About the Rey Theory Group

Our research interests are in the scientific interface between atomic, molecular and optical physics, condensed matter physics and quantum information science. Specifically, on ways of developing new techniques for controlling quantum systems and then using them in various applications ranging from quantum simulations/information to time and frequency standards. We want to engineer fully controllable quantum systems capable to mimic desired real materials as well as to develop advanced and novel measurement techniques capable of probing atomic quantum systems at the fundamental level.

Read more about our research areas, below.

Research Areas

  • We investigate AMO (Atomic-Molecular-Optical) analogs of systems that fall under the general heading of quantum magnetism, where localized magnetic moments interact with one another and/or with mobile fermions. Important solid state systems in this class include the cuprate superconductors, heavy fermion materials, colossal magnetoresistive manganites, and geometrically frustrated magnetic…

  • An optical clock consists of two components, a laboratory radiation source and an atomic system with a natural reference frequency determined by quantum mechanics to which the laboratory radiation source can be compared. The laboratory radiation source is an ultra-stable cw laser. It acts as the local oscillator (or pendulum) for the clock and is used to probe an electromagnetic resonance in…

  • Topological states of matter are a particular class of non-Landau states, which are characterized by the notion of topological order. For example in the fractional quantum Hall effect, the topological order is directly responsible for the celebrated properties of fractional charge, anionic statistics and gapless chiral edge modes. A major reason for the current interest in topological states…

  • Taking advantage of the additional degrees of freedom in more complex quantum systems as knobs for control, manipulation and probing give rise to exciting new possibilities but at the cost of new mechanisms for loss and decoherence. For example recent work on ultra cold KRb molecules has already revealed that the molecular gas in the quantum regime can have a surprisingly large rate of…

In the Spotlight

A compilation of researchers and the research/outreach led by JILA's PFC
September 12, 2023: JILA’s Physics Frontiers (PFC) is Awarded a $25 Million Grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF)

The JILA Physics Frontiers Center (PFC), an NSF-funded science center within JILA (a world-leading physics research institute), has recently been awarded a $25 million grant after a re-competition process. 

This science center brings together 20 researchers across JILA to collaborate to realize precise measurements and cutting-edge manipulations to harness increasingly complex quantum systems. Since its establishment in 2006, the JILA PFC’s dedication to advancing quantum research and educating the next generation of scientists has helped it to stand out as the heart of JILA’s excellence. 


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JILA and NIST Fellow Ana Maria Rey
July 20, 2023: JILA and NIST Fellow Ana Maria Rey Awarded a 2023 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship from the Department of Defense

Ana Maria Rey, a JILA and NIST Fellow, has been honored with the prestigious 2023 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship from the Department of Defense (DOD). The Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, named after the visionary American engineer and science administrator, aims to support exceptional researchers with outstanding scientific and technological leadership. It provides recipients substantial financial support over five years, allowing them to pursue innovative and high-impact research endeavors.


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Ana Maria Rey, a Fellow of both JILA and NIST, and a CU Boulder professor of Physics, has been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences
May 09, 2023: JILA and NIST Fellow Ana Maria Rey is Inducted into the National Academy of Sciences

Election to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a scientist in the United States, and it is a mark of recognition for exceptional scientific achievement. This achievement has now been bestowed on JILA and NIST Fellow, along with the University of Colorado Boulder physics professor Ana Maria Rey, as she was inducted into the NAS in 2023. 

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The Women in Science Panel discussion. (Left to Right) Panelists: Ellen Keister, the Director of Education for the STROBE Center within JILA; Ana Maria Rey, JILA and NIST Fellow; Margaret Murnane, JILA Fellow; and Kenna Hughes-Castleberry, JILA Science Communicator
February 13, 2023: JILA Hosts Women in Science Panel to Celebrate International Women in Science Day

Some of the most important research and discoveries in science have been made by women. To celebrate these inspiring individuals and to support the next generation of female scientists, the United Nations dedicated February 11 as "International Women and Girls in Science" day. To honor this tradition, JILA hosted a panel discussion/open-forum with both JILA Fellows and JILA staff as speakers.

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JILA Address

We are located at JILA: A joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Map | JILA Phone: 303-492-7789 | Address: 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309