Funding for a new fridge (DURIP) and quantum simulation project (DOE)!

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.



Congratulations Mihi on winning the ’22 Barnard Fellowship

Bloklab and PAS graduate student Mihirangi Medahinne was awarded a Donald M. and Janet C. Barnard Fellowship for her excellent dissertation research work, demonstrated leadership qualities and outreach activities. The prize is awarded yearly to recognize outstanding achievement by PhD students in engineering or the natural sciences at the University of Rochester. The fellowship provides a $3,000 stipend top-off of the student’s existing stipend, as well as a tuition award, and is for a one-year duration.

Mihi Medahinne

In her research, Mihirangi makes superconducting electrical circuits to study and control the quantum properties of individual microwave photons. In the Blok-lab, she pioneered the nanofabrication of high-quality microwave resonators made from Niobium on a silicon substrate. Last summer, Mihirangi was one of the mentors in the Rochester Research Experience for Highschool Students, where high-school students from Rochester get the opportunity to do research in university labs. Mihirangi excells in her research and has a natural ability to convey her own enthusiasm for physics to others. I distinctly remember the sparkle in her and in the highschool students eyes when she showed them her samples through the microscope.”  says Mihirangi’s supervisor prof. Machiel Blok.




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