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.


PostDoctoral Scholars

(joint with Joel Moore)

(joint with Joel Moore)

Felix Flicker

flicker [at)

I am a theorist working primarily on geometry and topology as applied to
quantum materials. Specific themes include charge ordering, Weyl
semi-metals, quasicrystals, and magnetic monopoles in spin ices. In my
spare time I teach Kung Fu and Sailing, and learn Japanese Calligraphy.
I hope to one day own a Yak.

CAIQuE Postdoctoral Fellow

CAIQuE Postdoctoral Fellow

Snir Gazit

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.



UNDERGraduate Students

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.