UW Making Big Investments in Quantum Science

“UW–Madison awarded its first Ph.D. in physics in 1899 and has a strong tradition of research in physics and its subfields,” says Steve Ackerman, UW–Madison associate vice chancellor for research in the physical sciences. “And today, by the investments we are making in quantum science and technology, we are building on that tradition and leading the way in concepts and technology that may revolutionize computing, communication, security and more.”

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UW-Madison joins Chicago Quantum Exchange research hub

UW-Madison is joining forces with the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in developing a national leading collaboration in the rapidly emerging field of quantum information.

Pictured: UW-Madison graduate student Abigail Shearrow

Photo Credit: John Zich


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Physics Graduate Student Adrian Fraser wins campus-wide TA award

Physics PhD student Adrian Fraser has received the UW’s Exceptional Service Award for his teaching in the intermediate introductory physics courses for science and math majors, Physics 207 and 208.

As a teacher, he enjoys having the opportunity to remind himself of physics fundamentals by practicing new ways to help students understand them. Teaching is also an opportunity for him to pay forward the benefits he’s experienced from having dedicated teachers.

“At a place like UW-Madison, where we teach many of the engineers and scientists of tomorrow, good teaching is something that needs to be taken seriously. Dedicated students choose to enroll here because they feel they will be given a thorough education, and we need to live up to that,” Adrian said.

In his PhD work, Adrian studies turbulence in plasmas, the superhot gasses found in stars.

UW News

Student Job Opening within Lecture Demonstration

The Physics Department lecture demonstration office (one of the largest in the nation) is looking for a fun, energetic, and loyal student with that “creative edge”:  someone with a background in the physical sciences or within physics itself, someone interested to learn more about physics, physics demonstrations, and audio/video equipment.  Initially for 10 hours per week, with the possibility for more hours. Freshmen are welcome and encouraged to apply. Work-study are welcome to apply. Work trial period of one semester, with the possibility of continuation throughout the summer and into following year(s).

Job Requirements:

  • Some general physics knowledge is a plus.
  • Have a desire to learn more about physics and audio-visual equipment
  • Must have a working  knowledge of hand tools and/or willing to learn
  • Be able to listen and follow instructions, but also present alternative solutions to problems.
  • Be able to work both independently and as a team.
  • Having the ablity to work during most of the summer months, big Plus!
  • Having the ablity to work most Fridays from 3pm-4:30pm, big plus!
  • Working knowledge of Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other microcontrollers would be awesome.
  • Able to lift and move equipment (50lbs)

Job Duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Assist in the digitally record our weekly departmental colloquia on Friday afternoons and other lectures, and digital editing.
  • Assist with the physics museum, tours, and our annual physics demo shows.
  • Assist with researching and archiving of lecture demonstration equipment, including making and repairing equipment, fixing cabinets, data entry, labeling, and much more.
  • Assist with audio/video maintenance, including pulling wire, testing cables, making cable, installing equipment, labeling, and troubleshooting.
  • Assist with various odd jobs, cleaning whiteboards, hanging things, fixing broken items, woodworking such as sanding, painting and varnishing.

Please submit to Steve Narf (Room 2237 Chamberlin) or Jim Reardon (Room 2320g Chamberlin):

  • Cover letter expressing interest in this job
  • Resume & Skills
  • Reference –


Gamma ray telescope ready for prime time

A new telescope, part of an international effort to develop and build the world’s largest, most sensitive gamma-ray detector, was unveiled to the public Thursday (Jan. 17, 2019) in a ceremony at the Whipple Observatory on Arizona’s Mount Hopkins.

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Physics, Math and Astronomy Libraries Consolidation

The Physics, Astronomy, and Math libraries will undergo a consolidation over the course of the next two years, beginning in May 2019. The UW-Madison Libraries have embarked on a major effort to transform campus libraries to better meet the changing needs of the campus community. This is a closely coordinated effort with the Physics, Astronomy, and Math departments, as well as the College of Letters & Science.

Summer – Fall 2019

  • Changes to pick-up locations for reserves and ILL materials for Astronomy and Physics beginning in May 2019.
  • Physics Library temporarily closes and Astronomy Library closes permanently.
  • Physics Library and Astronomy Library collections are consolidated into the newly combined library or moved to a shelving facility.

Spring 2020

  • Combined Physics and Astronomy Collections re-open as combined Physical Sciences Library.
  • Math Library permanently closes and is consolidated into the Physical Sciences Library.

Summer 2020

  • Tentative: Combined Physical Sciences Library temporarily closes or partially closes for redevelopment of user spaces. Collections remain available.

Fall 2020

  • Combined Physical Sciences Library reopens with all active collections & services available.

Graduate student Abigail Shearrow wins a three-year Department of Defense Quantum Computing Graduate Research (QuaCGR) Fellowship

Graduate student Abigail Shearrow wins a three-year Department of Defense Quantum Computing Graduate Research (QuaCGR) Fellowship! Her project is “Atomic layer deposition of superconducting nitrides for us in C-parity qubit.” She will be working with Prof. Robert McDermott on this project.

The goal of the fellowship is to stimulate U.S. graduate student participation in research related to quantum computing and to assist in the training of graduate students to prepare them for careers in quantum information science.

Prof. Victor Brar receives Moore Inventor Fellowship

The University of Wisconsin–Madison physics professor has developed a light source to fill a niche where lasers are too expensive and LEDs inefficient, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has named him to its 2018 class of Moore Inventor Fellows.

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Dr. Lara Faoro and Profs Lev Ioffe, Robert McDermott selected as WARF innovation Award Finalists

Lev Ioffe, Lara Faoro, and Robert McDermott selected as WARF Innovation Award Finalists for an improved qubit circuit to advance quantum computing.

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