Nicole Yunger Halpern is a NIST physicist and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Physics and IPST at the University of Maryland.
Yunger Halpern reenvisions 19th-century thermodynamics for the 21st century, using the mathematical toolkit of quantum information (QI) theory. She applies QI thermodynamics as a lens through which to view the rest of science, gaining new perspectives on atomic, molecular and optical physics, condensed matter, chemistry, high-energy physics, and biophysics. Yunger Halpern calls this research “quantum steampunk,” after the steampunk genre of art and literature that juxtaposes Victorian settings with futuristic technologies. Go here for an overview.
She received her doctorate in physics from Caltech in 2018. Yunger Halpern's thesis won the international Ilya Prigogine Prize for a thermodynamics dissertation. She is continuing in her post as an ITAMP Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University until summer 2021.