Amir Yacoby

Harvard University

Primary Section: 13, Physics
Membership Type: Member (elected 2019)


Amir Yacoby is a Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University. Following a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering and a master’s degree in theoretical physics professor Yacoby turned to experimental condensed matter physics. He received his PhD in 1994 from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. His work focused on understanding coherence in quantum mesoscopic systems. During his postdoc at Bell labs prof. Yacoby developed new techniques to explore electrical conduction in quantum wires and was the first to observe spin-charge separation, a hallmark of Luttinger Liquids. In 1998 Prof. Yacoby joined the faculty of the Weizmann Institute where he developed new techniques for imaging electrical charge. Professor Yacoby joined the Harvard faculty in 2006. His current interests are in understanding the behavior of low-dimensional systems and their applications to quantum information technology. His research topics include: Spin based quantum computing and metrology using semiconducting quantum dots and color centers in diamond; Topological quantum computing and interacting electrons in layered materials.

Research Interests

Amir Yacoby's research straddles the interface between strongly correlated electron physics, where interactions between electrons lead to emergent phenomena, and quantum information science. His work explores topological superconductors, interacting electrons in layered materials, spin based quantum computing and the development of novel experimental approaches for unraveling the underlying behavior of correlated electron systems. Yacoby is known for his work on one dimentional electron systems highlighting properties such as spin charge separation and fractionalized excitation as well as the exploration of new platforms for one dimensional topological superconductors hosting non-Abelian excitations. He has also been a pioneer in the development of novel scanned probe techniques for exploring condensed matter systems. These include the development of a scanning single electron transistor which provided new insight into quantum Hall systems as well as the development of a scanning spin quantum bit using color centers in diamond which has opened up new possibilities for exploring correlated spin systems.

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