laser (3)

Dr. Peter Delfyett, Jr...

Dr. Peter Delfyett, Jr., National Society of Black Physicists

Topics: Diversity, Diversity in Science, Laser, Physics, Semiconductors

Dr. Peter Delfyett, former NSBP President and NSBP fellow, is the 2020 winner of the William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award. The William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award was established to recognize an exceptional single scientific contribution which has had a significant impact in the field of lasers and electro-optics in the past ten years. Dr. Delfyett has been selected, "For pioneering contributions to semiconductor diode based ultrafast laser science and technology." The Award is endowed by Xerox Corp and Spectra Diode Labs. The Award consists of an honorarium of $2,500 and a medal. The presentation is made at the IEEE Photonics Conference.

Learn more about this award and its previous winners.

Peter Delfyett wins the 2020 William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award, NSBP

#P4TC links:

Diaspora, 13 February 2012

Reducing the Impact of Negative Stereotypes on the Careers of Minority and Women Scientists, November 25, 2010

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Physicists take first-ever photo of quantum entanglement.
Credit: University of Glasgow/CC by 4.0


Topics: Einstein, Entanglement, Laser, Quantum Mechanics

Scientists just captured the first-ever photo of the phenomenon dubbed "spooky action at a distance" by Albert Einstein. That phenomenon, called quantum entanglement, describes a situation where particles can remain connected such that the physical properties of one will affect the other, no matter the distance (even miles) between them.

Einstein hated the idea, since it violated classical descriptions of the world. So he proposed one way that entanglement could coexist with classical physics — if there existed an unknown, "hidden" variable that acted as a messenger between the pair of entangled particles, keeping their fates entwined. [18 Times Quantum Particles Blew Our Minds in 2018]

There was just one problem: There was no way to test whether Einstein's view — or the stranger alternative, in which particles "communicate" faster than the speed of light and particles have no objective state until they are observed — was true. Finally, in the 1960s, physicist Sir John Bell came up with a test that disproves the existence of these hidden variables — which would mean that the quantum world is extremely weird.

This is "the pivotal test of quantum entanglement," said senior author Miles Padgett, who holds the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy and is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Though people have been using quantum entanglement and Bell's inequalities in applications such as quantum computing and cryptography, "this is the first time anyone has used a camera to confirm [it]."

To take the photo, Padgett and his team first had to entangle photons, or light particles, using a tried-and-true method. They hit a crystal with an ultraviolet (UV) laser, and some of those photons from the laser broke apart into two photons. "Due to conservation of both energy and momentum, each resulting pair [of] photons are entangled," Padgett said.


'Spooky' Quantum Entanglement Finally Captured in Stunning Photo
Yasemin Saplakoglu, Live Science

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Ionic Clock...

Physics World: A brief history of timekeeping

Topics: Atomic Physics, Laser, NIST, Quantum Mechanics, Research

By confining single ions of aluminum and magnesium in an electric trap, cooling them to near absolute zero and probing them with laser beams, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado have built what is in effect the world’s most accurate clock. Having fractionally improved on the performance of another clock at NIST, the researchers have shown that their device would neither gain nor lose a second in 33 billion years (if it could run for that long). Such accurate timekeeping, they say, could boost geodesy and lead to new insights in fundamental physics.

The clocks that currently underpin atomic time rely on precisely measuring the frequency of microwaves emitted during a specific transition in cesium atoms. But such devices are limited by the relatively low frequency of that radiation. To keep time even more accurately, and eventually introduce a new definition of the second, physicists are developing clocks based on higher-frequency optical transitions.

The latest work at NIST features what is known as a quantum-logic clock. Built by Samuel Brewer and colleagues, it uses a positive ion of aluminum-27 as its timekeeper. When exposed to ultraviolet laser light at wavelength 267 nm, the ion undergoes a transition with a very narrow line width – making its frequency very well defined. What is more, that transition is largely immune to sources of external noise – such as blackbody radiation – that in other types of optical clock shift the frequency away from its true value.

A magnesium-25 ion is used to cool the aluminum down to the very low temperatures needed to minimize thermal noise. Cooling involves the absorption of photons at another specific frequency, but practical limitations mean that this cannot be done using the aluminum itself. This is because the required frequency in is too high for any practical laser. By entangling the two ions, the magnesium cools the aluminum via Coulomb interactions. This process also allows the quantum state of the aluminum ion to be read-out following exposure to the clock laser.


Entangled aluminum ion is world’s best timekeeper, Edwin Cartlidge, Physics World

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