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

  • 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.

Stories About Our Research

  • The most precise measurement yet of eEDM using electrons confined within HfF+ molecular ions.

    Sizing Up an Electron’s Shape

    Some of the biggest questions about our universe may be solved by scientists using its tiniest particles. Since the 1960s, physicists have been looking at particle interactions to understand an observed imbalance of matter and…
    Read More

  • 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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

  • The most precise measurement yet of eEDM using electrons confined within HfF+ molecular ions.

    Sizing Up an Electron’s Shape

    Some of the biggest questions about our universe may be solved by scientists using its tiniest particles. Since the 1960s, physicists have been looking at particle interactions to understand an observed imbalance of matter and…
    Read More

  • 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

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. 

 


Read More
The researchers used an ion trap to measure the electron electric dipole moment in hafnium fluoride ions
August 24, 2023: JILA and NIST Fellows Jun Ye's and Eric Cornell's eEDM Research Highlighted in "Physics World"

JILA and NIST Fellows Jun Ye and Eric Cornell's recent research on advancing electron electric dipole moment (eEDM) measurements has been highlighted in Physics World. 


Read More
JILA's custom logo commemorating its 60th anniversary
July 12, 2022: Celebrating 60 Years of JILA

This year, JILA celebrates its 60th anniversary. Officially established on April 13, 1962, as a joint institution between the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), JILA has become a world leader in physics research. Its rich history includes three Nobel laureates, groundbreaking work in laser development, atomic clocks, underlying dedication to precision measurement, and even competitive sports leagues. The process of creating this science goliath was not always straightforward and took the dedication and hard work of many individuals.


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JILA Fellow Eric Cornell (left) shows CU President Todd Saliman (right) around his laboratory
May 23, 2022: The University of Colorado's President Saliman Visits JILA

University of Colorado President Todd Saliman visited JILA this past week and toured the laboratories at the invitation of JILA and NIST Fellow Eric Cornell.

Saliman was impressed by the research team and Fellows and applauded their work.

 

“You are all working to change the world,” President Saliman said.

 


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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