Degree Date: December, 2017

Emine Altuntas
David DeMille

Measurement of Nuclear Spin Dependent Parity Violation in 138Ba19F

Parity, one of the three discrete spacetime symmetries of nature is broken by weak interactions. In atomic systems, parity violation is manifested in two ways: nuclear spin independent and spin dependent effects. The former is a relatively large effect that has been measured to better than 1%, whereas the nuclear spin dependent parity violation (NSD-PV) effect is small and remains poorly understood. To date the only nonzero measurement of NSD-PV effects in atoms was made in Cs, but the... more

Jacob Blumoff
Rob Schoelkopf

Multiqubit experiments in 3D circuit quantum electrodynamics

Circuit quantum electrodynamics (cQED) is the field of manipulating and measuring quantum electrical circuits. These circuits operate in the microwave regime, allowing use of sophisticated experimental equipment and techniques developed for industry. The nature of these devices allows for very strong interactions, providing interesting and accessible physics in the single-quantum regime. Recently, part of the field has branched from strictly lithographically designed circuits to exploit the... more

Benjamin Brubaker
Steve Lamoreaux

First Results from the HAYSTAC axion search

The axion is a well-motivated cold dark matter (CDM) candidate first postulated to explain the absence of CP violation in the strong interactions. CDM axions may be detected via their resonant conversion into photons in a “haloscope” detector: a tunable high-Q microwave cavity maintained at cryogenic temperature, immersed a strong magnetic field, and coupled to a low-noise receiver. This dissertation reports on the design, commissioning, and first operation of the Haloscope at Yale... more

Stephen Horvat
Helen Caines

Measurement of the collision energy dependence of jet-quenching signatures of de-confinement at STAR

Confinement is a phenomenon where quarks and gluons are only found in bound color-neutral states, or hadrons. Experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) have measured and published key signatures for the formation of a state of nuclear matter where quarks are temporarily de-confined in the hot, dense aftermath of heavy-ion nuclear collisions at \sqrts\ = 200\,GeV. This de-confined state corresponds to the theoretically... more

Anna Kashkanova
Jack Harris

Optomechanics with Superfluid Helium

The field of optomechanics studies the interaction between electromagnetic and mechanical degrees of freedom via radiation pressure. This interaction is usually enhanced when both electromagnetic and mechanical degrees of freedom are normal modes of resonators, with the canonical optomechanical system being a cavity in which one mirror is mounted on a spring (thereby constituting a mechanical element). The majority of mechanical elements used in optomechanics to date are solid objects (mirrors... more

David Mason
Jack Harris

Dynamical Behavior near Exceptional Points in an Optomechanical System

Coupled mechanical oscillators have long been an archetypical system for understanding eigenmodes and coupled dynamics. But in the last few decades, the study of open systems (i.e. those open to loss or gain) has brought a fresh interest and perspective to such simple systems, revealing a surprisingly rich set of physical phenomena. Specically, it was realized that degeneracies in open systems ('exceptional points', or EPs) possess a non-trivial topology, with interesting implications for... more

Evan Pease
Dan McKinsey

Rare-event searches in liquid xenon with the LUX and LUX-ZEPLIN detectors

Liquid xenon has been used with great success in recent attempts to directly detect dark matter particles. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment recently concluded nearly four years of underground operations at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota. The final 332 live-days of data were acquired with time-varying detector conditions, which required frequent calibrations and new data quality studies beyond those used for the results from the initial 95-live-day... more

Uri Vool
Michel Devoret

Engineering synthetic quantum operations

Coherent quantum effects are the hallmark of atomic systems. The field of circuit quantum electrodynamics (cQED) also allows for the control of coherent quantum systems. However, these quantum states do no correspond to atomic degrees of freedom, but to the quantized behavior of the electromagnetic field in a marcoscopic superconducting circuit. These "artificial atoms" simulate many of the effects in atomic systems, with the added benefits of tunability and fast control and measurement. This... more
Degree Date: May, 2017

Corey Adams
Bonnie Fleming

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 neutrino experiment DUNE will address. In addition, the Short Baseline Neutrino Program at Fermilab (MicroBooNE, SBND, ICARUS-T600) searches for new physics, such as sterile neutrinos, through electron neutrino appearance. Liquid argon time... more

Victor Albert
Liang Jiang

Lindbladians with multiple steady states: theory and applications

Lindbladians, one of the simplest extensions of Hamiltonian-based quantum mechanics, are used to describe decay and decoherence of a quantum system induced by that system's environment. Traditionally, an environment is viewed as detrimental to fragile quantum properties. Nevertheless, it offers the ability to drive the system toward exotic phases of matter, which may be difficult to stabilize in nature, or toward protected subspaces, which can be used to store and process quantum... more

Marco Bonett-Matiz
Yoram Alhassid

Statistical and Spectroscopic Properties of Nuclei in the Shell Model Monte Carlo Method

The predictive power of the interacting shell model in describing properties of nuclei is restricted by the limitations of conventional diagonalization techniques. The shell model Monte Carlo (SMMC) method allows the calculation of thermal properties in very large model spaces, much beyond what is possible with exact diagonalization. In particular, the SMMC has become the state-of-the-art method for the calculation of statistical properties of nuclei. The total state density that is... more

Mehmet Dogan
Sohrab Ismail-Beigi

Ab initio studies of ferroelectric thin films

Epitaxial interfaces between metal oxides and semiconductors have been of significant research interest due to their potential use in electronic device applications. Thin films of metal oxides can display many functional physical properties, an important example of which is ferroelectricity. Ferroelectric thin metal oxide films grown on semiconductors can enable non-volatile transistors, where the state of the device is encoded in the polarization state of the oxide which determines the... more

Alexandru Bogdan Georgescu
Sohrab Ismail-Beigi

New Methods and Phenomena in The Study of Correlated Complex Oxides

Transition metal oxides have long been an important subject of study, both theoretically and experimentally. The wide array of phases possible in their bulk forms (high T$_c$ superconductivity, colossal magnetoresistance, ferroelectricity, etc.) makes them of scientific and technological significance, while relatively recent materials deposition techniques have allowed researchers to grow new, 'artificial' materials in the form of heterostructures and thin films. These structures offer... more

Peiyuan Mao
Meg Urry

Blazar Demographics: Intrinsic Properties of Jet-Dominated Active Galactic Nuclei

Blazars with their Doppler-boosted relativistic jets are perfect laboratories to study jet physics and provide crucial insights into jet mechanism, black hole spin, and growth history of the host galaxy. However, the blazar samples we observe are highly biased subsets of the true population because of the complicated shape of their spectral energy distributions. Thus to infer the intrinsic properties of blazars we have to extrapolate from the biased samples — and there are two opposing... more

Brendon O'Leary
David DeMille

In search of the electron's electric dipole moment in thorium monoxide: an improved upper limit, systematic error models, and apparatus upgrades

Searches for violations of discrete symmetries can be sensitive probes of physics beyond the Standard Model. Many models, such as supersymmetric theories, introduce new particles at higher masses that include new CP-violating phases which are thought to be of order unity. Such phases could generate measurable permanant electric dipole moments (EDMs) of particles. The ACME collaboration has measured the electron’s EDM to be consistent with zero with an order of magnitude improvement in... more