In our lab, we investigate how to apply the tools of atomic, molecular, and optical physics to the microscopic study of quantum systems. We are interested in fundamental questions, such as, “how does classical physics –- such as statistical mechanics --- emerge from the collective behavior of quantum mechanical systems?” We also ask applied questions, for instance, “Can we develop new tools for the manipulation of individual particles, such as ions or molecules, whose interactions and internal degrees of freedom establish new prospects?” For such studies, we aim to marry the tools of quantum gas microscopy, optical tweezer technology, and high precision spectroscopy, in order to gain single-particle control at fundamental length scales and very small energy scales.
Alec joined the Kaufman group after completing his PhD at UCSB in the lab of Ania Jayich. In Ania's lab, he worked on the development of a scanning nitrogen-vacancy center magnetometry tool for the high resolution imaging of condensed matter systems. He used this tool to study the structure of magnetic skyrmion systems and to image the crossover between novel transport regimes in graphene. In the Kaufman lab, Alec is helping build a Yb tweezer experiment for studying quantum information processing and many-body physics and with Rydberg atoms.
Nathan joined the lab in October 2019 as a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Fellow. Previously, Nathan worked in the lab of Jonathan Simon at the University of Chicago where he worked to create and understand materials made of light. Individual photons were imbued with mass by their confinement in a multimode optical cavity and were made to strongly interact by hybridization with Rydberg atoms. His PhD thesis, "Quantum Hall Physics with Photons," describes the formation of a Laughlin state of photons, the ground state of a synthetic photonic quantum Hall material. Now in the Kaufman lab, Nathan is excited to explore Rydberg based entanglement generation and many body physics in a state-of-the-art Strontium tweezer array.
Will joined the Kaufman Group after completing his undergraduate studies at Yale University, where he graduated as a physics major. Along the way, he pursued his interests in biophysics, complex mathematical systems, and scientific research that can make a positive difference in people’s lives by studying computational neuroscience with Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Physics John Murray. In the Murray Lab, Will studied organizing principles for gene expression in human cortex, specifically genes thought to relate to brain function or neuropsychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia. Will subsequently discovered in an advanced lab course that he enjoyed constructing tabletop AMO physics experiments, and began working with Assistant Professor of Physics Nir Navon on a project aimed at creating a potassium BEC. With Professor Navon, he learned the fundamentals of getting an AMO experiment up and running from just a clear optics table. Will is excited to be in the Kaufman Group…
Joanna's journey to Kaufman's group took her through many countries and research disciplines. Joanna completed her undergraduate studies at University College London, UK. There her first research experience was with the biophysics group where, with Atomic Force Microscopy, she investigated DNA strands equilibration in 2D. With Professor Gaetana Laricchia Joanna completed her Master’s thesis on "Positronium production and scattering". She analysed the energy and angular dependence of the formation of this particle in neon gas, culminating in a proposal for increasing the efficiency of positronium production. At Okinawa, Japan she worked on whispering-gallery-mode resonators, where the motivation was to use their mechanical vibrations as nanoparticle sensors. Inspired by the…
Aaron was once a film major at Wesleyan university, but, after realizing there were far too many photons involved in film, turned his focus to photonics and quantum optics. He worked briefly in the molecular photophysics lab at Wesleyan, studying the dynamics of laser induced breakdown in water, before transferring to Caltech. There, he completed a senior thesis under Professor Oskar Painter titled "Hybrid Electromechanical Qubits as Quantum Memory". This work involved the design of a hybrid quantum device containing a transmon qubit and nano-beam mechanical resonator that aimed to coherently transfer the state of the qubit to the long-lived phononic modes of the mechanical resonator. Working with individual qubits left Aaron excited by the prospect of coherent control over many-body quantum systems, particularly in the contexts of quantum simulation and the study of novel topological phases of matter. As a result, Aaron joined the Kaufman group as a graduate student, helping to…