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Tuesday, October 11 2016: Andrew and Xueping have successfully demonstrated a technique that is designed to laser cool and trap atoms such as hydrogen and carbon (see publications for a link to the paper).  These species play the starring role in organic chemistry, yet are essentially beyond the reach of laser cooling and trapping due to the extremely deep UV light needed for laser cooling them.  By using a frequency comb instead of a narrow-band laser, Xueping and Andrew have shown that a two-photon transition can be driven with far greater efficiency than a frequency doubled continuous wave laser can do, and that this comb can be used to cool and trap the atoms.  The trapping came as a surprise to us, because the possibility that spectator comb teeth drive an undesired transition seemed very likely to us.  Nonetheless, this technique works very well, and seems to open the door to ultracold... + continue reading
Tuesday, December 22 2015: Tony has made a nice beam profiler from a Raspberry Pi that was recently featured in a story on the blog HACK A DAY.  This idea was also expolred by undergraduate Maxx Tepper for his Physics 199 project.  This device allows us to measure the transverse intensity profile of our laser beams with an inexpensive, protable device.  Source code can be found in the link on the blog post. + continue reading
Monday, May 11 2015: We have successfully trapped and cooled 174Yb ions in our oblate Paul trap which was fabricated by Translume. In the image, there is a 2D crystal of Yb ions.  + continue reading
Wednesday, December 10 2014: UCLA will be part of a five-campus effort in quantum simulation known as the California Institute for Quantum Emulation.  Along with the groups led by David Weld (UCSB), Sid Parameswaran (UCI), Dan Stamper-Kurn (UC Berkeley), Congjun Wu (UCSD), Julio Barreiro (UCSD), and Joel Moore (UC Berkeley), we will be working to understand some of the most complex quantum phenomena in physics, known as quantum many-body systems.  This joint theory/experiment effort will be using well-controlled atomic camples to emulate strongly-coupled quantum phenomena on a microscopic level.  This institute is being supported though the UC President’s Research Catalyst Awards, and the California Nanosystems Institute. + continue reading
Tuesday, July 29 2014: Congratulations to Michael for passing his oral qualifying exam!  The Vin Scully bobblehead seal of approval signifies that Michael is now a doctoral candidate, and we look forward to great things as Michael works toward his thesis. + continue reading
Friday, June 13 2014: Trapping coulomb crystal linear chain in  a RF paul trap. + continue reading
Wednesday, June 11 2014: Challenged to describe our research using only the ten one hundred most common words, here is what Wes came up with: We make fast computers from tiny pieces of air.  We point light at little air parts to make them ice cold, then make them jump around and hit into each other.  We can see the answer at the end by how they look, dark or bright.  Dark parts mean one answer, bright parts mean another.  Even though this computer is tiny, we can beat a great big one, because very cold, very small stuff  can do more than one thing at the same time. + continue reading
Friday, May 30 2014: The ion team has seen their first 174Yb ion in the new four rod trap. This linear trap consists of four 50 µm diameter wires which are spaced 350 µm from each other. The rods are held and separated by a fused silica piece which was fabricated by Translume in Ann Arbor. In the picture these fused silica pieces are attached to a monolithic stainless steel trap mount. In order from preventing the atoms escaping the trap two endcaps have been added to which we apply DC voltages. In the top right a microscope image of the fused silica piece is shown. + continue reading
Friday, February 28 2014: Mode-locked lasers may be the key to producing large samples of cold molecules, as discussed in a paper published this week in Phys. Rev. A (see Publications).  Andrew Jayich et al. describe a method for using picosecond pulses to decelerate molecules and single photons to cool the resulting sample to sub-cryogenic temperatures.  This scheme involves a technique known as Adiabatic Rapid Passage, the details of which are revealed in beautiful color plots such as the one shown here. + continue reading
Friday, January 17 2014: The ACME Collaboration has published the first-generation results of a precise measurement of the shape of the electron.  Theories such as (generic) supersymmetry tend to predict that the bumps on the electron will become visible when we look for them with this sensitivity.  So far, the electron still appears to be perfectly round (see Publications).  This result compliments recent work in the high-energy regime at the LHC, and while these results may not difinitively rule out a given specific theory, it has been suggested that these measurements seem to be leaving less and less "wiggle room" for otherwise unconstrained parameters in certain extensions beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. + continue reading

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