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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

November 15, 2023

Automated Detection of Molecular Laser Cooling Schemes

We propose and demonstrate a graph-based method that allows for the automated detection of laser cooling schemes in complex molecular spectra. The method leverages a change of representation, reinterpreting quantum states and transitions between them as a network graph that can be efficiently searched with modern search tools. We are excited for use cases with molecules, but the method may actually be more generally applicable, for any quantum systems with a discrete spectra. Kudos to Anna and Niccolò for spearheading this effort! 


June 26, 2023

Preprint on phased-array antenna for circularly polarized microwaves

For microwave-shielding of NaCs molecules we developed a cloverleaf microwave antenna that can produce clean circularly polarized microwave fields. Clean circular polarization can be helpful for quantum control applications with atoms and molecules, and potentially other quantum hardware systems. Congrats to the entire team and thank you to Weijun and Siwei for leading this! Link:

September 4, 2023

Microwave shielding and evaporative cooling of bosonic molecules out in Nature Physics!

Our paper reporting microwave shielding and first evaporative cooling of bosonic dipolar ground state molecules just came out in Nature Physics! We observe sample lifetimes of 1 second (100x improvement compared to previous) and cool bosonic molecules to the coldest temperatures yet (~30 nK above absolute zero), which should be an important stepping stone for further cooling towards quantum degeneracy. Congrats to the entire team and to Niccolò and Ian for leading this effort! 

Link: Nature Physics 19, 1579-1584 (2023)

Article by Ellen Neff: A Microwave Shield Yields Ultracold Dipolar Molecules

June 1, 2023

Paper on efficient creation of NaCs molecules out in NJP

Our paper on the efficient creation of ultracold NaCs molecules just appeared in New Journal of Physics. We show STIRAP transfer to the absolute ground state with almost 90% efficiency. We are very excited about this as it allows the preparation of dipolar NaCs molecules at colder temperatures and efficient detection. Congrats to the entire team and to Claire for leading this effort! Link: New J. Phys. 25, 053036 (2023)




Our lab is featured in recent videos:

The Coldest Place in New York

Nobel Prize 2022 - Quantum Entanglement

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