Howard L. Schultz Senior Prize Lecture 2021

Poster Credit: Amanda Butler '22
April 22, 2021

The Yale Physics 2021 Howard L. Schultz Senior Prize Lecture, hosted by the Yale Society of Physics Students, will be given on May 3rd by Monika Schleier-Smith from Stanford University.

The Yale Society of Physics Students is excited to welcome Professor Monika Schleier-Smith from Stanford University to give the Yale Physics 2021 Howard L. Schultz Sr. Prize Lecture on “Choreographing Quantum Spin Dynamics with Light”. The event will take place over zoom on Monday, May 3rd at 4:30 pm Eastern time. An extended Q&A session, where undergraduate students are especially encouraged to participate, will be organized immediately after the prize lecture.

May 3, 2021 - “Choreographing Quantum Spin Dynamics with Light”

The power of quantum information lies in its capacity to be non-local, encoded in correlations among entangled particles. Yet our ability to produce, understand, and exploit such correlations is hampered by the fact that the interactions between particles are ordinarily local. I will report on experiments in which we use light to engineer non-local interactions among cold atoms, with photons acting as messengers conveying information between them. We program the spin-spin couplings in an array of atomic ensembles by tailoring the frequency spectrum of an optical control field. We harness this programmability to access interaction graphs conducive to frustration and to explore quantum spin dynamics in exotic geometries and topologies. More broadly, advances in optical control of interactions open new opportunities in areas ranging from quantum technologies to fundamental physics. I will touch on implications for quantum-enhanced sensing, combinatorial optimization, and simulating quantum gravity.

The Howard L. Schultz, Sr. Prize Lecture is given each year by a distinguished physicist in honor of Howard L. Schultz, Sr. who received his PhD in Physics from Yale in 1937, where he was an instructor from 1938 until 1940. Professor Schultz joined the Yale physics faculty in 1945, and immediately began work in building atom‐smashing devices. Between 1961 and 1976 he was director of the Electron Linear Accelerator laboratory. Earlier, in 1951, he headed a project that expanded the Yale linear accelerator to a 15‐section, 6.5 million‐electron‐volt machine. Upon his death in 1977, a prize was started and awarded to seniors majoring in physics in recognition of their fine academic record and for the promise of important contributions to the field of physics. This lecture is usually held in the Spring term and speakers are suggested and invited by the Yale Society of Physics Students (SPS).

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