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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

December 19, 2023

Bose-Einstein Condensate of Dipolar Molecules!

Our latest preprint is out - we report the first creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate of dipolar ground state molecules. We evaporatively cool a gas of NaCs molecules from 700 nK to 6 nK above absolute zero. At this point the molecular gas forms a Bose-Einstein condensate, the coldest molecular gas to date. The lifetime of the BEC is ~2 sec. This becomes possible with an enhanced collisional shielding method that suppresses loss by 4 orders of magnitude. Thanks so much to the entire NaCs team - past and present members - for all the amazing work on this monumental project!

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! 


December 1, 2023

Moore Foundation supporting our ultracold molecules effort

We are extremely grateful that the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation is supporting our effort on ultracold dipolar molecules, in particular the creation and investigation of Bose-Einstein condensates of dipolar molecules. Thank you to the entire NaCs team - past and current members - for driving this project forward with so much dedication and energy! 

Read more here: Sebastian Will Is on a Quest for Ultracold Quantum Control

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




Our lab is featured in recent videos:

The Coldest Place in New York

Nobel Prize 2022 - Quantum Entanglement

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