Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Research Highlight: Watson Group
My group is engaged in the study of large many-body systems under quantum confinement, such as Bose-Einstein condensates and ultra-cold systems of Fermi gases. We are developing a method which minimizes numerical effort by using powerful group theoretic as well as graphical techniques. Our approach can handle strongly correlated systems of fermions and can describe their macroscopic collective motions. Fermion systems are important in many fields of physics provide the underpinnings for many technological applications. Our goal is to bridge the gap between a microscopic quantum description and the macroscopic properties of large N-particle correlated systems.
Research Highlight: Abraham Research Group
Our research group investigates ultracold atoms and molecules. Using lasers to cool rubidium atoms to less than 1 thousandth of a degree above absolute zero, we study their behavior. With lasers and precisely controlled magnetic fields we induce resonant collisions to form new molecules, which helps us better understand molecular interactions. We use diffractive optics to create unique atom trapping geometries, including toroidal and ring-shaped traps. The ultracold atoms are used as a medium for non-linear optics experiments with these novel laser fields that may impact optical computing. Contact Dr. Eric Abraham for more information.
Research Highlight: Schwettmann Group
Our group does research in the field of experimental ultracold atomic gases. We focus on cold collisions in sodium spinor Bose-Einstein condensates. At temperatures close to absolute zero, attainable with the methods of laser cooling and trapping and evaporative cooling, coherent collisional spin dynamics become observable in the gas. The dynamics are due to spin-exchange collisions and can be controlled with external fields. They present an opportunity to create exotic, entangled spin states useful for atom interferometry and will allow us to do experiments on quantum optics with matter waves. Currently we are in the early stages of setting up a new lab. Please do not hesitate to contact Professor Arne Schwettmann for more information.
Research Highlight: Testing the Standard Model in a Single Molecule
Symmetry dictates that states of an atom or molecule with total angular momentum M?0 along the axis of an electric field will exhibit a two-fold degeneracy between states differing only in the sign of M. A time-reversal asymmetry could break this degeneracy. Almost every alternative to the Standard Model, (most notably Super Symmetric Theories), indicate that time-reversal asymmetry should lead to an observable energy difference between these otherwise degenerate ±M states. Prof. John Moore-Furneaux is searching for the signal of this time reversal asymmetry: a non-zero electric dipole moment of the electron. High precision measurements of PbF may reveal what billion dollar accelerators have not: evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model.
Research Highlight: Marino Group
Our research is in the field of experimental quantum optics, with particular emphasis on quantum information and quantum metrology. Quantum optics studies the quantum properties of light and their applications. Our research is based on the generation and control of entangled photons with atomic systems. The projects we are currently working on involve quantum engineering of our source to tailor the properties of the entangled photons and interfacing the entangled photons with devices, such as plasmonic sensors, to increase their sensitivity. Please do not hesitate to contact Professor Alberto Marino for more information.
Research Highlight: Shaffer Group
Our research group studies atom based sensing exotic states of matter and various topics involving quantum engineering. All of our projects currently involve Rydberg atoms. Rydberg atoms are highly excited atoms that possess exaggerated properties that make them well suited for applications that require controllable long range interactions. We have projects investigating novel long range molecules formed by Rydberg atoms such as macrodimers and trilobite molecules, studying Rydberg atoms for quantum optics and using Rydberg atoms for traceable sensing of electric fields. Please do not hesitate to contact Professor James Shaffer for more information.