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The Will Lab investigates quantum systems of ultracold atoms and molecules. We cool atoms and molecules to ultracold temperatures close to above absolute zero - reaching the coldest temperatures allowed by nature. At these temperatures, the behavior of particles is determined by the laws of quantum mechanics. Using the precision tools of atomic physics, we have full control over the quantum state of each particle and the interactions between them. 

We work towards single atom and single molecule and create novel many-body quantum systems, and perform quantum simulations of strongly interacting matter. Our research program focusses on fundamental questions in many-body quantum physics, quantum simulation, and quantum optics, and contributes to the development of modern quantum technologies. For more details go to Research.

Recent News

July 9, 2024

Three-body recombination of microwave-shielded molecules

In this work, we study three-body collisions in a gas of ultracold dipolar molecules. Our data shows that three-body recombination can explain performance limits of microwave-shielding, which have so far been unexplained. We compare experimental data of three-body loss rates with the results of a classical trajectory model for recombination and find excellent agreement. The insights are efficient cooling of dipolar molecules and point to rich three-body physics.

June 3, 2024

Bose-Einstein condensate of polar molecules out in Nature!

Link to manuscript Nature (2024) 

Link to Columbia Press Release  

Link to Nature News

Link to Physics Today

Link to Nature Podcast

Link to Scientific Amerian

Link to Popular Mechanics

Link to NSF News

Link to Nature News and Views

June 28, 2024

Magic trapping of microwave-shielded molecules

Recent work has shown that microwave dressing can massively enhance the collisional lifetime and enable Bose-Einstein condensation of molecules. In this work, we analyze the impact of microwave dressing on the  single molecule level. We develop dressed-state spectroscopy as a new spectroscopic method and find that a magic rotational transition can be engineered in NaCs molecules by controlling their optical polarizability with microwave fields. All details in our preprint:

April 30, 2024

Atoms trapped in metasurface tweezer arrays

In collaboration with the Nanfang Yu Lab at Columbia, we have developed a technique to trap atoms in optical tweezer arrays, generated via holographic metasurfaces. The picture shows a flouresence image of Sr atoms,  cooled and trapped in a metasurface tweezer array with a mean tweezer spacing of 3 um. The technique allows creation of atom arrays with arbitrary geometry and high laser power. Congrats to the entire TweeSr and Yu Lab Team on this wonderful achievement! 




Our lab is featured in recent videos:

The Coldest Place in New York

Nobel Prize 2022 - Quantum Entanglement

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