Awardees at Physics Department annual
research poster exhibit, April 24, 2019.
Prof. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell,
Discovery of Binary Pulsars
23rd Annual Katzenstein Lecture
University of Connecticut
November 8, 2019
 Prof. Bell Burnell with UConn Women in Physics, November 2019
 Annual awards event honoring outstanding teaching assistants
 Introductory Physics applies handson approach to learning
 Annual department hike up Mt. Monadnock, October 2019
Longtime Science Pioneer Passes Away
Throughout her long life, Cynthia Peterson educated and enriched her family, her students, and her community through science, discovery, and a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching prospective scientists. Through community outreach and during her many years as a professor, Cynthia taught many that wonderment can be found simply by looking up at the night sky.
[Read More]New Physics Faculty: Erin Scanlon
Erin Scanlon joins our Department in fall 2020 as Assistant Professor in Residence at the Avery Point Campus. Erin comes to UConn with an impressive track record of university teaching experience and scholarship in physics education research (PER). After earning a master’s degree in physics from Georgia Institute of Technology, Erin joined the faculty at […]
[Read More]New Physics Faculty: Chris Faesi
We are very excited to extend a warm welcome to a new UConn Physics Faculty member, Dr. Christopher Faesi. Chris is an astrophysicist, specializing in both observational work and modelling, primarily in the study of star formation. He got his PhD at Harvard University, followed by a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy […]
[Read More]Prof. Kyungseon Joo named Chair of CLAS Collaboration at Jefferson Lab
Kyungseon Joo, a professor of physics, has been named Chair of the CLAS Collaboration, one of the largest international collaborations in nuclear physics. CLAS involves 50 institutions from 9 countries and has about 250 collaborators. The collaboration recently completed the upgrade of the CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer (CLAS12) for operation at 11 GeV beam energy […]
[Read More]Physics Department Joins APSIDEA Network
The Physics Department’s Diversity & Multiculturalism Committee (DMC) was accepted into the APS Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Alliance (APSIDEA). Despite years of efforts on local and national levels, the diversity in many physics departments is not reflective of the diversity nationwide. Our department is no exception in this regard. The new APS initiative was created […]
[Read More]Upcoming events

Sep
25
PhD Dissertation Defense2:00pm
PhD Dissertation Defense
Friday, September 25th, 2020
02:00 PM  04:00 PM
Storrs Campus
Video meetingGraduate Student Benjamin Commeau, Department of Physics,
University of Connecticut
Two Studies on Topological Properties of Organic Superconductors and a new Quantum Dynamical Simulation Algorithm
In this thesis I investigate two research topics in topological organic superconductors and one research topic in variational algorithms for quantum computation.
In the first chapter we investigate the structural and electronic properties of the three structural phases alpha, beta and kappa of (BEDTTTF)2I3, by performing state of the art ab initio calculations in the framework of density functional theory. We furthermore report about the irreducible representations of the corresponding electronic band structures, symmetry of their crystal structure, and discuss the origin of band crossings.
Additionally, we discuss the chemically induced strain in kappa(BEDTTTF)2I3 achieved by replacing the iodine layer with other Halogens: Fluorine, Bromine and Chlorine. In the case of kappa(BEDTTTF)2F3, we identify topologically protected crossings within the band structure. These crossings are forced to occur due to the nonsymmorphic nature of the crystal. In the second chapter, we performed structural optimization and electronic structure calculations in the framework of density functional theory, incorporating, first, the recently developed strongly constrained and appropriately normed semilocal density functional SCAN, and, second, van der Waals corrections to the PBE exchange correlation functional by means of the dDsC dispersion correction method.
In the case of alpha(BEDTTTF)2F3 the formation of overtilted DiractypeII nodes within the quasi 2dimensional Brillouin zone can be found.
For kappa(BEDTTTF)2F3, the recently reported topological transition within the electronic band structure cannot be revealed. In the third chapter, we propose a new algorithm called Variational Hamiltonian Diagonalization (VHD), which approximately transforms a given Hamiltonian into a diagonal form that can be easily exponentiated. VHD allows for fast forwarding, and removes Trotterization error and allows simulation of the entire Hilbert space. We prove an operational meaning for the VHD cost function in terms of the average simulation fidelity. Moreover, we prove that the VHD cost function does not exhibit a shallowdepth barren plateau. Our numerical simulations verify that VHD can be used for fastforwarding dynamics.
Zoom Link: https://harvard.zoom.us/j/92203325795?pwd=T2VoYzNPNkwvZW1GWFlhQk9Ga1lwUT09Contact Information: Prof. S. Yelin
More 
Sep
25
Physics Colloquium: Visualizing The Proton3:30pm
Physics Colloquium: Visualizing The Proton
Friday, September 25th, 2020
03:30 PM  04:30 PM
Storrs Campus
RemoteProf. Richard Milner
MIT
Abstract:
Nuclear physicists have recently made progress in understanding how to visualize the fundamental structure of the proton. Electrons scattered from the proton’s charged constituents produce snapshots that offer the possibility to produce for the first time a coherent 3D image of the proton. The basic
elements of the technique will be outlined and ongoing experiments at Jefferson Laboratory as well as future experiments at the planned ElectronIon Collider (EIC) at Brookhaven Laboratory will be described.
Remote Connection info:
TBAContact Information: Prof. Kyungseon Joo
More 
Oct
9
Dr. James Guillochon3:30pm
Dr. James Guillochon
Friday, October 9th, 2020
03:30 PM  04:30 PM
Storrs Campus
BPB131Physics colloquium
Dr. James GuillochonContact Information: Prof. Cara Battersby
More
Recent Events

Prof. T. Blum, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Lattice QCD at UConn", Graduate Student Seminar12:15pm
9/18
Prof. T. Blum, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Lattice QCD at UConn", Graduate Student Seminar
Friday, September 18th, 2020
12:15 PM  01:15 PM
Storrs Campus
onlineProf. T. Blum, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
Lattice QCD at UConn
I will give a brief introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics, and Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) in particular. I will then describe how we solve QCD using large scale numerical simulations. I will finish with a few current and important examples.Contact Information: Prof. V. Kharchenko
More 
Graduate Student Saman Bastami, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Studies on Hadron Structure through TransverseMomentumDependent Parton Distribution Functions", PhD Dissertation Defense1:15pm
9/11
Graduate Student Saman Bastami, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Studies on Hadron Structure through TransverseMomentumDependent Parton Distribution Functions", PhD Dissertation Defense
Friday, September 11th, 2020
01:15 PM  03:15 PM
Storrs Campus
Video meetingGraduate Student Saman Bastami, Department of Physics,
University of Connecticut
Studies on Hadron Structure through TransverseMomentumDependent Parton Distribution Functions
The detailed description of hadrons in terms of quarks and gluons, the fundamental degrees of freedom of Quantum Chromodynamics, is an open problem. Important aspects of hadron structure can be studied in certain deepinelastic highenergy processes which have revealed important insights about the longitudinal momentum distributions of quarks and gluons inside hadrons. Our knowledge of the threedimensional structure is still very limited. Transverse momentum dependent parton distribution functions (TMDs) are one of the main tools to study the transverse structure of hadrons through processes such as semiinclusive deep inelastic scattering SIDIS) or the DrellYan process. This dissertation is dedicated to phenomenological and model studies of TMDs.
All spin and azimuthal asymmetries of the leptonnucleon SIDIS are calculated at leading and subleading twist exploring the socalled "WandzuraWilczektype" approximation which consists in a systematic neglect quarkgluon correlations. The results are obtained using available phenomenological information on TMDs as well as constraints from stateoftheart lattice QCD calculations, and compared to the experimental data from HERMES, COMPASS and Jefferson Lab.
The asymmetries of the pioninduced DrellYan process with polarized protons are studied at leading twist. The information about TMDs is taken from nonperturbative calculations in the lightfront constituent quark model, the spectator model and, where available, phenomenological extractions of TMDs. The results are compared to recent data from the first polarized pionnucleon DrellYan experiment performed by the COMPASS Collaboration at CERN, and predictions for future experiments are made.
The "covariant parton model", an effective hadronic model based on the intuitive parton model concept, is extended and formalized. This allows one to compute all timereversaleven TMDs of leading and subleading twist in a systematic way. This model naturally supports the WandzuraWilczektype approximations and predicts several nontrivial relations between TMDs, many of which are supported in other model frameworks and can be tested in experiments. Applications and limitations of the model are discussed.
Meeting video link: https://zoom.us/j/96866754697?pwd=NEM1WUt3VkxhbVdQQWdacVVubHNvQT09Contact Information: Prof. P. Schweitzer
More 
Prof. D. McCarron, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "A quantumleap towards next generation technologies", Graduate Student Seminar12:15pm
9/11
Prof. D. McCarron, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "A quantumleap towards next generation technologies", Graduate Student Seminar
Friday, September 11th, 2020
12:15 PM  01:15 PM
Storrs Campus
onlineProf. D. McCarron, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
A quantumleap towards next generation technologies
Recent progress manipulating quantum systems has led to a second quantum revolution that is developing new technologies that leverage the laws of nature at small scales. This talk will give an overview of some of these new technologies alongside their applications  with an emphasis on ultracold systems cooled to one millionth of a degree above absolute zero. I will draw links between these applications and my own research program before giving a brief summary of our experimental progress.
Research Group URL: http://themccarrongroup.comContact Information: Prof. V. Kharchenko
More 
Doctoral Dissertation Oral Defense of Saman Bastami1:30pm
9/7
Doctoral Dissertation Oral Defense of Saman Bastami
Monday, September 7th, 2020
01:30 PM  03:00 PM
Other
ZoomStudies on Hadron Structure through Transverse Momentum Dependent Parton Distribution FunctionsContact Information: saman.bastami@uconn.edu
More 
Graduate Student Brandon A. Clary, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Exclusive Phi Production Beam Spin Asymmetry Measurements with CLAS12", PhD Dissertation Defense9:30am
8/21
Graduate Student Brandon A. Clary, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Exclusive Phi Production Beam Spin Asymmetry Measurements with CLAS12", PhD Dissertation Defense
Friday, August 21st, 2020
09:30 AM  11:30 AM
Storrs Campus
Video meetingGraduate Student Brandon A. Clary, Department of Physics,
University of Connecticut
Exclusive Phi Production Beam Spin Asymmetry Measurements with CLAS12
Measurements of the beam spin asymmetry (BSA) of the exclusive electroproduction of the vector phi(1020) meson through its decay into charged Kaons have been performed. The data set used was based on the RGA run period from the recently upgraded CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer (CLAS12) in Hall B at Jefferson National Lab (JLab). The run period used a 10.6 GeV longitudinally polarized electron beam and an unpolarized hydrogen target. The available statistics collected allow for detailed studies of the W, t, xB, and Q2 dependencies of the BSA amplitudes from vector phi meson production. The BSA measurements will shed light on the exchange mechanisms responsible for phi production at JLab energies. In this dissertation, a nonzero BSA is observed, which suggests a possible enhancement of pseudoscalar exchange mechanism near phi production threshold. Therefore, the nonzero BSA may be a result of the interference of the pseudoscalar exchange mechanism with a scalar one. Ultimately, information on the dominant exchange mechanism will aid in the development of a Generalized Parton Distribution (GPD) based description of these processes in the context of hard to soft transition.
Webex link: https://uconncmr.webex.com/uconncmr/j.php?MTID=m0844eee0d13477ad76f35797ae8467dbContact Information: Prof. K. Joo
More 
Dr. D. Farfurnik, University of Maryland, "Enhancing the coherence properties of quantum dots toward quantum photonic applications", Condensed Matter Physics Seminar10:00am
7/14
Dr. D. Farfurnik, University of Maryland, "Enhancing the coherence properties of quantum dots toward quantum photonic applications", Condensed Matter Physics Seminar
Tuesday, July 14th, 2020
10:00 AM  11:00 AM
Storrs Campus
onlineDr. D. Farfurnik, University of Maryland
Enhancing the coherence properties of quantum dots toward quantum photonic applications
Selfassembled Quantum Dots (QD) exhibit some of the best single photon emission properties, including nearly ideal efficiency and indistinguishability. As such, and considering their compatibility with nanofabrication techniques, onchip integration of QDs as single photon emitters and nonlinear components plays a key role in integrated photonicbased information processing and may pave the way toward the creation of quantum networks. Manipulating and storing quantum information utilizing QD spins, however, is limited by their short coherence times originating from interactions with a nuclear bath. In this talk, I will describe our approaches for addressing this challenge: First, the application of dynamical decoupling (DD) pulse sequences prolongs the coherence times by decoupling the QD spins from the environment. While the performance of such protocols is often limited by the accumulation of pulse imperfections, arbitrary spin control enabling composite and concatenated sequencing could further enhance the achievable spin control fidelities [1]. Such a sequencing is implementable by driving a Lambda system of the QD utilizing an optical signal arbitrarily modulated by a temperaturestabilized electro optical modulator (EOM). I will present a recent experimental demonstration of such a control [2], our analysis for optimizing the EOM working point for enhancing the achievable optical rotation Rabi frequencies, as well as the efficiency of the protocol for QDs strongly coupled to L3 photonic crystal cavities. Second, the resulting coherence properties may be further enhanced by utilizing molecules of coupled QDs (QDM), which offer a singlettriplet ground state decoherencefree subspace [3]. Beyond the promising combination of such a subspace with the application of DD sequences, leveraging the isolated optical transitions of the QDM may offer singleshot spin readout capabilities. I will present our approach for implementing such a spin readout incorporating microwave pipulses, its experimental feasibility utilizing optimally designed transmission lines, and the expected readout fidelities based on the achievable microwave Rabi frequencies [4].
[1] D. Farfurnik et al., ``Optimizing a dynamical decoupling protocol for solidstate electronic spin ensembles in diamond'', Phys. Rev. B 92, 060301(R) (2015)
[2] J.H. Bodey et al., ``Optical spin locking of a solidstate qubit'', npj Quantum Information 5, 95 (2019)
[3] D. Kim et al., ``Ultrafast optical control of entanglement between two quantumdot spins'', Nat. Phys. 7, 223229 (2011)
[4] D. Farfurnik et al., ``Experimental realization of timedependent phasemodulated continuous dynamical decoupling'', Phys. Rev. A 96, 013850 (2017)
Zoom Meeting: https://kthse.zoom.us/j/61809414846Contact Information: Prof. A. Balatsky.
More 
Graduate Student Daniel McNeel, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Shape Coexistence in \(^{28}\)Mg: Structure of a Transitional Nucleus", PhD Dissertation Defense1:00pm
6/11
Graduate Student Daniel McNeel, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Shape Coexistence in \(^{28}\)Mg: Structure of a Transitional Nucleus", PhD Dissertation Defense
Thursday, June 11th, 2020
01:00 PM  03:00 PM
Storrs Campus
Video meetingGraduate Student Daniel McNeel, Department of Physics,
University of Connecticut
Shape Coexistence in \(^{28}\)Mg: Structure of a Transitional Nucleus
The structure of nuclei outside the region of stability is an area of ongoing experimental research. Recent investigations in the region around \(^{32}\)Mg have discovered inversions in the usual ordering of shell model states. From these discoveries, theories of the evolution towards this "island of inversion" predict lowlying deformed intruder states for several nuclei in the region. One such nucleus, which exists in the region of transition between the normal and inverted hierarchies, is \(^{28}\)Mg. In this nucleus the ground state is expected to be mixed, i.e. it is a superposition of nearby \(0^+\) neutron pairing configurations. An excited intruder \(0^+\) state will have a different configuration and shape than surrounding states, a property known as shape coexistence.
Multinucleon transfer is known to be sensitive to the static deformation of a nucleus. It is also sensitive to both the amplitude and phase of configuration mixed states, and enhances transfer to those states which are similar to the ground state of the target plus two nucleons in single particle orbitals. This makes it a valuable tool to investigate the properties of \(^{28}\)Mg. The twoneutron adding reaction \(^{26}\)Mg(t,p)\(^{28}\)Mg has been used to study the properties of the ground state and excited \(0^+\) states. This experiment was carried out at Argonne National Laboratory using the HELIcal Orbit Spectrometer (HELIOS). HELIOS was designed to overcome the difficulties of measuring reactions in inverse kinematics. Experiments in inverse kinematics consist of a heavy particle, in this case \(^{26}\)Mg, incident on the light particle (\(^3\)H).
Because multinucleon transfers are more complex than single particle transfers, a calculation of the nuclear structure must guide the understanding of which configurations will be strongly populated. Shell model calculations have been used to evaluate the structure related transfer amplitudes, which were used as input into Distorted Wave Born Approximation (DWBA) calculations for the reaction. The results of this analysis are the relative contributions of different configurations to the ground state and excited \(0^+\) states, which provide a stringent test of the theoretical prediction of shape coexistence and intruder states.
Video link: https://uconncmr.webex.com/meet/dgm14002Contact Information: Prof. A. Wuosmaa
More 
Graduate Student Matthew Phelps, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Cosmological Fluctuations in Standard and Conformal Gravity", PhD Dissertation Defense10:00am
6/2
Graduate Student Matthew Phelps, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, "Cosmological Fluctuations in Standard and Conformal Gravity", PhD Dissertation Defense
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
10:00 AM  12:00 PM
Storrs Campus
Video meetingGraduate Student Matthew Phelps, Department of Physics,
University of Connecticut
Cosmological Fluctuations in Standard and Conformal Gravity
In the theory of cosmological perturbations, extensive methods of simplifying the equations of motion and eliminating nonphysical gauge modes are required in order to construct the perturbative solutions. One approach, standard within modern cosmology, is to decompose the metric perturbation into a basis of scalars, vectors, and tensors defined according to their transformation behavior under threedimensional rotations (the S.V.T. decomposition). By constructing a projector formalism to define the basis components, we show that such a decomposition is intrinsically nonlocal and necessarily incorporates spatially asymptotic boundary conditions. We continue application of the S.V.T. decomposition and solve the fluctuation equations exactly within standard cosmologies as applied to both Einstein gravity and conformal gravity, finding that in general the various S.V.T. gaugeinvariant combinations only decouple at a higherderivative level. To match the underlying transformation group of General Relativity and thus provide a manifestly covariant formalism, we introduce an alternate scalar, vector, tensor basis with components defined according to general fourdimensional coordinate transformations. In this basis, the fluctuation equations greatly simplify, where one can again decouple them into separate gaugeinvariant sectors at the higherderivative level. In the context of conformal gravity, we use similar constructions to solve the fluctuation equations exactly within any geometry that is conformal to flat and show that in a radiation era RobertsonWalker cosmology, fluctuations grow as \(t^4\).
Video Meeting URL: https://uconncmr.webex.com/meet/map14010Contact Information: Prof. P. Mannheim
More