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Associate Professor

Monika Schleier-Smith

Schleier-Smith's research career began an opportunity to do nanotechnology research at the MITRE Corporation while she was a student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. She went on to attend Harvard University as an undergraduate, receiving a B.A. in Chemistry and Physics and (secondarily) Mathematics in 2005. Afterwards, Schleier-Smith pursued graduate studies with the supervision of Vladan Vuletić at MIT on a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Her Ph.D. thesis introduced a quantum-enhanced atomic clock and was recognized by the Hertz Foundation with a Doctoral Thesis Prize. During her time in Boston, Schleier-Smith also completed the Boston Marathon six times. Subsequently, Schleier-Smith conducted postdoctoral research at LMU Munich and Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics.

In the fall of 2013, Schleier-Smith joined the Stanford faculty as an Assistant Professor of Physics. The Schleier-Smith Lab exploits precise hybrid light-matter interactions to demonstrate engineered dynamics in cold atom systems. According to Schleier-Smith, "Hybrid systems are likely to harbor surprises that will fuel quantum science for decades to come". An important regime under investigation is the entanglement frontier.

She is a recipient of the 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In 2020, Schleier was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of her work. In 2021, Schleier received the I.I Rabi Prize in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics for her work in quantum optics.


A.B. magna cum laude with highest honors in Chemistry and Physics and Mathematics, Harvard University, 2005
Ph.D. Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011


fundamental quantum mechanical limits in metrology
developing new protocols for quantum information processing
building & probing toy models of quantum gravity

Stanford Affiliations




Varian Physics Building

Varian Physics Building
Room 238
382 Via Pueblo Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-4060