Mode-locked lasers have the ability to operate as thousands of continuous-wave lasers at once, which makes them useful for novel cooling applications.
We are exploring techniques to produce samples of gas-phase molecules near absolute zero for use as precision sensors and quantum simulators.
Naturally occurring atoms have given us headaches for years, so why not make the perfect atom?
How quickly would you get lost in an unfamiliar city without GPS? We're working on inertial navigation with matter wave interferometry.
Trapped atomic ions are being pursued as an architecture for building a quantum information processor capable of outperforming traditional supercomputers.
Using trapped ions and cold molecular beams, we can mimic the environment of the cold, dilute interstellar medium to study its chemistry in detail.

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Welcome to Wes Campbell's research group in the Physics & Astronomy Department at UCLA.

Our research uses ultra-cold atoms and molecules to learn about the physical processes that permeate our world. We are specifically focused on the physics of quantum mechanical systems that involve many-body interactions, where our ability to theoretically describe and numerically simulate the microscopic features is severely limited. Our approach (shared by others, and known in the field as "quantum simulation") is to use well-controlled samples of atoms and molecules to build tiny, physical emulators of the physics we are investigating. By utilizing these atoms as microscopic computers that can do the work for us, we hope to be able to pick up where supercomputer simulations become intractable and use our quantum simulators to help us to design and understand new materials, perform demanding computations, and learn about the physical universe.

Thursday, October 18, 2018: UCLA hosted a quantum computing panel discussion in the House Science Committee Briefing Room to answer questions about quantum information science.  Wes and Eric Hudson were on the panel along with Scott Aaronson (UT Austin), Jerome Luine (Northrop Grumman) and Hartmut Neven (Google).  Read the press release here. + continue reading
Thursday, October 4, 2018: MFOCCs (Molecules Functionalized with Optical Cycling Centers) are new molecules with the unusual property that they retain atom-like scattering behavior despite the fact that the optically active atom is chemically bound to others.  Species of this type would be capable of state preparation and readout for quantum information processing.  Our group, in collaboration with 6 others, has begun a new project trying to implement these...+ continue reading
Tuesday, September 4, 2018: In an article about DARPA's 60th anniversary, PC Magazine cites the trapped ion gyroscope project, along with a great quote by Paul about fundamental research.  Paul's prestigous DARPA Young Faculty Award is providing partial support for the collaborative gyro project, as well as for other ground-breaking research into matter-wave interferometry in Paul's group.  You can read the article here: https://www.pcmag....+ continue reading
Wednesday, July 25, 2018: You may not know that it is possible to make a laser for sound, but that's just what Michael, Tony, Conrad, Xueping, and Andrew found when they laser cooled a trapped ion with an optical frequency comb.  In their paper that came out today, they report the creation of a phonon laser (a "phaser") from a single trapped ion.  It turns out that the gain saturation of the phaser keeps the blue-detuned comb teeth from heating...+ continue reading