The Wigner crystal is an elusive beast. Predicted in 1934, this crystal of electrons, which is one of the most strongly correlated states of matter, forms when the electron density is ultralow. But a lack of clean enough systems with that property make it hard to measure. Within the last few months, researchers have imaged its structure. Now another group, led by Vikram Deshpande at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, has measured the energy required to add an electron to the crystal, a quantity that reveals the interaction strength of the system.
A new instrument mounted atop a telescope in Arizona aimed its robotic array of 5,000 fiber-optic “eyes” at the night sky to capture the first images showing its unique view of galaxy light.
Four University of Utah faculty members, including Anil Seth from the Department of Physics & Astronomy, have been named Presidential Scholars. This award honors extraordinary research and academic efforts of early to mid-career faculty.
The National Science Foundation has awarded $1,635,591 to scientists from the University of Utah and a collaborator from University of California, Los Angeles, to research one of the biggest hurdles to quantum computing—the quantum logic units, or “qubits,” that carry information. The award is one of 19 Quantum Idea Incubator grants totaling $32 million funded this year as part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Quantum Leap, one of NSF’s “10 Big Ideas” that represent bold, long-term research ideas at the cutting-edge of science and engineering.
Assistant professor Ramón Barthelemy is a former Fulbright Scholar and an American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy (AAAS) Fellow dedicated to equity and inclusion in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). He joined the U in July 2019 to begin serving as the first tenure-track faculty member in the U’s Physics Education Research (PER) Program.