Jennifer Schloss is a physics PhD student at MIT doing her thesis work at Harvard, where she is developing a magnetic imager for neurons using quantum sensors in a diamond crystal.
Her research is aimed at applying the capability of large ensembles of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color centers in diamond as high-sensitivity magnetic sensors toward imaging of functional activity in neurons and neuronal circuits. She works on the dual challenges of building the most sensitive NV-diamond based broadband magnetic imager and making novel measurements of biological phenomena relevant to neuroscience. Her work combines atomic physics, condensed matter physics, electrical engineering, and neuroscience.
Jenny was born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts and majored in physics at Oberlin College, where she worked with Stephen Fitzgerald studying gases trapped in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) using variable-temperature infrared spectroscopy. At Oberlin she developed a passion for quantum mechanics, which led her to MIT. She spent the first three years of her PhD in an atomic physics group working to create ultracold gases of polar molecules. Over time, though, she became more interested in applied physics and neuroscience, seeking to tackle problems with a more near-term impact on society. Jenny transitioned to working at Harvard in Ronald Walsworth’s group, where she now applies quantum systems to study the brain.
In addition to research, Jenny enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, cycling, and rock-climbing. When she’s not in lab or out exercising, she likes the company of good friends and family.
2020, Hertz Thesis Prize, Fannie & John Hertz Foundation