Principal Investigator


Norman Yao, norman.yao [at)

Born in Norman Oklahoma, Norman continues his "Sooner" spirit as a physicist by exploring uncharted territories at the interface between AMO physics, condensed matter, and quantum information science.


Administrative assistant

Beth McCleary, bmccleary [at)

PostDoctoral Scholars

Snir Gazit, CAIQuE Postdoctoral Fellow, snirgaz [at)

I am a condensed matter theorist. My main interest is in strongly correlated systems, where interactions give rise to novel phases of matter. Some of my recent research interests are the interplay of disorder and interaction in low-dimensional systems, symmetry protected topological phases and lattice gauge theories at finite fermion density. I am actively thinking about developing novel numerical techniques such as quantum Monte Carlo and tensor network representations in order to break the exponential wall of many-body quantum systems using classical computers.

Chong Zu, czu [at)

I am a postdoc working on nanoscale ultra-senstive magnetometry based on NV centers in diamond. I received my doctoral degree in physics from Tsinghua University in 2016, where I worked on experimental quantum information processing with entangled photons and NV centers in diamond.



Graduate Students

Satcher Hsieh, satcher [at)

I earned my B.S. in electrical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, where I worked on superconducting quantum circuits. Since 2016, I have worked in the Yao lab to integrate nitrogen-vacancy centers as atomic sensors in high pressure systems. In addition to improvising in the lab, I also improvise music as a guitarist in Myra Melford’s Nu Jazz Collective and the UC Jazz ensembles.


Francisco Machado, fmachado [at)

I am a theorist mainly interested in quantum dynamics and phases of matter. In particular, I am interested in heating and what interesting physics can arise in Floquet quantum systems. Originally from the wonderful city of Coimbra, Portugal, I got my B.Sc in Physics at MIT after which I decided to return to warmer climates for my PhD. 


Thomas Mittiga, tmittiga [at)

Fired in the great Neo-Yorkian kilns, this specimen exhibits a peculiar luster and versatility matched by the eclectic physics at the cusp of AMO and Condensed Matter.

Chris Olund, colund [at)

Chris grew up in northern Virginia and obtained bachelor's degrees in physics and math from the University of Virginia. He is interested in pretty much any aspect of theoretical condensed matter or AMO physics as long as the math involved is cool enough.


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Bryce Kobrin, bkobrin [at)

I am interested in developing new platforms for studying many-body physics, with an emphasis on the interplay between theory, numerics, and experiment. My recent work has focused on 1) understanding the dynamics and ground-state behavior of NV centers in diamond, and 2) numerically probing quantum scrambling in chaotic systems. A SoCal native, I completed my bachelor's degree at Cornell University and worked for a year at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, before returning to my home state in 2016.


Greg Meyer, gregory.meyer [at)

Greg is interested in how we can use computers to do quantum physics and how we can use quantum physics to do computers. He grew up in Vermont, and enjoys mountain biking, hockey, Ultimate, and cryptography.



Kamphol Akkaravarawong, kakkarav [at)

Kamphol grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, and received his undergraduate degree in physics from MIT. His recent interests focus on using numerical techniques to study topological quantum phase transitions in disordered systems and on exploring the use of magnetic impurities in superconductors as a platform for quantum simulation.


Tommy Schuster, tsschuster [at)

Tommy is interested broadly in condensed matter, AMO, and quantum information theory. Past and current projects have focused on realizing topological phenomena in photonic and ultracold molecule experiments, predicting new topological phases in Floquet-Bloch systems, and detecting information scrambling in quantum systems. A Bay Area native, Tommy received his B.S. in Engineering Physics from UC Berkeley, after which he spent one year as a Visiting Researcher at Boston University before deciding to return to Berkeley for graduate school.

Visiting Scholars


Former members


Bihui Zhu

Then: Visiting Scholar

Now: ITAMP Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University


Felix Flicker

Then: Lindemann Trust Postdoctoral Fellow

Now: Research Fellow, Oxford University

Daniel Hetterich

Then: Visiting Scholar

Now: PhD student, University of Wuerzburg