David Weld Receives UC President’s Research Catalyst Award

December 10th, 2014

UC Santa Barbara’s David Weld leads a team that has been awarded $300,000 to establish the California Institute for Quantum Emulation. His group is one of five to receive the inaugural President’s Research Catalyst Awards announced today by University of California President Janet Napolitano.

Selected from a pool of almost 200 proposals, the California Institute for Quantum Emulation will mobilize the theoretical and experimental expertise of early-career faculty members at five campuses, enhancing the state’s position as a technological leader and advancing research vital to the development of novel materials. In addition to the President’s Research Catalyst Award funding, the team will receive $50,000 in matching funds from the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) at UCSB.

Weld, who holds the Richard Whited Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Science, proposed the institute with colleagues at UCLA, Berkeley, UCSD and UC Irvine in a submission titled “Advancing physics, materials science and computing through quantum emulation.” Quantum emulation uses small collections of ultra-cold atoms, ions and molecules to understand the physical properties of the smallest matter in the universe.

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Shuji Nakamura awarded 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics

October 7th, 2014

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Shuji Nakamura, professor of materials and of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and two others.

The prize is for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources, and is shared with Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University and Nagoya University, Japan; and Hiroshi Amono of Nagoya University.

According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, when Nakamura, Akasaki and Amono “produced bright blue light beams from their semiconductors in the early 1990s, they triggered a fundamental transformation of lighting technology. Red and green diodes had been around for a long time, but without blue light, white lamps could not be created. Despite considerable efforts, both in the scientific community and in industry, the blue LED had remained a challenge for three decades.”

UCSB Press Release

CSEP alum leads UCSB’s summer science camp for area school children

July 16th, 2014

Dancing around a marshmallow tower they built themselves, the children shouted: “Ten and a quarter! Ten and a quarter!” They marveled that their group’s tower was the tallest, but some of their sheer joy may have been fueled by the marshmallows themselves.

The group constructed the tower as part of UCSB Summer Science Camp, where 8- to 12-year-olds come to get down and dirty in the name of science. Whether learning about bacteria, DNA and density or building gumdrop domes and dissecting squid, participants are having the time of their lives.

“I really like how you learn but you still have a ton of fun,” said Teagan Moehlis, 12, who has been to science camp three times before. “I liked collecting DNA the best. It was supercool!” Teagan is the daughter of Jeff Moehlis, a professor in UCSB’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

UCSB Press Release

Microsoft Makes Bet Quantum Computing Is Next Breakthrough

June 25th, 2014

Modern computers are not unlike the looms of the industrial revolution: They follow programmed instructions to weave intricate patterns. With a loom, you see the result in a cloth or carpet. With a computer, you see it on an electronic display.

Now a group of physicists and computer scientists funded by Microsoft is trying to take the analogy of interwoven threads to what some believe will be the next great leap in computing, so-called quantum computing.

New York Times

New Venture Competition partners with CNSI

June 6th, 2014

CNSI is honored to partner with UCSB’s Technology Management Program to
establish the Elings Prize for Entrepreneurship during the recent New
Venture Competition. Salty Girl Seafood, which aims to create an online
marketplace connecting restaurant chefs with the fishermen who catch the
seafood they serve, won the inaugural Elings Prize. Virgil Elings was on
hand to award the prize.

Award Photos Technology Management Program News

Galen Stucky Receives 2014 Prince of Asturias Award

May 28th, 2014

The CNSI wishes to congratulate Professor Galen Stucky on receiving the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research along with Avelino Corma (Spanish National Research Council) and Mark Davis (CalTech) for their contributions to the development of microporous and mesoporous materials and their applications. The three researchers have made truly remarkable contributions to the design and methods of synthesis of these materials, the study of their properties and the development of their applications in very diverse fields. These include the petrochemical industry, biodegradable plastics and water treatment, improved food quality, new medicines and revolutionary healthcare materials, optoelectronic materials, emission reducing elements and, in short, a broad range of activities in society.

Named after the Crown Prince of Spain, this is the highest scientific recognition in Spain and one of the most coveted Europeans scientific awards.

Congatulations Galen!

Prince of Asturias Award

Fred Wudl is recognized by Britain’s Royal Society of Chemistry

May 6th, 2014

UC Santa Barbara’s Fred Wudl, a research professor in chemistry and materials engineering, has received the 2014 Spiers Memorial Award for his many innovative developments in the field of organic electroactive materials and plastic electronics.

The Spiers Memorial Award is presented in recognition of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of a Faraday Discussion. Produced by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) for more than 100 years, Faraday Discussions are unique international discussion meetings that focus on rapidly developing areas of physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines. All attendees contribute to the discussion, including presenting their own relevant research.

UCSB Press Release

Superconducting Qubit Array Points the Way to Quantum Computers

April 23rd, 2014

A fully functional quantum computer is one of the holy grails of physics. Unlike conventional computers, the quantum version uses qubits (quantum bits), which make direct use of the multiple states of quantum phenomena. When realized, a quantum computer will be millions of times more powerful at certain computations than today’s supercomputers.

A group of UC Santa Barbara physicists has moved one step closer to making a quantum computer a reality by demonstrating a new level of reliability in a five-qubit array. Their findings appear Thursday in the journal Nature.

Quantum computing is anything but simple. It relies on aspects of quantum mechanics such as superposition. This notion holds that any physical object, such as an atom or electron — what quantum computers use to store information — can exist in all of its theoretical states simultaneously. This could take parallel computing to new heights.

UCSB Press Release Nature

2014 Fritz London Memorial Prize awarded to John Martinis

March 3rd, 2014

The Fritz London Memorial Prize is awarded to Prof. John M. Martinis in recognition of fundamental and pioneering experimental advances in quantum control, quantum information processing and quantum optics with superconducting qubits and microwave photons. The prize will be presented at the International Meeting of Low Temperature Physics LT27 in Buenos Aires, August 2014.

Two Faculty Members Receive Prestigious Award

January 6th, 2014

David Weld, an assistant professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded a prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor the nation can bestow on a scientist or engineer at the beginning of his or her career.

“The impressive achievements of these early-stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead,” President Obama said of the recipients. “We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America’s global leadership for many years to come.”

UCSB Press Release David Weld