Summer in Boulder and a Published Paper, Thanks to GC Fellowship

The Provost’s Pre-Dissertation Science Research Fellowship encourages first-year Graduate Center Ph.D. students to plunge into their dissertation work. The program, supported through the generosity of Graduate Center Foundation Board member Robert Raucci, provides stipends of $5,000 to support students as they pursue science research.
“This is a great opportunity to explore a research project in depth, which can in turn lead to a dissertation proposal,” says Ph.D. student Mirko Amico (Physics).

“I am really grateful for the fellowship ..., which gave me the opportunity to have an amazing research experience,” says Physics Ph.D. student Mirko Amico.

Thanks to the fellowship, Amico attended the Boulder School for Condensed Matter and Material Physics in Colorado during summer 2018. His summer research helped pave the way for his dissertation work and led to Amico serving as the lead author on a paper published in Physical Review A. Amico’s adviser, Professor Roman Kezerashvili (GC/City Tech, Physics), and Professor Oleg Berman (GC/City Tech, Physics), are co-authors on the paper.
“I have always had a deep interest in science,” Amico says, “and during my undergraduate years I decided to become a physicist.” Now, as a graduate student, he studies circuit quantum electrodynamics, a field of physics with applications in quantum computing. “Quantum computation’s position at the intersection of physics and information science fascinates me,” he says.
At the Boulder School, Amico attended seminars on quantum information given by fellow academic scientists as well as corporate researchers from companies such as Microsoft.
He also networked.
“I had the chance to discuss my investigations with other researchers, both experts and peers, who provided feedback and suggestions for future directions,” Amico says.
While in Boulder, Amico developed numerical techniques that helped confirm his results from earlier work and led to his recent paper.
The paper explores new ways to create quantum entanglement — a quantum phenomenon in which the behavior of two objects is related no matter how far apart they are — between elements of superconducting circuits. These circuits, Amico explains, are similar to regular circuits in everyday electronic devices, but have no resistance. They are made with a material that conducts electricity perfectly when cooled to very low temperatures.
“Increasing the amount of entanglement and the speed with which it can be generated could lead to improvement in the performance of a quantum computer, like the ones built by IBM and Google,” Amico says.
For his dissertation, Amico plans to investigate using another quantum phenomenon, called the dynamical Lamb effect, to generate quantum entanglement in superconducting circuits. His summer research, he says, “is somewhat of a preliminary study to understand whether this is possible.”
“I would like to send many thanks to Robert Raucci,” Amico says. “I am really grateful for the fellowship that he established, which gave me the opportunity to have an amazing research experience.”
                                                   * * * 
Applications for the 2019 Provost’s Pre-Dissertation Science Research Fellowships are due by February 8. Learn more and apply. 

Submitted on: JAN 31, 2019

Category: General GC News | Physics | Student News