Ph.D. student creates video for UCLA College’s “Silly Questions, Smart Bruins” series

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Graduate student Yongjie He’s (Caram group) video focuses on the science related to the color purple, tying in with the release of the movie “The Color Purple”. 

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in physics from Wuhan University in 2020, Yongjia joined the UCLA chemistry graduate program working with Professor Justin Caram, whose group specializes in the development and study of novel photophysical materials using photon-resolved spectroscopic methods. She is supported by the NSF CCI-Advanced Molecular Architectures for Quantum Information Science.

“I really enjoy investigating molecular qubits for quantum information science and employing these quantum properties for future applications,” Yongjia said. “My life-long goal is to tackle climate change with the help of quantum technologies.”

From UCLA Newsroom (by Jonathan Riggs):

Purple rain, purple reign

UCLA doctoral candidate Yongjia He only wants to see you … learning quantum science

“Quantum science has influenced the average person’s life for a long time,” said Yongjia He, a doctoral candidate in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “For example, all electronics we’re using today, like smartphones and TVs, are directly linked to the understanding of quantum science.”

Throughout history, there’s been something remarkably powerful about the color purple.

Its appeal has manifested across the arts and popular culture — including in Alice Walker’s same-named Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel that was adapted into an Oscar-nominated 1985 film, a Tony-winning 2005 Broadway musical and now a 2023 movie musical that opens on Christmas Day.

To learn more about the science behind a color so special that nonroyal ancient Romans wearing it could be put to death, we checked in with Yongjia He, a doctoral candidate in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry who studies quantum state manipulation and spectroscopy, for the latest episode of the UCLA College video series, “Silly Questions, Smart Bruins.”

He, a leader of the Quantum Computing Student Association at UCLA, imagines how to create a scientifically accurate “mood ring” for Mother Nature, how quantum science has probably changed your life already — and what to do if confronted with a one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater.

(Watch previous installments of “Silly Questions, Smart Bruins.”)

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,