lepton is presented. Tau polarimetry is used in order to distinguish the signal, t → H±b → τνb, from the dominant Standard Model background, t → W±b → τνb. The signal extraction... Sarah Demers

Christopher Gilbreth
Ultracold Fermi Gases: Effective Interactions and Superfluidity Cold atomic Fermi gases are clean, highly experimentally tunable systems with connections to many different fields of physics. However, in the strongly-interacting regime they are nonperturbative and difficult to study theoretically. One challenge is to... Yoram Alhassid

Archana Kamal
Nonreciprocity in active Josephson junction circuits I will present different flavors of nonreciprocal photon dynamics realized using active parametric circuits based on Josephson junctions. The motivation stems from developing non-magnetic alternatives to existing nonreciprocal devices, invariably... Michel Devoret

Zuhair Khandker
Embedding Methods for Conformal Field Theor Conformal field theories (CFTs) are highly constrained by symmetry. For instance, based on symmetry considerations alone one can derive constraints on the form of correlators and on the scaling dimensions of certain operators. However, the full... Walter Goldberger

Nicholas Masluk
Purifying the environment of the fluxonium artificial atom Fluxonium is a highly anharmonic artificial atom, which makes use of an array of large Josephson junctions to shunt the junction of a Cooper-pair box for protection from charge noise. At microwave frequencies the array forms a “superinductance”, a... Michel Devoret

John Murray
Specialization of neural circuits for cognition: linking structure to function through dynamics The brain achieves flexible cognition through specialization of cortical areas for different functions. To subserve working memory, prefrontal cortex can maintain a persistent pattern of activity in the absence of a stimulus, whereas sensory areas do not... Xiao-Jing Wang

Richard Wall
A study of heavy flavor quarks produced in association with top quark pair events at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV using the ATLAS detector In this thesis, we show evidence for the production of ttbar + b + X and ttbar + c + X, together refered to as ttbar + HF, at the Large Hadron Collider. A sample of dilepton ttbar candidate events with three or more b-tagged jets is used to isolate a $\... Paul Tipton

Brian Walsh
SEARCH FOR STOP SQUARK PAIR PRODUCTION IN FINAL STATES WITH ONE ISOLATED LEPTON, JETS, AND MISSING TRANSVERSE MOMENTUM IN SQRT(S) = 7 TeV COLLISIONS USING 4.7 fb^(-1) OF ATLAS DATA A cut-and-count search for stop squark pair production in pp collisions at √s = 7 TeVwith 4.71 fb−1 of 2011 ATLAS data is presented. Events with one isolated lepton, four or more jets, and missing transverse energy are selected to study a simplified... Tobias Golling
December 2012
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Steven Eckel
A Search for the Electron EDM using Europium-Barium Titanates The discovery of a permanent electric dipole moment (EDM) of a fundamental particle would prove a great discovery in modern physics, as such an EDM would violate some of the core symmetries of the fundamental forces of nature. Many models that go beyond... Steve Lamoreaux

Matthew Phillips
Sensory Processing in the Olfactory Bulb: From Lateral Inhibition to Behavior Sensory perception is the fundamental process by which all organisms gain knowledge of their world. Perceptions arise from stimulations of sensory receptors that are translated into neuronal signals. These signals become processed and refined greatly... Gordon M. Shepherd

Hasuk Francis Song
Entanglement in Quantum Many-Body Systems The scaling of entanglement entropy and, more recently, the full entanglement spectrum have become useful tools for characterizing certain universal features of quantum many-body systems. We motivate the importance of entanglement in the study of many-... Karyn Le Hur
May 2012
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Hanghui Chen
A first principles study of oxide interfaces Both theoretically and experimentally, enormous progress has been made toward understanding and controlling materials at the atomic scales. The advances in thin film deposition techniques make it possible to grow artificially designed heterostructures... Sohrab Ismail-Beigi

Andrew Jayich
Laser cooling a 261 kHz harmonic oscillator Optomechanics is a diverse field where mechanical harmonic oscillators are coupled to an optical field via radiation pressure. The mechanical devices range from atom clouds and nanotubes up to the kilogram scale mirrors used in the LIGO observatories.... Jack Harris

Benjamin Kaplan
Testing the Standard Model of Particle Physics: A Search for New Phenomena in Multilepton Events with the ATLAS detector at the LHC An excess of events over the Standard Model predictions in final states with three or more high momentum charged leptons would constitute evidence of new physical processes. Presented is a generic search for new phenomena in such events. To reduce the... Paul L. Tipton

Sarah Lockwitz
A Search for the Standard Model Higgs Boson in CDF II Data This dissertation presents a search for the standard model Higgs boson in the associated production process proton anti-proton to ZH to electron positron b quark anti-b quark. Data amounting to an integrated luminosity of 7.5/fb at a center of mass... Paul Tipton

Vladimir Manucharyan
Superinductance: a New Element for Quantum Circuits No abstract available Michel Devoret

Carl Schreck
Mechanical and vibrational properties of model granular media This thesis describes comprehensive computational and theoretical studies of the mechanical and vibrational properties of athermal particulate systems, such as granular media, foams, and emulsions, modeled as frictionless particles with spherical or... Corey O'Hern

Benjamin Zwickl
Progress Toward Observation of Radiation Pressure Shot Noise Abstract: It has been over 100 years since the first conclusive demonstration of radiation pressure by Lebedev and Nichols and Hull. Cavity optomechanical systems—high finesse optical cavities coupled to mechanical resonators—are good testing... Jack Harris
December 2009
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Ke Han
Search for Stable Strange Quark Matter in Lunar Soil Strange Quark Matter (SQM) is a proposed state of hadronic matter made up of roughly one-third each of up, down, and strange quarks in a single hadronic bag. For the last three decades, a wide range of experimental searches for strangelets (small lumps... Jack Sandweiss
May 2008
Dissertation Title Dissertation Abstract Thesis Advisor

Yong Jiang
Progress Towards Searching for Electron Electric Dipole Moment Using PbO Observation of a non-zero electron electric dipole moment (EDM) will be explicit evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model. There is significant interest in developing experiments that can probe beyond the current limits for the electron EDM. An... David DeMille