Atomic and Molecular Physics
Dana Berkeland works in the Physics Division studying the ways in which atomic traps can be used as tools for understanding quantum mechanical systems. Because these traps tightly confine single ions almost indefinitely, Berkeland is using the traps to test whether the result of measurement of a quantum mechanical system in a superposition of states is unpredictable. The results of this test are important to interpreting the nature of information in a quantum system.
Malcolm Boshier is the Scientific Director of the Quantum Institute and part of a team attempting to harness atoms provided by a Bose-Einstein condensate to build a waveguide atom interferometer. Such a device would be extremely sensitive to any interaction that affects the energies of atoms and could be miniaturized to dimensions of just a few millimeters, which might make possible a new generation of ultra-sensitive miniature sensors. He was recently recruited to the Physics Division from The University of Sussex, U.K.
David Vieira is a nuclear chemist in the Chemistry Division who conducts fundamental atomic and nuclear physics experiments involving trapped radioactive atoms, ultrasensitive detection, and quantum information and control. He also carries out investigations into fundamental symmetries, radioactive beams, and neutron-induced cross section measurements.
Xinxin Zhao, of the Chemistry Division, conducts research on novel atom cooling and trapping techniques. Using recent advances in laser cooling and atom trapping, Zhao's team at Los Alamos has adapted cooling and trapping techniques to make measurements of parity violation in radioactive atoms as a means to test the Standard Model of electroweak interactions.
Rubidium atom cooled to Bose-Einstein condensate