Degree Date: May, 2016
Eric Norrgard's picture
Eric Norrgard
David DeMille

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, and thus laser cooling, should be possible for a class of at least 40 molecular species, using just three (or fewer) lasers. In this work, we demonstrate the first laser slowing and first magneto-optical trapping of a molecule, strontium... more
Katrina Sliwa's picture
Katrina Sliwa
Michel Devoret

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-action. This thesis focuses on two effects arising in the dispersive measurement of superconducting qubits made with two commonly used ultra-low-noise parametric amplifiers, the Josephson bifurcation amplifier (JBA) and the Josephson parametric... more
William Smith's picture
William Smith
Corey O'Hern
Senior Software Engineer


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: the dynamics of intrinsically disordered proteins, and the diffusion of a probe particle in a bacterial cell. Intrinsically  disordered proteins (IDPs) are a class of proteins that do not possess well-defined three-dimensional  ... more
Degree Date: December, 2015
Jeffrey Ammon's picture
Jeffrey Ammon
David DeMille

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 interactions within the nucleus).  These effects cause a mixing of opposite-parity levels in atoms and molecules, where the size of the mixing is inversely proportional to the energy difference of the mixed levels.  We study NSD-PV effects... more
Camille Avestruz's picture
Camille Avestruz
Daisuke Nagai
KICP Fellow

Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago

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 modeling the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect, which is sensitive to hot electrons at all radii and has been used to detect hundreds of galaxy clusters to high-redshift (z<1) with recent microwave cluster surveys such as ACT, Planck, and SPT.... more
Barry Bradlyn's picture
Barry Bradlyn
Nicholas Read
Assistant Professor

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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 tensor of a general quantum system, both with and without a uniform external magnetic field. The importance of contact terms is emphasized. We apply this formalism to the study of... more
Faustin Carter's picture
Faustin Carter
Daniel Prober

HRL Laboratories

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 states. The singlet He2* molecules decay within nanoseconds, but due to a forbidden spin-flip the triplet molecules have a relatively long lifetime of 13 seconds in superfluid He. When He2* molecules decay, they emit a ~15 eV photon. Nearly all... more
Nathan Cooper's picture
Nathan Cooper
Volker Werner

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 to the neutron separation energy, a region of particular interest in the calculation of nuclear reaction probabilities, causes detailed and accurate measurements to be close to the threshold of current experimental limits. This talk will begin... more
Daniel Guest's picture
Daniel Guest
Paul Tipton/Tobias Golling

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 quarks, resulting in a final state consisting of two charm jets and missing transverse energy. A novel `charm tagging' algorithm was developed to separate this signature from backgrounds, and is discussed in detail. As no evidence of physics... more
Eric Holland's picture
Eric Holland
Robert Schoelkopf
Staff Scientist

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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, decoherence. In this thesis, we realize mesoscopic superconducting circuits whose macroscopic collective degrees of freedom, such as voltages and currents, behave quantum mechanically. We couple these mesoscopic devices to microwave cavities forming... more
Emma Ideal's picture
Emma Ideal
Sarah Demers
Research Scientist, Core Data Science


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 associated production modes. For this thesis, a search for the Higgs boson produced in association with a vector boson V = W^(+-), Z and decaying to a tau lepton pair was conducted using 2012 ATLAS data. The data corresponds to 20.3 fb^(-1) of 8 TeV... more
Peter Koo's picture
Peter Koo
Simon Mochrie

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 coupled into each protein’s localization. In the first part of this thesis defense, I will describe a novel, machine-learning based classification methodology, called perturbation expectation-maximization (pEM), which simultaneously analyzes... more
Daliang Li's picture
Daliang Li
Witold Skiba
Postdoctoral Associate

Harvard University

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 applications we construct manifestly superconformally covariant expressions for 2- and 3-point correlation functions involving the supercurrent multiplet or the global symmetry current superfield. Next, we combine this superembedding formalism with the... more
Tudor Petrescu's picture
Tudor Petrescu
Karyn Le Hur

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 access the local Berry curvature and the Chern number of Bloch bands from the semiclassical dynamics of wavepackets. We proceed to Haldane’s model for QAHE on the honeycomb lattice, but with repulsively interacting bosons at unit... more
Brian Vlastakis's picture
Brian Vlastakis
Robert Schoelkopf

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 larger computational space while minimizing the amount of required hardware. With a toolset of conditional qubit-photon logic, we encode quantum information into the amplitude and phase of coherent state superpositions in a resonator, also known as... more