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Research on ultra-cold atoms lies at the intersection of atomic physics, many-body physics, quantum optics and quantum information. Quantum physics dominates the behavior of atomic gases cooled to near absolute zero temperature, and cold trapped atoms provide an ideal experimental system for studying quantum many-body physics. Our research focuses on  ultra-cold gases of Rubidium atoms and Ytterbium/Rubidium mixtures, with the goals of studying novel condensed matter systems and engineering quantum control over many-body systems, including dissipative baths.

Group Lead

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Research Publications

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  • a green MOT
  • cartoon of two atoms interacting via the Rydberg mechanism
  • rendered image of a lattice of neutral atoms


  • Floquet Engineered Moat-like Band

    Carlos Graduates!!

    December 9, 2022
  • Floquet Engineered Band Structure

    James Graduates!!

    October 5, 2022
  • Two (Photons) is Company, Three’s a Crowd

    April 26, 2021

    Photons—the quantum particles of light—normally don’t have any sense of personal space. A laser crams tons of photons into a tight beam, and they couldn’t care less that they are packed on top of each other. Two beams can even pass through each other without noticing. This is all well and good when making an extravagant laser light show or using a laser level to hang a picture frame straight, but for researchers looking to develop quantum technologies that require precise control over just one or two photons, this lack of interaction often makes life difficult. Now, a group of UMD researchers has come together to create tailored interactions between photons in an experiment where, at least for photons, two’s company but three’s a crowd. The technique builds on many previous experiments that use atoms as intermediaries to form connections between photons that are akin to the bonds between protons, electrons and other kinds of matter. These interactions, along with the ability to control them, promises new opportunities for researchers to study the physics of exotic interactions and develop light-based quantum technologies.

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