School of Physics & Astronomy

Cold Atoms and Quantum Optics Group


The Ultracold Atoms Group is the youngest group in the School of Physics and Astronomy. It is part of the Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre (MUARC), formed together with the Cold Atoms Group at the University of Birmingham. We started our work in 2008 and now have several laboratory setups with atomic gases very close to absolute zero temperature. But we are not only an experimental team, a part of the group is also working on theoretical research and the links between the two are strong.

New technology, especially semiconductor laser development has revolutionized atomic physics during the past two decades. We are now able to build apparatus that can routinely cool certain gases (mainly alkali metals, but some others are possible, too) to ultralow temperatures very close to absolute zero (- 273 C). At such low temperatures, we can trap atoms with light, magnetic and/or electric fields and study their behavior in detail. We are specifically interested understanding, controlling, and manipulating the quantum states of individual or few particles and collective effects of the whole many-body system. A fascinating example of a collective effect at ultracold temperatures is the phenomenon of Bose-Einstein condensation, a novel quantum state of matter.

Our specialty is to trap and cool atoms very close to the surface of micro fabricated devices, so called Atom Chips. We are equally interested in fundamental questions such as the physics of low dimensional bosonic and fermionic quantum gases, gases with dipolar interactions, and non-equilibrium quantum dynamics and in applications like sensors, atom-surface and atom-light interfaces. Our research is focused on four areas: Atom Chips, Theory, Quantum Memories and Ultracold Mixtures


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School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
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