About the Cornell Group

We work in the field of experimental Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics. One major effort involves leveraging the techniques of precision metrology to look for evidence of new particle physics.  A second effort makes use of ultralow temperature atomic gases to explore few- and many-body quantum physics.

Research Areas

  • In this experimental collaboration with the Ye group (previously with the Jin group) we use an ultracold gas of Rb85 to create a strongly interacting Bose Einstein Condensate. Rb85 has a magnetic Feshbach resonance that can be tuned to create very strong interactions similar to that which can be found in a superfluid, such as liquid helium. We have recently equipped our new generation BEC machine with K39 in addition to Rb85, both of which will provide an ideal platform to study few- and many-body…

  • The purpose of this experiment is to make a precision measurement of the electic dipole moment (EDM) of the electron. Because a finite electron EDM violates time symmetry, and thus by the CPT theorem violates CP symmetry as well, a precision upper bound on an electron EDM constrains modelbuilders. In this experiment we use trapped HfF+ molecular ions and use the intermolecular electric field to greatly enhance a potential electron EDM signal.

Research Highlights

  • Model of eEDM

    Wiggles in Time: The Search for Dark Matter Continues

    In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, JILA and NIST Fellows Eric Cornell, Jun Ye, and Konrad Lehnert developed a method for measuring a potential dark matter candidate, known as an axion-like particle. Axion-like…
    Read More

  • Van der Waals universality between atoms

    How universal is universality?

    New research from the Cornell Group suggests that the van der Waals universality may have limitations.


    Read More
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    And, The Answer Is . . . Still Round

    Why are we here? This is an age-old philosophical question. However, physicists like Will Cairncross, Dan Gresh and their advisors Eric Cornell and Jun Ye actually want to figure out out why people like us exist at all. If there had…
    Read More

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    It’s Triplets!

    Newly minted JILA Ph.D. Catherine Klauss and her colleagues in the Jin and Cornell group decided to see what would happen to a Bose-Einstein condensate of Rubidium-85 (85Rb) atoms if they suddenly threw the whole experiment…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    All Dressed Up and Ready to Probe

    Newly minted Ph.D. Ming-Guang Hu and his colleagues in the Jin and Cornell groups recently investigated immersing an impurity in a quantum bath consisting of a Bose-Einstein condensate, or BEC. The researchers expected the strong…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    From BEC to Breathing Forever

    It took Eric Cornell three years to build JILA’s first Top Trap with his own two hands in the lab. The innovative trap relied primarily on magnetic fields and gravity to trap ultracold atoms. In 1995, Cornell and his colleagues used the…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Puff the Magic Atoms

    The Cornell and Jin groups have just met the challenge of creating and studying an extremely strongly interacting Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). This feat was reported in Nature Physics online January 12, 2014. An example of…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Dipolar Express

    Physicists wonder about some pretty strange things. For instance, one burning question is: How round is the electron? While the simplest picture of the electron is a perfect sphere, it is possible that it is instead shaped like an egg.…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Close Encounters with the Contact

    The Jin and Cornell groups have discovered irrefutable evidence for the contact. The contact appears in ultracold gases under conditions when the atoms are close “contact” in a Bose-Einstein condensate, or BEC.  Like pressure, volume,…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Sharing the Adventure of Science

    Graduate students or research associates at JILA have the option of signing up to help teach after-school science classes to elementary and middle school students in the St. Vrain School District. The volunteers expect to stimulate the…
    Read More

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    Canned Heat

    A while back, Fellow Eric Cornell started thinking about all the waste heat produced by the use of water to cool refi neries and other industrial plants. In a few places, the waste hot water — at ~212°F — is used to heat commercial and…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Buried Treasure

    The Anderson and Cornell groups have adapted two statistical techniques used in astronomical data processing to the analysis of images of ultracold atom gases. Image analysis is necessary for obtaining quantitative information about the…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Oldest Trick in the Book

    The mission to find the electron electric dipole moment (eEDM) recently took a menacing turn. Chief Eric Cornell and his protégés were already hard at work characterizing the hafnium fluoride ion (HfF+). Their goal was to be…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Bragging Rites

    What happens to a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) when its atoms interact strongly? One possibility for large attractive interactions is that the condensate shrinks and then explodes, as the Cornell and Wieman groups discovered in 2001…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    A Failure to Communicate

    In the quantum world inside Fellow Eric Cornell’s lab, communication occurs across a two-dimensional lattice array of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) when atoms tunnel out of superatoms (made from about 7000 garden-variety rubidium (Rb…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Warm Side of the Force

    Small changes in the quantum fluctuations of free space are responsible for a variety of curious phenomena: a gecko’s ability to walk across ceilings, the evaporation of black holes via Hawking radiation, and the fact that warmer…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Running Backwards

    Does the electron have an electric dipole moment (eEDM)? If it does, the standard model of elementary particle physics says this dipole moment is many orders of magnitude below what can be measured experimentally. As Fellow John Bohn…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Measure the Force, Luke

    Graduate students Dave Harber and John Obrecht, postdoc Jeff McGuirk, and Fellow Eric Cornell recently devised a clever way to use a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) inside a magnetic trap to probe the quantum behavior of free space. To…
    Read More

Research Highlights

  • Model of eEDM

    Wiggles in Time: The Search for Dark Matter Continues

    In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, JILA and NIST Fellows Eric Cornell, Jun Ye, and Konrad Lehnert developed a method for measuring a potential dark matter candidate, known as an axion-like particle. Axion-like…
    Read More

  • Van der Waals universality between atoms

    How universal is universality?

    New research from the Cornell Group suggests that the van der Waals universality may have limitations.


    Read More
  • Thumbnail

    And, The Answer Is . . . Still Round

    Why are we here? This is an age-old philosophical question. However, physicists like Will Cairncross, Dan Gresh and their advisors Eric Cornell and Jun Ye actually want to figure out out why people like us exist at all. If there had…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    It’s Triplets!

    Newly minted JILA Ph.D. Catherine Klauss and her colleagues in the Jin and Cornell group decided to see what would happen to a Bose-Einstein condensate of Rubidium-85 (85Rb) atoms if they suddenly threw the whole experiment…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    All Dressed Up and Ready to Probe

    Newly minted Ph.D. Ming-Guang Hu and his colleagues in the Jin and Cornell groups recently investigated immersing an impurity in a quantum bath consisting of a Bose-Einstein condensate, or BEC. The researchers expected the strong…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    From BEC to Breathing Forever

    It took Eric Cornell three years to build JILA’s first Top Trap with his own two hands in the lab. The innovative trap relied primarily on magnetic fields and gravity to trap ultracold atoms. In 1995, Cornell and his colleagues used the…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Puff the Magic Atoms

    The Cornell and Jin groups have just met the challenge of creating and studying an extremely strongly interacting Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). This feat was reported in Nature Physics online January 12, 2014. An example of…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Dipolar Express

    Physicists wonder about some pretty strange things. For instance, one burning question is: How round is the electron? While the simplest picture of the electron is a perfect sphere, it is possible that it is instead shaped like an egg.…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Close Encounters with the Contact

    The Jin and Cornell groups have discovered irrefutable evidence for the contact. The contact appears in ultracold gases under conditions when the atoms are close “contact” in a Bose-Einstein condensate, or BEC.  Like pressure, volume,…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Sharing the Adventure of Science

    Graduate students or research associates at JILA have the option of signing up to help teach after-school science classes to elementary and middle school students in the St. Vrain School District. The volunteers expect to stimulate the…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Canned Heat

    A while back, Fellow Eric Cornell started thinking about all the waste heat produced by the use of water to cool refi neries and other industrial plants. In a few places, the waste hot water — at ~212°F — is used to heat commercial and…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Buried Treasure

    The Anderson and Cornell groups have adapted two statistical techniques used in astronomical data processing to the analysis of images of ultracold atom gases. Image analysis is necessary for obtaining quantitative information about the…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    The Oldest Trick in the Book

    The mission to find the electron electric dipole moment (eEDM) recently took a menacing turn. Chief Eric Cornell and his protégés were already hard at work characterizing the hafnium fluoride ion (HfF+). Their goal was to be…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Bragging Rites

    What happens to a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) when its atoms interact strongly? One possibility for large attractive interactions is that the condensate shrinks and then explodes, as the Cornell and Wieman groups discovered in 2001…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    A Failure to Communicate

    In the quantum world inside Fellow Eric Cornell’s lab, communication occurs across a two-dimensional lattice array of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) when atoms tunnel out of superatoms (made from about 7000 garden-variety rubidium (Rb…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Warm Side of the Force

    Small changes in the quantum fluctuations of free space are responsible for a variety of curious phenomena: a gecko’s ability to walk across ceilings, the evaporation of black holes via Hawking radiation, and the fact that warmer…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Running Backwards

    Does the electron have an electric dipole moment (eEDM)? If it does, the standard model of elementary particle physics says this dipole moment is many orders of magnitude below what can be measured experimentally. As Fellow John Bohn…
    Read More

  • Thumbnail

    Measure the Force, Luke

    Graduate students Dave Harber and John Obrecht, postdoc Jeff McGuirk, and Fellow Eric Cornell recently devised a clever way to use a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) inside a magnetic trap to probe the quantum behavior of free space. To…
    Read More

In the Spotlight

Photo of Antonio Vigil
December 08, 2021: Recently Graduated JILA Undergraduate Antonio Vigil wins the CU Boulder "Outstanding Undergraduate"

Antonio Vigil, a recently graduated JILA undergraduate has been named an "Outstanding Undergraduate" by the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. Vigil recently graduated summa cum laude after working for three years at JILA. 


Read More
Tanya Roussy wins 2019 GPMFC poster competition
June 03, 2019: JILA's Tanya Roussy wins 2019 GPMFC prize

JILA graduate Tanya Roussy was honored at the 2019 DAMOP meeting.


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Dylan Carpenter, a student at Englewood High School, presents his group’s ocean clean up project to Dr. Eric Cornell.
April 19, 2019: JILA’s PISEC High School Poster Symposium brings real science to students

High school students got a chance to show off their research at JILA.


Read More
JILA Graduate Students Julia Cline and William Cairncross.
June 04, 2018: Cline and Cairncross win GPMFC Poster Competition

JILA Graduate Students Julia Cline and William Cairncross swept the student poster awards at DAMOP 2018. The Topical Group on Precision Measurement and Fundamental Constants (GPMFC) hosts a student poster competition at the annual meeting for Division for Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics (DAMOP).


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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