New 'Short Talks' Features Hugh Churchill Discussing the MonArk Quantum Foundry

Hugh Churchill testing a portable air filter.
Chieko Hara

Hugh Churchill testing a portable air filter.

This month's Short Talks From the Hill, a research podcast of the U of A, features Hugh Churchill, associate professor of physics in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

Earlier this year, Churchill, Salvador Barraza-Lopez and several of their colleagues at the U of A and Montana State University received a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the MonArk NSF Quantum Foundry. The foundry will accelerate the development of quantum materials and devices.

"What we want to do in the MonArk NSF Quantum Foundry is use robots and artificial intelligence to accelerate that process of creating materials and making devices," Churchill says in the podcast. "A big part of our effort is that we hope to become, really, a national resource that researchers from all over can turn to, to have materials and devices made for them and help accelerate progress in our entire research community."

Churchill, a native Arkansan from Conway, also discusses a project to build and test — and show the general public how to build — a basic, portable air filter that removes infectious airborne particles from indoor spaces. These particles include the respiratory droplets that carry coronavirus.

"The virus can spread on tiny particles that can float in the air for as long as hours," Churchill says. "And so there are various ways that you could deal with that, but one that's relatively easy to implement is to set up an air purifier in a room that will just remove those particles from the air as they are generated."

To listen to Churchill discuss these projects, click the link above or go to Arkansas Research, the home of science and research news at the University of Arkansas.

Short Talks From the Hill highlights research and scholarly work at the University of Arkansas. Each segment features a university researcher discussing their work. Previous podcasts can be found at the link above or by visiting

Thank you for listening!


Hugh Churchill, associate professor
Department of Physics

Matt McGowan, science and research communications officer
University Relations


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