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!

Alexandros Georgakopoulos, Ariel Sommer, "Theory of Interacting Cavity Rydberg Polaritons" arXiv: 1805.07315 (2018)

Ningyuan Jia, Nathan Schine, Alexandros Georgakopoulos, Albert Ryou, Ariel Sommer, Jonathan Simon, "A Strongly Interacting Polaritonic Quantum Dot" Nature Physics (2018)

Peter Ivanov, Fabian Letscher, Jonathan Simon, Michael Fleischhauer, "Adiabatic flux insertion and growing of Laughlin states of cavity Rydberg polaritons" arXiv: 1803.04156 (2018)

Nathan Schine, Michelle Chalupnik, Tankut Can, Andrey Gromov, Jonathan Simon, "Measuring Electromagnetic and Gravitational Responses of Photonic Landau Levels" arXiv 1802.04418 (2018)

Jia Ningyuan, Nathan Schine, Alexandros Georgakopoulos, Albert Ryou, Ariel Sommer, Jonathan Simon, "Photons and polaritons in a broken-time-reversal non-planar resonator" Physical Review A 97, 013802 (2018)