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Exploring the smallest distance scales with particle colliders often requires detailed calculations of the spectra of outgoing particles (smallest filled green circles). Image Credit: Benjamin Nachman, Berkeley Lab

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory physicists Christian Bauer, Marat Freytsis and Benjamin Nachman have leveraged an IBM Q quantum computer through the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility’s Quantum Computing User Program to capture part of a calculation of two protons colliding.

ORNL’s Joseph Lukens runs experiments in an optics lab. Credit: Jason Richards/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists’ increasing mastery of quantum mechanics is heralding a new age of innovation. Technologies that harness the power of nature’s most minute scale show enormous potential across the scientific spectrum

QLAN submit - A team from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Stanford University and Purdue University developed and demonstrated a novel, fully functional quantum local area network, or QLAN, to enable real-time adjustments to information shared with geographically isolated systems at ORNL using entangled photons passing through optical fiber. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A rapidly emerging consensus in the scientific community predicts the future will be defined by humanity’s ability to exploit the laws of quantum mechanics.

A material’s spins, depicted as red spheres, are probed by scattered neutrons. Applying an entanglement witness, such as the QFI calculation pictured, causes the neutrons to form a kind of quantum gauge. This gauge allows the researchers to distinguish between classical and quantum spin fluctuations. Credit: Nathan Armistead/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated the viability of a “quantum entanglement witness” capable of proving the presence of entanglement between magnetic particles, or spins, in a quantum material.

Quantum equipment in the Alice laboratory, where the photon source and the first node in the team’s network are stored. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team from ORNL, Stanford University and Purdue University developed and demonstrated a novel, fully functional quantum local area network, or QLAN, to enable real-time adjustments to information shared with geographically isolated systems at ORNL using entangled photons passing through optical fiber.

Compression (red arrows) alters crystal symmetry (green arrows), which changes band dispersion (left and right), leading to highly mobile electrons. Credit: Jaimee Janiga, Andrew Sproles, Satoshi Okamoto/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team led by the ORNL has found a rare quantum material in which electrons move in coordinated ways, essentially “dancing.”

Nicholas Peters and Raphael Pooser

Of the $61 million recently announced by the U.S. Department of Energy for quantum information science studies, $17.5 million will fund research at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. These projects will help build the foundation for the quantum internet, advance quantum entanglement capabilities — which involve sharing information through paired particles of light called photons — and develop next-generation quantum sensors.

ORNL’s particle entanglement machine is a precursor to the device that researchers at the University of Oklahoma are building, which will produce entangled quantum particles for quantum sensing to detect underground pipeline leaks. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

To minimize potential damage from underground oil and gas leaks, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is co-developing a quantum sensing system to detect pipeline leaks more quickly.

Spin chains in a quantum system undergo a collective twisting motion as the result of quasiparticles clustering together. Demonstrating this KPZ dynamics concept are pairs of neighboring spins, shown in red, pointing upward in contrast to their peers, in blue, which alternate directions. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Using complementary computing calculations and neutron scattering techniques, researchers from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories and the University of California, Berkeley, discovered the existence of an elusive type of spin dynamics in a quantum mechanical system.

Each point on the sphere of this visual representation of arbitrary frequency-bin qubit states corresponds to a unique quantum state, and the gray sections represent the measurement results. The zoomed-in view illustrates examples of three quantum states plotted next to their ideal targets (blue dots). Credit: Joseph Lukens/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Purdue University has taken an important step toward this goal by harnessing the frequency, or color, of light. Such capabilities could contribute to more practical and large-scale quantum networks exponentially more powerful and secure than the classical networks we have today.