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Physics-based escape room open in Urbana

Professor S. has gone missing. Four government agents have disappeared. Can you solve the mystery, save the free world, and maybe learn something too? The world’s first science-based escape room is now open in Urbana, IL, a physics outreach project developed by Professor Paul Kwiat with support from the American Physical Society and Physics Illinois.

Grad student Rebecca Holmes reports on single-photon vision research in Physics World

Full December 2016 issue available to subscribers. Read Rebecca Holmes’ article about seeing single photons here (no subscription needed):

Students win OSA Enabled by Optics contest with video about fingerprint sensors

Graduate students Courtney Krafczyk, Rebecca Holmes, Michelle Victora and JJ Wong, and undergraduate Sheldon Schlie were the winners of the OSA Enabled by Optics contest with their video about the optics of fingerprint sensors! The video explains total internal reflection and other optics concepts with cartoons and demonstrations.

Students awarded NDSEG, NSF, and Mavis Future Faculty Fellowships

Third-year graduate student Michelle Victora was selected as a 2016-2017 Mavis Future Faculty Fellow by the College of Engineering. First-year graduate student Kristina Meier was awarded an NDSEG fellowship from the Department of Defense, and was also offered a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Congratulations!

Exploring the limits of quantum nonlocality

We used entangled photons to test quantum non-locality in ways that were previously beyond experimental reach, and achieved the “most nonlocal” correlations ever reported. Read more in the open-access paper: “Exploring the Limits of Quantum Nonlocality with Entangled Photons,” Bradley G. Christensen, Yeong-Cherng Liang, Nicolas Brunner, Nicolas Gisin, and Paul G. Kwiat in Physical Review X.

Squinting to see a single photon

Can you see a single photon? Quantum optics may help us find out. Read more: “Squinting to see a single photon” via APS News

Take a walk through a loophole-free Bell test

Congratulations to graduate students Brad Christensen and Michael Wayne, former undergraduate Daniel Kumor, and researchers from NIST and several other institutions, who have used entangled photons in a loophole-free Bell test. We also thank graduate student Kristina Meier and undergraduates Joseph Chapman and Malhar Jere. Take a walk through the experiment in this video, and read more:

How does an optical fingerprint sensor work?

Find out how optical fingerprint sensors use total internal reflection in this video by Kwiat group members. (And vote for us in the the OSA Enabled by Optics contest before November 17!)

Graduate student Rebecca Holmes is a winner of the Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition at FiO 2015

Studying the visual system with single photons

Physics and psychology unite! We’re using quantum optics to find out whether humans can see a single photon (and maybe even its superposition). Read more:

Happy National Donut Day!

The mathematical properties of a donut (or torus) can be used to communicate quantum information more efficiently. Read more:

Superdense teleportation using hyperentangled photons

We demonstrated a superdense teleportation protocol for higher-fidelity transmission of quantum information with fewer experimental resources: “Superdense teleportation of quantum information,” Trent Graham et al. in Nature Communications. Read more on the Physics Illinois website.

Engineering photon pairs for quantum information

We demonstrated a source that produces pure heralded single photons and polarization-entangled pairs without unwanted spectral correlations. Former graduate student Kevin Zielnicki is the lead author: “Engineering of near-IR photon pairs to be factorable in space-time and entangled in polarization” in Optics Express.

Student featured by NSF for Women's History Month

Fourth-year graduate student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow Rebecca Holmes was featured in a social media series on women in science for Women’s History Month.

Student awarded NDSEG graduate fellowship

Second-year graduate student Alex Hill received a three-year National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship from the Department of Defense.

Can you see a single photon?

Can you see a single photon? We’re seeking volunteers to help us find out. Read more about our single-photon vision research and fill out an interest form here.

Experiment closes the "detection loophole"

“Detection-Loophole-Free Test of Quantum Nonlocality, and Applications.” DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.130406. We used a source of entangled photons to violate a Bell inequality free of the “fair-sampling” assumption. This work was selected as an Editor’s Suggestion and was featured in Physics. Read more about tests of nonlocality on our Research page.

Students awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and Goldwater Scholarship

Second-year graduate student Courtney Byard received a 2013 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Rising senior undergraduate David Schmid received a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Second-year graduate student Rebecca Holmes also received an NSF fellowship in 2012.