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Mark Saffman


Mark Saffman

Mark Saffman is the Johannes Rydberg Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Director of the Wisconsin Quantum Institute, and Chief Scientist for Quantum Information at Infleqtion, Inc. . He is an experimental physicist working in the areas of atomic physics, quantum and nonlinear optics, and quantum information processing. His research team was the first to demonstrate a quantum CNOT gate for the deterministic entanglement of a pair of neutral atoms. He is currently developing scalable arrays of neutral atoms for quantum computation, communication, and sensing applications. He has been recognized with an Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, a Vilas Associate Award, the WARF Innovation Award, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and Optica.

Professional Preparation

University of Colorado at Boulder Physics Ph.D. 1994

California Institute of Technology Applied Physics B.Sc. (with honors) 1981


6.2022 - Johannes R. Rydberg Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison

9.2019 - Director of Wisconsin Quantum Institute

9.2018- Chief Scientist for Quantum Information, Infleqtion, Inc.

6.2007- Professor, University of Wisconsin - Madison

9.2004-6.2007 Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin - Madison

9.1999 - 8.2004 Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - Madison

4.1994 - 9.1999 Senior Scientist, Risø National Laboratory, Roskilde, Denmark

1983-1989 Optical Engineer, Dantec Electronics Inc., Skovlunde, Denmark

1981-1983 Member of Technical Staff, TRW Defense and Space Systems, Redondo Beach

Honors and Awards

2019 Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, WARF Innovation Award

2013 Fellow, Optical Society of America

2010 Vilas Associate Award, University of Wisconsin, Madison

2008 Fellow, American Physical Society

2001-2003 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship

1994 Research and Creative Work Award, The University of Colorado

1991 William Walter Jr. Award, The University of Colorado

1990-1993 Laboratory Graduate Fellowship, U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research


170 journal publications, 250 conference proceedings, 1 book, 4 book chapters, 12 patents. Web of Science: 10,400 citations, h-index 52. Google Scholar: 17,500 citations, h-index 64.

Professional activities

2007-2022, Associate editor of Physical Review A; 2004-2008, Associate editor of Physical Review E; proposal reviews for National Science Foundation, Research Corporation, U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation, Australian Research Council, FOM-Holland, Austrian Science Foundation, European Research Council, Army Research Office, German Research Foundation.

Research interests

quantum information processing, atomic physics, laser cooling, quantum optics, nonlinear optics and dynamics.

Research funding

Currently supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. PI on grants with a career total over $40M.

Educational activities

Currently supervising a research group with 1 research scientist, 2 post-docs, 9 graduate students, 5 undergraduates, and 1 technical staff member. Supervised 23 Ph.D. and 2 M.Sc. theses. Recent courses taught: quantum information, electrodynamics, atomic physics, optics, laser physics, Bose Einstein condensation, quantum mechanics, graduate electronics and optics labs

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