Norman Y. Yao

Norman Y. Yao

Professor of Physics
Prof. Norman Yao

Norman Yao’s research lies at the interface between AMO physics, condensed matter, and quantum information science. In recent years, the synergy between these fields has been strengthened by the ability to assemble complex, quantum many-body systems from individual atoms, ions, molecules and photons. These advances have opened the door to realizing non-equilibrium phases of matter, to tests of quantum computational advantage, and to measuring the intrinsic properties of topological phases. The dialogue between theory and experiment is especially crucial to addressing these questions and Norman’s research group employs a variety of theoretical, experimental, and numerical tools.

A recurring theme in Norman’s research is that much of the power of quantum mechanics remains concealed if one focuses solely on systems in thermal equilibrium. Indeed, many directions, ranging from quantum metrology to information processing rely upon the production and manipulation of entanglement in systems that are far-from-equilibrium. Of late, his research interests include the study of spin liquids, Floquet phases of matter, quantum information scrambling, emergent hydrodynamics and quantum sensing at high pressures.

Norman earned both his undergraduate degree (2009) and his Ph.D. (2014) from Harvard. Following a Miller postdoctoral fellowship, he joined the UC Berkeley physics faculty in 2017. He says he is excited to be returning to Harvard as a professor of physics.

Faculty Assistant: Liz Alcock

Contact Information

17 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02135