Markus Greiner named MacArthur Fellow

Markus Greiner from Harvard was just named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow. For the experimentalists, Markus needs no introduction, but there might be a few theorists out there who still don’t know his name. Markus’ work probes the behavior of ultracold atoms in optical lattices.
When I saw Markus speak at SQuInT in February, I was tremendously impressed with his work. He spoke about his invention of a quantum gas microscope, a device which is capable of getting high fidelity images of individual atoms in optical lattices. He and his group have already used this tool to study the physics of the bosonic and fermionic Bose-Hubbard model that is (presumably) a good description of the physics in these systems. The image below is worth a thousand words.

Yep, those are individual atoms, resolved to within the spacing of the lattice. The ultimate goal is to obtain individual control of each atom separately within the lattice. Even with Markus’ breakthroughs, we are still a long way from having a quantum computer in an optical lattice. But I don’t think it is a stretch to say that his work is bringing us to the cusp of having a truly useful quantum simulator, one which is not universal for quantum computing but which nonetheless helps us answer certain physics questions faster than our best available classical algorithms and hardware. Congratulations to Markus!

3 Replies to “Markus Greiner named MacArthur Fellow”

  1. It is awesome. One of the PhD students on the project, Waseem Bakr, worked with me when I was a postdoc and he was an undergrad. Dr. Bakr is now a postdoc which makes me feel like Methuselah.

  2. @ Dave
    One can only hope to attempt a translation of Kitaev. 🙂 This is however rather good news for quantum computing.

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