Atomic Physics

Atomic Physics

Atomic Physics

In our quest to explore the emergent behaviors of interacting quantum systems, our platform of choice, more often than not, is laser cooled atoms.


  • Laser-cooled atoms under high-vacuum provide an exquisitely isolated platform for studies of quantum coherence. This is because such atoms are cold enough that they hardly move, and due to their high-vacuum environment, can persist unperturbed.
  • Preparing cold atoms requires a combination of near-resonant lasers and magnetic fields to reach micro-Kelvin temperatures, and far-detuned, high-power lasers for trapping and transport.
  • These pristine systems can then be used as a platform for everything from synthetic quantum materials, to the world's most precise clocks, to gravity measurements, and even first-generation quantum computers.
  • The picture above shows a magneto-optically-trapped cloud of Rubidium-87 atoms on the left, and a smaller cloud of atoms which has be transported away in an optical conveyor belt-- it is on its way to an optical resonator in our cavity Rydberg polariton experiment!

Jia Ningyuan, Nathan Schine, Alexandros Georgakopoulos, Albert Ryou, Ariel Sommer, Jonathan Simon, "Photons and polaritons in a time-reversal-broken non-planar resonator" arXiv:1709.00021

Ningyuan Jia, Nathan Schine, Alexandros Georgakopoulos, Albert Ryou, Ariel Sommer, Jonathan Simon, "A Strongly Interacting Polaritonic Quantum Dot" arXiv:1705.07475

Jia Ningyuan, Alexandros Georgakopoulos, Albert Ryou, Nathan Schine, Ariel Sommer, Jonathan Simon, "Observation and characterization of cavity Rydberg polaritons" Physical Review A 4, 041802 2016

Philipp M Preiss, Ruichao Ma, M Eric Tai, Jonathan Simon, Markus Greiner, "Quantum gas microscopy with spin, atom-number, and multilayer readout" Physical Review A 4, 041602 2015

Ariel Sommer, Hans Peter B{"u}chler, Jonathan Simon, "Quantum Crystals and Laughlin Droplets of Cavity Rydberg Polaritons" arXiv:1506.00341 , 2015