eXpanding the Impact of our Science and Technology

Science illustration.

Major Activity X displays an essential philosophy of the JILA PFC: we explore and pursue outward-looking and synergistic research opportunities. Center Investigators are always alert to opportunities to exchange interesting ideas and technologies between our three core activities.

The JILA PFC explores the most promising opportunities by investing a small fraction of Center resources towards facilitating exchanges in ideas and technology. One goal is to spin off ideas and technologies to increase the broader impact of the proposed JILA PFC. A second, equally important, goal is to take advantage of intellectual and technological connections that lead to innovation in support of the core work of the proposed JILA PFC.

A successful Physics Frontier Center needs to have a boundary to distinguish between projects that are within the Center’s scope and projects that are not. Without such a surface, there is a risk that the Center’s activities can become too dilute. On the other hand, the barrier must be permeable to enhance the flow of ideas in and out, to enable the Center to evolve in response to new developments, and to maximize the Center’s potential broader impact. We think of our Center as contained within a membrane, and we see the function of Major Activity X as facilitating and regulating transport across that membrane.

Think of the projects described in this section as membrane protein channels.

The five projects MA-X expand the impact of the JILA PFC in areas of biophysics, astrophysics, and quantum technology.

Specific projects within this major activity

  • Single microwave photon counting for coupled-cavity axion search
  • Atom chips and atomtronics
  • Linked atomic clocks for gravitational wave searches
  • Nonlinear spectroscopy of fluorescent proteins with entangled photons
  • Harnessing nanomechanical control and measurement for ultrasensitive force microscopes