Adam Kaufman has been awarded the 2016 DAMOP Thesis Prize for his outstanding thesis research on assembling neutral atoms in optical tweezers, work conducted in the Regal group at JILA. As part of this work, Kaufman and his coworkers developed an experiment that allowed the team to use laser cooling to assemble arrays of ground-state neutral atoms in optical tweezers. First, the team demonstrated three-dimensional ground-state cooling of a single atom in an optical tweezer. Next, they conducted a two-particle interference experiment. In this experiment, the researchers observed the atomic analog of the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect. The original Hong-Ou-Mandel effect was a two-photon interference effect that was identified when two identical single-photon waves entered a 50:50 beam splitter, one in each input port. When both photons were identical they snuffed each other out. However, as they became more distinguishable, it became more likely they could be detected. Kaufman and his team observed similar behavior with two atoms trapped in optical tweezers.
In another experiment, Kaufman and his colleagues were able to use their experiment to engineer spin entanglement. This experiment has opened the door to the use of optical tweezers for studies of quantum information.
Kaufman is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Markus Greiner group at Harvard University. There he investigates many-body systems of bosons in a quantum gas microscope. Kaufman received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in 2009. At Amherst, he participated in a Bose-Einstein condensate experiment in the David Hall group. Next, Kaufman pursued graduate studies at the University of Colorado Boulder and JILA, working with the Cindy Regal group. His work at JILA was supported by a National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship.
Congratulations Adam! JILA is proud of your noteworthy accomplishment.