Jonathan Simon

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor
Department of Physics, James Franck Institute, and the College

Jonathan Simon studies quantum many-body physics by engineering synthetic materials from ultracold atoms. Following the first observation of Bose-Einstein condensation in an atomic gas, extensive research has led to broad-reaching advances in the control that physicists exert over the dynamics and interactions of ultracold atoms. At the extraordinarily low temperatures now achievable, these systems behave as idealized materials whose interactions and crystalline geometry can be tuned at will, providing a new platform to study condensed matter phenomena under precisely controlled conditions. Simon’s research explores this rich interface between condensed matter and atomic physics, and brings to bear new microscopy techniques that enable single-particle manipulation and imaging of strongly correlated materials. His work should enhance our understanding of the quantum correlations that develop in interacting systems and holds promise to elucidate the connection between microscopic correlations and the unusual properties of exotic materials.

Simon has co-authored numerous publications, including “Quantum Simulation of Antiferromagnetic Spin Chains in an Optical Lattice” and “Orbital Excitation Blockade and Algorithmic Cooling of Quantum Gases.”

Simon earned his PhD in physics from Harvard University in 2010 and a BS in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2004. He is the recipient of the Martin and Beate Block Award from the Aspen Center for Physics and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

Simon joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2012.