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Jigang Wang describes the goal of his research being “To discover and control quantum states of matter.” But, it takes paragraphs, analogies, illustrations, internet searches and a willingness to decipher talk about “non-equilibrium quantum phase discovery via non-thermal ultrafast quench near quantum critical points” to get a handle on those eight words. Even though the work is hard to understand, Wang’s work could be a big deal to all of us.

Harnessing quantum physics – the particles and energy down at atomic scales – could lead to better computing, sensing, communicating and data storing technologies. But first researchers such as Wang – a professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University and a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory – need to provide more answers about the quantum world.

In Wang’s case, many of those answers are coming from quantum terahertz spectroscopy that can visualize and steer electrons.

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Category: Science