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Juana Moreno, associate professor at the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy and the LSU Center for Computation & Technology, recently received $358,900 from the National Science Foundation towards her tenth consecutive year providing interdisciplinary research experience in computational sciences for undergraduate students.
While earning her master’s degree and Ph.D. at LSU, Lydia Wilson combined her love for physics and medicine. Her research has taken her around the world and she hopes to improve the quality of healthcare for every person. Below she shares her love of problem solving and collaboration.
LSU becomes the first university with two SEC Professor of the Year honorees
Dr. Shane Stadler had a taste for storytelling long before he published his first novel, Exoskeleton.
"An objective method to evaluate radiation dose distributions varying by three orders of magnitude" by Lydia Wilson, Wayne Newhauser, and Christopher Schneider. Medical Physics. February, 2019
Modern radiotherapy practices typically report the absorbed dose (D) within the 5% relative isodose volume (i.e., the therapeutic dose region) to an accuracy of 3%–5%. Gamma‐index analysis, the most commonly used method to evaluate dosimetric accuracy, has low sensitivity to discrepancies that occur outside of this region. The objective of this study was to develop an evaluation method with high sensitivity across dose distributions spanning three orders of magnitude. Read more...
SU Department of Physics & Astronomy Professor Gabriela González has been named LSU’s honoree for the 2019 Southeastern Conference, or SEC, Faculty Achievement Award. González is an experimental physicist with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, who contributed to the detection of gravitational waves in 2015 predicted by Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
Thomas Corbitt, associate professor at the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy, and his team of researchers measure quantum behavior at room temperature, visible to the naked eye, as reported today in the journal Nature.
LSU Celebrates NanoDays: The Biggest Event for the Tiniest of Science
Ten Minutes with Mark M. Wilde, Associate Professor in the LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy and the LSU Center for Computation & Technology (CCT) and 2018 Rainmaker
“Like most people, I couldn’t have done a lot of things on my own. My parents played a big role in giving me a strong foundation, and they have always provided helpful advice when I needed it. I’ve also had good academic mentors throughout my career—especially during my Ph.D. years at University of Southern California, with Todd Brun as my supervisor.
LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Associate Professor Parampreet Singh and collaborators LSU Postdoctoral Researcher Javier Olmedo and Abhay Ashtekar, the Eberly Professor of Physics at Penn State developed new mathematical equations that go beyond Einstein’s theory of general relativity overcoming its key limitation—the central singularity of black holes.
Louisiana research teams at LSU & ULL were awarded a combined $3 million in Federal and State Funding under the 2018 NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Implementation Award program.
A Louisiana State University physicist has discovered an important step in the field of quantum communications by developing a tool that can extract large amounts of information encoded on photons, or particles of light.
"The Montevideo Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: a short review" by Gambini and Pullin, Entropy 2018, 20(6), 413
The Montevideo interpretation of quantum mechanics, which consists in supplementing environmental decoherence with fundamental limitations in measurement stemming from gravity, has been described in several publications. However, some of them appeared before the full picture provided by the interpretation was developed. As such it can be difficult to get a good understanding via the published literature. Here we summarize it in a self contained brief presentation including all its principal elements.
LSU Physicists and Student Researchers Provide Essential Components in Deep Underground Neutrino ExperimentPage Title
"At LSU our team of student and post-doctoral researchers, technical personnel and faculty built and tested field cage modules for ProtoDUNE, a liquid argon-based detector, and later installed them at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland," said LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Professor Thomas Kutter. The field cage modules hold hundreds of thousands of volts and line the three-story inner volume of ProtoDUNE to ensure uniform readout of the tracks which particles leave in the detector. Associate Professor Martin Tzanov's work focuses on the electronics that successively reads and records the electrical signals.
By: Adler, N. R.; Kelly, J. W.; Dowling, J. P.; et al. CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL DERMATOLOGY, Volume: 43, Issue: 3, Pages: 363-365. Published: APR 2018
A. R. P. Rau: “Calculation of quantum discord in higher dimensions for X- and other specialized states,” Quantum Inf. Processing 17, 216 (18 pp) (2018)
Quantum discord, a kind of quantum correlation based on entropic measures, is deﬁnedas the difference between quantum mutual information and classical correlation in abipartite system. Procedures are available for analytical calculation of discord whenone of the parties is a qubit with dimension two and measurements made on it to get thatone-way discord. We extend now to systems when both parties are of larger dimensionand of interest to qudit–quDit with d, D ≥ 3 or spin chains of spins ≥ 1. Whilerecognizing that no universal scheme is feasible, applicable to all density matrices,nevertheless, a procedure similar to that for d = 2 that works for many mixed-statedensity matrices remains of interest as shown by recent such applications. We focus onthis method that uses unitary operations to describe measurements, reducing them toa compact form so as to minimize the number of variables needed for extremizing theclassical correlation, often the most difﬁcult part of the discord calculation. Resultsare boiled down to a simple recipe for that extremization; for some classes of densitymatrices, the procedure even gives trivially the ﬁnal value of the classical correlationwithout that extremization. A qutrit–qutrit (d = D = 3) system is discussed in detailwith speciﬁc applications to density matrices for whom other calculations involveddifﬁcult numerics. Special attention is given to the so-called X-states and Wernerand isotropic states when the calculations become particularly simple. An appendixdiscusses an independent but related question of the systematics of X-states of arbitrarydimension. It forms a second, separate, part of this paper, extending our previousgroup-theoretic considerations of systematics for qubits now to higher d.
"Conditional Decoupling of Quantum Information" by Mark M. Wilde et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 040504 – Published 27 July 2018
Insights from quantum information theory show that correlation measures based on quantum entropy are fundamental tools that reveal the entanglement structure of multipartite states. In that spirit, Groisman, Popescu, and Winter [Phys. Rev. A 72, 032317 (2005)] showed that the quantum mutual information I ( A ; B ) quantifies the minimal rate of noise needed to erase the correlations in a bipartite state of quantum systems A B . Here, we investigate correlations in tripartite systems A B E . In particular, we are interested in the minimal rate of noise needed to apply to the systems A E in order to erase the correlations between A and B given the information in system E , in such a way that there is only negligible disturbance on the marginal B E . We present two such models of conditional decoupling, called deconstruction and conditional erasure cost of tripartite states A B E . Our main result is that both are equal to the conditional quantum mutual information I ( A ; B | E ) —establishing it as an operational measure for tripartite quantum correlations.
On Friday, August 3, LSU Physics & Astronomy welcomed three new PhD graduates who were awarded their degrees at the Marvavich Assembly Center. They are John Chapman, Jonathan Cripe, and Joseph Steiner
LSU Medical Physics Student Elizabeth Hilliard Receives 1st Place at LSU Three Minute Thesis Competition
Meet Elizabeth Hilliard, a medical physics graduate from the LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy, whose M.S. project was working to improve the efficiency and control of electron beam exposure in cancer patients needing radiation therapy. Elizabeth has undergraduate degrees in both physics and psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She recently won the LSU Three Minute Thesis (#3MT) competition by presenting a winning story about her research on stage for the LSU Graduate School, and moved on to compete in the regional 3MT competition in Fayetteville, AR.
"Efficient optimization of state preparation in quantum networks using quantum trajectories." Michael Goerz and Kurt Jacobs. Quantum Science and Technology, Volume 3, Number 4
The wavefunction Monte-Carlo method, also referred to as the use of 'quantum jump trajectories', allows efficient simulation of open systems by independently tracking the evolution of many pure-state 'trajectories'. This method is ideally suited to simulation by modern, highly parallel computers. Here we show that Krotov's method of numerical optimal control, unlike others, can be modified in a simple way so that it becomes fully parallel in the pure states without losing its effectiveness. This provides a highly efficient method for finding optimal control protocols for open quantum systems and networks. We apply this method to the problem of generating entangled states in a network consisting of systems coupled in a unidirectional chain. We show that due to the existence of a dark state subspace in the network, nearly optimal control protocols can be found for this problem by using only a single pure-state trajectory in the optimization, further increasing the efficiency.
LSU physicist among the two dozen researchers funded
"Extended Measurement of the Cosmic-Ray Electron and Positron Spectrum from 11 GeV to 4.8 TeV with the Calorimetric Electron Telescope on the International Space Station”, Adriani, Cannady, Cherry, Guzik, Wefel et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 261102 (2018)
Extended results on the cosmic-ray electron + positron spectrum from 11 GeV to 4.8 TeV are presented based on observations with the Calorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) on the International Space Station utilizing the data up to November 2017. The analysis uses the full detector acceptance at high energies, approximately doubling the statistics compared to the previous result. CALET is an all- calorimetric instrument with a total thickness of 30 radiation lengths at normal incidence and fine imaging capability, designed to achieve large proton rejection and excellent energy resolution well into the TeV energy region. The observed energy spectrum in the region below 1 TeV shows good agreement with Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) data. In the energy region below ∼300 GeV, CALET’s spectral index is found to be consistent with the AMS-02, Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT), and Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), while from 300 to 600 GeV the spectrum is significantly softer than the spectra from the latter two experiments. The absolute flux of CALET is consistent with other experiments at around a few tens of GeV. However, it is lower than those of DAMPE and Fermi-LAT with the difference increasing up to several hundred GeV. The observed energy spectrum above ∼1 TeV suggests a flux suppression consistent within the errors with the results of DAMPE, while CALET does not observe any significant evidence for a narrow spectral feature in the energy region around 1.4 TeV. Our measured all-electron flux, including statistical errors and a detailed breakdown of the systematic errors, is tabulated in the Supplemental Material in order to allow more refined spectral analyses based on our data.
"Detection of the Thermal Component in GRB 160107A", Y. Kawakubo, M. Cherry et al., Publ. Astronom. Soc. Japan 70, 6 (2018)
We present the detection of a blackbody component in GRB 160107A emission by using the combined spectral data of the CALET Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (CGBM) and the MAXI Gas Slit Camera (GSC). The MAXI/GSC detected the emission ∼45 s prior to the main burst episode observed by the CGBM. The MAXI/GSC and the CGBM spectrum of this prior emission period is well fit by a blackbody with the temperature of 1.0+0.3−0.2 keV plus a power-law with the photon index of −1.6±0.3. We discuss the radius to the photospheric emission and the main burst emission based on the observational properties. We stress the importance of the coordinated observations via various instruments collecting the high quality data over a broad energy coverage in order to understand the GRB prompt emission mechanism.
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, or LIGO, in Livingston, La., will be designated a historic physics site by the American Physical Society, or APS, on Wednesday, June 20. Media are invited to attend this special ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. To RSVP, email the media relations contacts below. LIGO Livingston is one of two observatories in the U.S. that made the first direct observations of gravitational waves emanating from violent and distant astronomical events. The two observatories — one in Louisiana and the other in Hanford, Wash. — will receive plaques to recognize the extraordinary efforts that led to this detection.
Dr. Rick Rauch (Science, ’77), an expert in rocket propulsion testing, will provide a $1 million bequest to establish an endowed research scholarship fund for the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy. A product of the 1960s, Rauch is living his childhood dream as project manager at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center.
2016 LSU graduate, Mark DiTusa, is the recipient of the 2018 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, or GRFP. This fellowship from the National Science Foundation helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the U.S. and reinforces its diversity. DiTusa is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.
"Strong and uniform convergence in the teleportation simulation of bosonic Gaussian channels" by Mark Wilde. Phys. Rev. A 97, 062305
In the literature on the continuous-variable bosonic teleportation protocol, it is often loosely stated that it converges to a perfect teleportation of an input quantum state in the limit of ideal squeezing and ideal detection, but the exact form of this convergence is typically not clarified. In this work, Prof. Wilde explicitly clarifies that the convergence is in the strong sense, and not the uniform sense, and furthermore that the convergence occurs for any input state to the protocol, including the infinite-energy Basel states defined and discussed in this work. Prof. Wilde also proves, in contrast to the above result, that the teleportation simulations of pure-loss, thermal, pure-amplifier, amplifier, and additive-noise channels converge both strongly and uniformly to the original channels, in the limit of ideal squeezing and detection for the simulations. For these channels, he gives explicit uniform bounds on the accuracy of their teleportation simulations. These uniform convergence results are then extended to particular multimode bosonic Gaussian channels. These convergence statements have important implications for mathematical proofs that make use of the teleportation simulation of bosonic Gaussian channels, some of which have to do with bounding their nonasymptotic secret-key-agreement capacities.
A team of high school students will present new findings on KIC 8462852, or Tabby’s Star, often referred to as the most mysterious star in the universe, at a press conference at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Denver, Colo. today. Tabby’s Star is nicknamed after LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Assistant Professor Tabetha Boyajian, who has observed and studied the unusual dimming and brightening of this otherwise ordinary star along with citizen scientists.
"The Montevideo Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: A Short Review" by Gambini and Pullin. Entropy 2018, 20(6), 413
The Montevideo interpretation of quantum mechanics, which consists of supplementing environmental decoherence with fundamental limitations in measurement stemming from gravity, has been described in several publications. However, some of them appeared before the full picture provided by the interpretation was developed. As such, it can be difficult to get a good understanding via the published literature. Here, we summarize it in a self-contained brief presentation including all its principal elements
BATON ROUGE - LSU Professor Jonathan P. Dowling has been appointed to a three-year term as Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dowling is the Horace C. Hearne Professor of Theoretical Physics and founding Co-Director of the Horace C. Hearne Institute for Theoretical Physics in the LSU College of Science. The Institute carries out research on quantization of gravity, quantum optics effects in gravitational wave interferometers, decoherence due to quantum gravity, non-standard optics due to quantum gravity, quantum computing, quantum imaging, and quantum sensing.
On Friday, May 11, LSU Physics & Astronomy welcomed 3 new PhD, 2 MS and 14 BS graduates who received their diplomas at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and Maddox Fieldhouse.
2018 University Distinguished Faculty Awards and Annual Physics & Astronomy Awards
LSU's Department of Physics & Astronomy has announced Rebecca DiTusa and Khang Pham as recipients of the NRC scholarship program in health physics. A grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was established at LSU in 2017 supporting undergraduate students to explore careers in the radiation sciences through the field of health physics.
Physics Nobel Laureate Rainer Weiss to Speak at LSU College of Science Spring Diploma Ceremony, May 11
Rainer Weiss, 2017 Nobel Laureate in Physics, MIT Physics Professor Emeritus, and LSU adjunct professor in physics and astronomy, will serve as the keynote speaker for the LSU College of Science spring ceremony, Friday, May 11 at 12 p.m. in Maddox Field House.
2018 Annual Physics & Astronomy Awards list and gallery
Emeritus Boyd Professor Dr. Robert O'Connell is originally from Ireland and received his undergraduate degree from the National University of Ireland Galway, which also awarded him a doctorate of science degree later on. After working four years as a telecommunications engineer, he came to the US in 1958 and got his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Notre Dame. In his 53-year career at LSU, Dr. O'Connell has made countless contributions to many areas of physics and astronomy.
For more than 30 years, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation has supported hundreds of top performing students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. This year, LSU physics majors Rory Bentley and Harvey Shows are among the top performing scholars to receive the ASF award.
Dowling and collaborators have been awarded more than $7 million from the U.S. Army Research Office to develop quantum technologies related to sensing. Their recently received grant titled, “Quantum control based on real-time environment analysis by spectator qubits,” is funded for three years, with the possibility of a two-year extension for a total of $7.05 million. The purpose of the grant is to develop feedback and control techniques on quantum systems that will be used to improve the performance of quantum computers and sensors.
"Signature of charge migration in modulations of double ionization" by Mauger et al. Phys. Rev. A 97, 043407
We present a theoretical investigation of charge migration following strong-field ionization in a multielectron system. We study a model homonuclear molecule with two electrons, each restricted to one dimension ( 1 + 1 D ), interacting with a strong, static electric field. We show that in this system charge migration results from the interplay between multiple ionization channels that overlap in space, creating a coherent electron-hole wave packet in the cation. We also find that, in our case, charge migration following the first ionization manifests as a modulation of the subsequent double-ionization signal. We derive a parametrized semiclassical model from the full multielectron system and we discuss the importance of the choice of cation electronic-structure basis for the efficacy of the semiclassical representation. We use the ab initio solution of the full 1 + 1 D system as a reference for the qualitative and quantitative results of the parametrized semiclassical model. We discuss the extension of our model to long-wavelength time-dependent fields with full-dimension, many-electron targets.
We extend the phenomenology of loop quantum cosmology (LQC) to second order in perturbations. Our motivation is twofold. On the one hand, since LQC predicts a cosmic bounce that takes place at the Planck scale, the second order contributions could be large enough to jeopardize the validity of the perturbative expansion on which previous results rest. On the other hand, the upper bounds on primordial non-Gaussianity obtained by the Planck Collaboration are expected to play a significant role on explorations of the LQC phenomenology. We find that the bounce in LQC produces an enhancement of non Gaussianity of several orders of magnitude, on length scales that were larger than the curvature radius at the bounce. Nonetheless, we find that one can still rely on the perturbative expansion to make predictions about primordial perturbations. We discuss the consequences of our results for LQC and its predictions for the cosmic microwave background.
"Low- and middle-income countries can reduce risks of subsequent neoplasms by referring pediatric craniospinal cases to centralized proton treatment centers." by Newhauser et.al
Taddei PJ, Khater N, Youssef B, Howell RM, Jalbout W, Zhang R, Geara FB, Giebeler A, Mahajan A, Mirkovic D, Newhauser WD. Low- and middle-income countries can reduce risks of subsequent neoplasms by referring pediatric craniospinal cases to centralized proton treatment centers. Biomed. Phys. Eng. Express. 4 025029 (2018).
LSU College of Science and Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College sophomore Corey Matyas has been named a 2018 Goldwater Scholar. Matyas, a native of Dahlonega, Ga., was nominated through an internal university process earlier in the year. A list of winners was released on Friday, March 30.
SEC Selects 2018 Faculty Achievement Award Recipients: Boyd Professor Ward Plummer chosen as LSU’s honoree
The 2018 SEC Faculty Achievement Award selection from LSU is Ward Plummer, Boyd Professor of Physics. Plummer is special assistant to LSU’s vice president for research and economic development. He is a world‐renowned physicist, specializing in surfaces and interfaces phenomena
Physics undergraduate Khang Pham, a native of Vietnam, and a McNair Research Scholar, has been named a 2018 LSU Discover Scholar awardee. Currently mentored by Professor Catherine Deibel, Pham is doing research in the nuclear physics group.
"On-orbit Operations and Offline Data Processing of CALET Onboard the ISS", Y. Asaoka, N. Cannady, M. Cherry, T.G. Guzik, J. Wefel et al., Astroparticle Phys. 100, 29 (2018)
The CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET), launched for installation on the International Space Station (ISS) in August, 2015, has been accumulating scientific data since October, 2015. CALET is intended to perform long-duration observations of high-energy cosmic rays onboard the ISS. CALET directly measures the cosmic-ray electron spectrum in the energy range of 1 GeV to 20 TeV with a 2% energy resolution above 30 GeV. In addition, the instrument can measure the spectrum of gamma rays well into the TeV range, and the spectra of protons and nuclei up to a PeV.
The International Conference on Quantum Communication, Measurement and Computing (QCMC), established in 1990 to encourage and bring together scientists and engineers working in the interdisciplinary field of quantum information science and technology, will take place March 12-16, 2018 at Louisiana State University. Organized by the LSU Quantum Science and Technologies Group (QST), the 2018 QCMC conference will highlight research areas on nano photonic quantum information and processing.
The Southeastern Universities Research Association, or SURA, announced that Gabriela González, professor of physics and astronomy at LSU and former spokesperson of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, will receive the 2018 SURA Distinguished Scientist Award. The annual honor goes to a research scientist whose extraordinary work fulfills the SURA mission to “advance collaborative research and education” in the Southeast and nation.