Welcome to Wes Campbell's Reseach Group at UCLA Physics & Astronomy

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.

Latest News

Scarlett Yu selected for NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

April 4, 2019: The National Science Foundation has selected Seejia Scarlett Yu for a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship. The NSF GRFs are designed to recognize and support outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Congratulations, Scarlett, for this well deserved award!

Quantum Logic with Trapped Molecular Ions

Thursday, October 25, 2018: Dipole-dipole interactions between closely-trapped polar molecules have long been proposed for quantum information processing with neutral molecules. This paper explores an extension of this idea to trapped molecular ions. The apparent challenge of polarizing the ions in the lab frame (since they are ions, a static field does not work since it will simply accelerate them out of the trap) is circumvented by using oscillating dipole.

Mr. Campbell goes to Washington

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). 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, collaborating with 6 others, has begun a new project trying to implement these.

Paul Hamilton quoted in PC Magazine story about DARPA

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. Continue reading.