Prof. Benjamin Lev

Prof. Benjamin Lev

Benjamin Lev
Spilker 304
Short CV

Academic Positions

  • Professor, Departments of Physics and Applied Physics, Stanford University 2022 -
  • Associate Professor, Departments of Physics and Applied Physics, Stanford University 2015 - 2022
  • Assistant Professor, Departments of Applied Physics and Physics (by courtesy), Stanford University 2011 - 2015
  • Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2008-2011
  • NRC Postdoc, Group of Jun Ye, JILA & NIST 2006-2007


  • Ph.D. Caltech, Physics, 2005
  • A.B. Princeton, Physics, Magna Cum Laude, 1999

Honors & Awards

  • 2021    Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • 2021    Editorial Board of Physical Review X
  • 2020    Member of the Defense Science Study Group (IDA & DARPA)
  • 2015    Chambers Fellowship
  • 2014    Terman Fellowship
  • 2012    DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA)
  • 2012    Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (YIP)
  • 2011    Terman Fellowship
  • 2010    Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
  • 2010    Packard Fellowship
  • 2008    National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • 2008    Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award (YIP)
  • 2004    Everhart Distinguished Graduate Student Lectureship
  • 1999    Allen Goodrich Schenstone Prize for Outstanding Work in Experimental Physics, Department of Physics, Princeton University


Research Interests

Lev's research focuses on exploring the organizing principles of quantum matter through the development of techniques at the interface of ultracold atomic physics, quantum optics, and condensed matter physics.  
Major achievements include:
-Production and study of the first quantum gases of the most magnetic element, dysprosium.
-Development of the novel SQCRAMscope, a Scanning Quantum CRyogenic Atom Microscope for imaging transport in strongly correlated and topological materials.
-Initial development of the theory of multimode cavity quantum electrodynamical systems as well as the successful construction of an apparatus to explore predicted phenomena; i.e., the physics associated with quantum liquid crystals and spin glasses as well as that associated with computation via dissipative neuromorphic quantum phase transitions. 


Personal Statement

Benjamin Lev is a physics professor at Stanford University.  He received his Bachelor’s degree Magna Cum Laude from Princeton in 1999 and his Ph.D. from Caltech in 2005, both in Physics.  Benjamin was a National Research Council (NRC) postdoc at JILA and an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He joined the Stanford faculty in 2011, where he is a Professor in the Departments of Physics and Applied Physics.  Benjamin has received a Packard Foundation Fellowship and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) award from President Obama.  In addition, he received the NSF CAREER award and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, DARPA, and Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program awards.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the Defense Science Study Group, managed by IDA and DARPA.  His research has been funded by the NSF, DOE, ARO, AFOSR, ONR, DARPA, NTT, and the Moore Foundation.

Stanford Profile


LevThesis.pdf (17.08 MB)


B. P. Marsh, R. M. Kroeze, S. Ganguli, S. Gopalakrishnan, J. Keeling, and B. L. Lev
Entanglement and replica symmetry breaking in a driven-dissipative quantum spin glass
Physical Review X 14, 011026 (2024).  pdf

R. M. Kroeze, B. P. Marsh, D. Atri Schuller, H. Hunt, S. Gopalakrishnan, J. Keeling, and B. L. Lev
Replica symmetry breaking in a quantum-optical vector spin glass
arXiv:2311.04216  pdf

K.-Y. Li, Y. Zhang, K. Yang, K.-Y. Lin, S. Gopalakrishnan, M. Rigol, and B. L. Lev
Rapidity and momentum distributions of one-dimensional dipolar quantum gases
Physical Review A 107, L061302 (2023).  pdf
Selected as a Letter and Editors' Suggestion

R. M. Kroeze, B. P. Marsh, K.-Y. Lin, J. Keeling, and B. L. Lev     
High Cooperativity Using a Confocal-Cavity–QED Microscope   
PRX Quantum 4, 020326 (2023).  pdf 

Review article:  Dipolar physics with atomic quantum gases
L. Chomaz, I. Ferrier-Barbut, F. Ferlaino, B. Laburthe-Tolra, B. L. Lev, and T. Pfau
Reports on Progress in Physics 86, 026401 (2023).  pdf

Y. Guo, R. M. Kroeze, B. P. Marsh, S. Gopalakrishnan, J. Keeling, and B. L. Lev
An optical lattice with sound
Nature 599, 211 (2021).  link to pdf
News coverage:
Stanford News:  Adding sound to quantum simulations
APS Physics Magazine:  A Humming Lattice of Cold Atoms

B. P. Marsh, Y. Guo, R. M. Kroeze, S. Gopalakrishnan, S. Ganguli, J. Keeling, and B. L. Lev
Enhancing associative memory recall and storage capacity using confocal cavity QED
Physical Review X 11, 021048 (2021).  pdf
News coverage:
APS Synopsis in Physics:  A Computer Memory Based on Cold Atoms and Light
APS DAMOP Highlight: Atoms and Light Remember Better
arXiv:2009.01227  pdf

S. F. Taylor, F. Yang, B. A. Freudenstein, and B. L. Lev
A scanning quantum cryogenic atom microscope at 6 K
SciPost Physics 10, 060 (2021).  pdf 

E. Altman et al. 
Quantum Simulators: Architectures and Opportunities
PRX Quantum 2, 017003 (2021).

W. Kao, K.-Y. Li, K.-Y. Lin, S. Gopalakrishnan, and B. L. Lev
Topological pumping of a 1D dipolar gas into strongly correlated prethermal states​
Science 371, 296 (2021).  pdf & SM
News coverage:
Stanford News:  Stanford physicists find new state of matter in a one-dimensional quantum gas  pdf
APS DAMOP Highlight:  The Turn of the Screw
arXiv:2002.10475  pdf

C. Rylands, Y. Guo, B. L. Lev, J. Keeling, and V. Galitski
Photon-mediated Peierls Transition of a 1D Gas in a Multimode Optical Cavity
Physical Review Letters 125, 010404 (2020).  pdf
News coverage:
 "Quantum Simulation Stars Light in the Role of Sound" by Bailey Bedford

F. Yang, S. F. Taylor, S. D. Edkins, J. Palmstrom, Ian R. Fisher, and Benjamin L. Lev
Nematic Transitions in Iron-Pnictide Superconductors Imaged with a Quantum Gas
Nature Physics 16, 514 (2020). pdf
Featured in News & Views in Nature Physcis 16, 506 by James Analytis: "Cooking with quantum gas"  pdf
Featured in in article by Ingrid Fadelli: "Imaging nematic transitions in iron pnictide superconductors" pdf
Featured in Physics World article by Margaret Harris: "Ultracold atoms put high-temperature superconductors under the microscope" pdf
arXiv:1907.12601  pdf

R. M. Kroeze, Y. Guo, and B. L. Lev
Dynamical spin-orbit coupling of a quantum gas
Physical Review Letters 123, 160404 (2019). pdf

Y. Guo, V. D. Vaidya, R. M. Kroeze, R. A. Lunney, B. L. Lev, and J. Keeling
Emergent and broken symmetries of atomic self-organization arising from Gouy phase shifts in multimode cavity QED
Physical Review A 99, 053818 (2019).  pdf
Selected for Editors' Suggestion
Featured in Physics Synopsis: A Step Toward Simulating Spin Glasses.  pdf
arXiv:1810.11085  pdf
Erratum: Physical Review A 103, 019901(E) (2021).  pdf

Y. Guo, R. M. Kroeze, V. D. Vaidya, J. Keeling, and B. L. Lev
Sign-changing photon-mediated atom interactions in multimode cavity QED
Physical Review Letters 122, 193601 (2019).  pdf
Selected for Editors' Suggestion
Featured in Physics Synopsis: A Step Toward Simulating Spin Glasses.  pdf

R. M. Kroeze, Y. Guo, V. D. Vaidya, J. Keeling, and B. L. Lev
Spinor self-ordering of a quantum gas in a cavity
Physical Review Letters 121, 163601 (2018). 
arXiv:1807.04915  pdf 

Y. Tang, W. Kao, K.-Y. Li, S. Seo, K. Mallayya, M. Rigol, S. Gopalakrishnan, and B. L. Lev
Thermalization near integrability in a dipolar quantum Newton's cradle
Physical Review X 8, 021030 (2018).
See Editors' Choice Watching magnetic atoms thermalize in Science
See News: Quantum Physics A tiny version of this physics toy is revealing quantum secrets in ScienceNews
See Synopsis Pathway to Quantum Thermalization in APS Physics
See Research Highlight Towards thermalization in Nature Physics
See Article Toy inspires experiment on behavior of quantum systems in Stanford News 
arXiv:1707.07031 pdf

Y. Tang, W. Kao, K.-Y. Li, and B. L. Lev
Tuning the dipole-dipole interaction in a quantum gas with a rotating magnetic field
Physical Review Letters 120, 230401 (2018).
arXiv:1803.10867 (2018). pdf

V. D. Vaidya, Y. Guo, R. M. Kroeze, K. E. Ballantine, A. J. Kollár, J. Keeling, and B. L. Lev
Tunable-range, photon-mediated atomic interactions in multimode cavity QED​
Physical Review X 8, 011002 (2018).  pdf
Selected for a Viewpoint in APS Physics:
H. Türeci, 
A Multimode Dial for Interatomic Interactions, pdf

F. Yang, A. J. Kollár, S. F. Taylor, R. W. Turner, and B. L. Lev
A Scanning Quantum Cryogenic Atom Microscope
Physical Review Applied 7, 034026 (2017).  pdf
Selected for a Viewpoint in APS Physics:
J. Fortágh and A. Günther, Sensing Magnetic Fields with a Giant Quantum Wave, pdf

A. J. Kollár, A. T. Papageorge, V. D. Vaidya, Y. Guo, J. Keeling, and B. L. Lev
Supermode-density-wave-polariton condensation
Nature Communications 8, 14386 (2017). pdf

K. E. Ballantine, B. L. Lev, and J. Keeling
Meissner-like effect for synthetic gauge field in multimode cavity QED​
Physical Review Letters 118, 045302 (2017).  pdf

W. Kao, Y. Tang, N. Burdick, and B. L. Lev
Anisotropic dependence of tune-out wavelength near Dy 741-nm transition
Optics Express 25, 3411 (2017).  pdf

N. Q. Burdick, A. G. Sykes, Y. Tang, and B. L. Lev
Anisotropic collisions of dipolar Bose-Einstein condensates in the universal regime
New Journal of Physics 18, 113004 (2016). pdf
See accompanying Perspective "Smashing Magnets" by Igor Ferrier-Barbut. pdf

Y. Tang, A. G. Sykes, N. Q. Burdick, J. M. DiSciacca, D. S. Petrov, and B. L. Lev
Anisotropic expansion of a thermal dipolar Bose gas
Physical Review Letters 117, 155301 (2016). pdf

L. D. Carr and B. L. Lev
Viewpoint:  An Arrested Implosion
APS Physics 9, 55 (2016).  pdf

N. Q. Burdick, Y. Tang, and B. L. Lev
A long-lived spin-orbit-coupled dipolar Fermi gas
Physical Review X 6, 031022 (2016). pdf

A. T. Papageorge, A. J. Kollár, and B. L. Lev
Coupling to Modes of a Near-Confocal Optical Resonator Using a Digital Light Modulator
Optics Express 24, 11447 (2016). pdf

Y. Tang, A. Sykes, N. Burdick, J. Bohn, and B. L. Lev
s-wave scattering lengths of the strongly dipolar bosons 162Dy and 164Dy
Physical Review A 92, 022703 (2015). pdf
Erratum: Physical Review A 93, 059905(E) (2016). pdf

N. Y. Yao, S. D. Bennett, C. R. Laumann, B. L. Lev, and A. V. Gorshkov
Bilayer fractional quantum Hall states with dipoles
Physical Review A 92, 033609 (2015). pdf

Y. Tang, N. Burdick, K. Baumann, and B. L. Lev
Bose-Einstein condensation of 162Dy and 160Dy
New Journal of Physics 17, 045006 (2015). 
Special Issue:  Focus on New Frontiers of Cold Molecules Research​

A. Kollár, A. Papageorge, K. Baumann, M. Armen, and B. L. Lev
An adjustable-length cavity and Bose-Einstein condensate apparatus for multimode cavity QED 
New Journal of Physics 17, 043012 (2015). pdf

N. Q. Burdick, K. Baumann, Y. Tang, M. Lu, and B. L. Lev
Fermionic suppression of dipolar relaxation

Physical Review Letters 114, 023201 (2015). pdf

K. Baumann, N. Q. Burdick, M. Lu, and B. L. Lev
Observation of low-field Fano-Feshbach resonances in ultracold gases of dysprosium
Physical Review A, Rapid Communications, 89, 020701(R) (2014)pdf 

M. A. Naides, R. W. Turner, R. A. Lai, J. M. DiSciacca, and B. L. Lev
Trapping ultracold gases near cryogenic materials with rapid reconfigurability
Applied Physics Letters 103, 251112 (2013)pdf

X. Cui, B. Lian, T.-L. Ho, B. L. Lev, and H. Zhai
Synthetic gauge field with highly magnetic lanthanide atoms
Physical Review A, Rapid Communications 88, 011601(R) (2013).
arXiv:1303.6004; pdf

B. Dellabetta, T. L. Hughes, M. J. Gilbert, and B. L. Lev
Imaging topologically protected transport with quantum degenerate gases
Physical Review B 85, 205442 (2012). pdf

M. Lu, N. Q. Burdick, and B. L. Lev
Quantum Degenerate Dipolar Fermi Gas
Physical Review Letters 108, 215301 (2012). 

Selected as Editors' Suggestion and featured in Physics Viewpoint 

M. Hafezi, Z. Kim, S. Rolston, L. Orozco, B. L. Lev, and J. Taylor
An atomic interface between microwave and optical photons
Physical Review A, Rapid communications 85, 020302(R) (2012). pdf

S. Gopalakrishnan, B. L. Lev, and P. Goldbart
Frustration and glassiness in spin models with cavity-mediated interactions
Physical Review Letters 107, 277201 (2011). pdf

S. Gopalakrishnan, B. L. Lev, and P. Goldbart
Exploring models of associative memory via cavity quantum electrodynamics
Philosophical Magazine, 92, 353 (2012).
Special issue in honor of David Sherrington

M. Lu, N. Q. Burdick, S.-H. Youn, and B. L. Lev
Strongly Dipolar Bose-Einstein Condensate of Dysprosium
Physical Review Letters 107, 190401 (2011).

V. A. Dzuba, V. V. Flambaum, and B. L. Lev
Dynamic polarizabilities and magic wavelengths for dysprosium
Physical Review A, 83, 032502 (2011). pdf

M. Lu, S.-H. Youn, and B. L. Lev
Spectroscopy of a narrow-line laser cooling transition in atomic dysprosium
Physical Review A 83, 012510 (2011). 

S.-H. Youn, M. Lu, U. Ray, and B. L. Lev
Dysprosium magneto-optical traps
Physical Review A 82, 043425 (2010). pdf

S. Gopalakrishnan, B. L. Lev, and P. Goldbart
Atom-light crystallization of BECs in multimode cavities: Nonequilibrium classical and quantum phase transitions, emergent lattices, supersolidity, and frustration
Physical Review A 82, 043612 (2010). pdf
Selected for a Viewpoint in APS Physics

S.-H. Youn, M. Lu, and B. L. Lev
Anisotropic sub-Doppler laser cooling in dysprosium magneto-optical traps
Physical Review A 82, 043403 (2010). pdf

M. Lu, S.-H. Youn, and B. L. Lev
Trapping ultracold dysprosium:  A highly magnetic gas for dipolar physics
Physical Review Letters 104, 063001 (2010). pdf
Nature Research Highlights article “Dazzling dysprosium,” February 25th, 2010. news report “Ultracold magnetic atoms bode well for quantum studies,” February 18th, 2010.

S. Kobtsev, B. Lev, J. Fortagh, and V. Baraulia
Powerful narrow-line source of blue light for laser cooling Yb/Er and Dysprosium atoms
Proc. of SPIE 7578, 75782F-1 (2010). pdf

S. Gopalakrishnan, B. L. Lev, and P. Goldbart
Emergent crystallinity and frustration with Bose-Einstein condensates in multimode cavities
Nature Physics 5, 845 - 850 (2009).
Nature Physics News and Views article by Helmut Ritsch.
arXiv:cond-mat/0903.2254 pdf

B. Fregoso, K. Sun, E. Fradkin, and B. L. Lev
Biaxial nematic phases in ultracold dipolar Fermi gases
New Journal of Physics 11, 103003 (2009). pdf

H. J. Kimble, B. L. Lev, and J. Ye
Optical interferometers with reduced sensitivity to thermal noise
Physical Review Letters 101, 260602 (2008)pdf

M. Lara, B. L. Lev, and J. Bohn
Loss of molecules in magneto-electrostatic traps due to nonadiabatic transitions
Physical Review A 78, 033433 (2008). pdf

B. L. Lev, A. Vukics, E. Hudson, B. Sawyer, P. Domokos, H. Ritsch, and J. Ye
Prospects for the cavity-assisted laser cooling of molecules
Physical Review A 77, 023402 (2008)pdf

B. Sawyer, B. Stuhl, B. L. Lev, J. Ye, and E. Hudson
Mitigation of loss within a molecular Stark decelerator
European Journal of Physics D 48, 197 (2008). pdf

B. Sawyer, B. L. Lev, E. Hudson, B. Stuhl, M. Lara, J. Bohn, and J. Ye
Magneto-electrostatic trapping of ground state OH molecules
Physical Review Letters 98, 253002 (2007). pdf
Cover of Physical Review Letters, June 22nd, 2007
Science’s Editor’s Choice “OH Trapped by Magnets,” July 13th, 2007.

B. L. Lev, E. Meyer, E. Hudson, B. Sawyer, J. Bohn, and J. Ye
OH hyperfine ground state:  from precision measurement to molecular qubits
Physical Review A, Rapid Communications 74, 061402(R) (2006). pdf

P. E. Barclay, K. Srinivasan, O. Painter, B. Lev, and H. Mabuchi
Integration of Fiber Coupled High-Q Silicon Nitride Microdisks with Magnetostatic Atom Chips
Applied Physics Letters 89, 131108 (2006).  pdf
Cover of Applied Physics Letters, September 25th, 2006.

J. Ye, S. Blatt, M. M. Boyd, S. M. Foreman, E. R. Hudson, T. Ido, B. Lev, A. D. Ludlow, B. C. Sawyer, B. Stuhl, and T. Zelevinsky
Precision measurement based on ultracold atoms and cold molecules
Atomic Physics 20, XX International Conference on Atomic Physics (C. Roos et al., Eds., AIP Conf. Proc. 869, 2006), pp. 80-91.
Also in:  International J. Mod Phys. D (IJMPD) 16, 2481 - 2494 (2007).  

P. Treutlein, T. Steinmetz, Y. Colombe, B. Lev, P. Hommelhoff, J. Reichel, M. Greiner, O. Mandel, A. Widera, T. Rom, I. Bloch, and T. W. Haensch
Quantum Information Processing in Optical Lattices and Magnetic Microtraps
Fortschritte der Physik 54, 702 (2006).
Also in: Elements of Quantum Information, ed. by W.P. Schleich and H. Walther (Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany, 2007), pp. 121-144. 

B. Lev, K. Srinivasan, P. Barclay, O. Painter, and H. Mabuchi
Feasibility of Detecting Single Atoms using Photonic Bandgap Cavities
Nanotechnology 15, S556 (2004)

A. Hopkins, B. Lev, and H. Mabuchi
Proposed Magneto-Electrostatic Ring Trap for Neutral Atoms
Physical Review A 70, 053616 (2004).
arXiv:quant-ph/0402037; pdf

B. Lev, Y. Lassailly, C. Lee, A. Scherer, and H. Mabuchi
Atom Mirror Etched from a Hard Drive
Applied Physics Letters 83, 395-397 (2003). pdf 


H. Mabuchi, M. Armen, B. Lev, M. Loncar, J. Vuckovic, H.J. Kimble, J. Preskill, M.L. Roukes, and A. Scherer
Quantum Networks Based on Cavity QED
Quantum Information and Computation 1, Special Issue, 7-12, (2001).

B. Wixted, B. Lev, and P. Denes
Radiation Hardness Evaluation of the Analog Devices AD9042 ADC for Use in the CMS Electromagnetic Calorimeter
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, 417, 371-376, (1998).