Ending 2023 on a high note: the lab received notice of two grants being awarded!
The DURIP grant will fund an Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (ADR) which will allow us to cool down samples to ~ 100 mK within three hours, almost 10 times faster than the cooldown times of most dilution fridges. We plan to use the system for materials characterization and initial device testing. Furthermore, the system will enable undergraduate researchers to test and characterize devices that they make in our cleanroom. The Blok lab will receive $730,000 sponsored by the Department of Defense (AirForce Office of Scientific Research) to purchase the fast-cycling cryostat and room-temperature measurement electronics.
The Department of Energy also funded our proposal to built a qudit processor for quantum simulation of nuclear physics. Quantum simulators have the potential to study quantum chromodynamics (QCD) in regimes inaccessible to classical methods and thus could lead to discoveries in high-energy and nuclear physics. However, current quantum hardware (usually based on two-level systems a.k.a. qubits) is too error prone to yield an advantage over classical simulations. Our simulator will use multiple levels per site and therefore more naturally mimics the underlying structure of a digitized gauge theory. Our central hypothesis is that a qudit simulator can yield significant advantages over their qubit counterparts when simulating lattice gauge theories. The five-year, $850,000 proposal will provide support for PhD students and an additional measurement and control setup that can control qudit simulators in our lab.