From Laser Cooling to Quantum Chemistry
Lasers are used in factories for burning through metal and in movies for blowing up space ships. But in the lab, we use them to cool atoms down to within one billionth of a degree of absolute zero. I'll explain how this works and how we've expanded this ultracold realm to include molecules as well. At these temperatures, we can perfectly control molecules to learn surprising things about chemistry and hopefully build a new platform for quantum computing.
Alan Jamison, Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) faculty member and assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, joined the University of Waterloo in 2020. His group works on quantum computing and quantum chemistry with ultracold molecules, as well as quantum emulation with ultracold mixtures. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington in 2008 and 2014, respectively. He initially studied beyond the Standard Model phenomonology under Ann Nelson. High-energy theory gave way to ultracold atomic physics and a thesis on precision atom interferometry using Bose-Einstein condensates, supervised by Subhadeep Gupta. He also developed the supporting theoretical framework for achieving high precision in these experiments with co-adviser J. Nathan Kutz from Applied Math. He then joined the group of Wolfgang Ketterle at MIT, advising three labs during his time there. This research spanned experiments in ultracold molecules and their chemistry, quantum emulation of spin-orbit coupled systems, and laser cooling exotic lanthanide atoms. Prior to his research career, Alan taught high-school physics and worked for an online education startup teaching university physics to tens of thousands of students around the world.
Set your reminder to join us for the Quantum Frontiers Distinguished Lecture live on YouTube.