Institute for Physical Science & Technology
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Two areas of research are explored in this group:
1. Ultra-cold Studies
A variety of free-space elements for atom optics (waveguides, funnels, beam splitters, etc.) based on hollow (vortex) laser beams are being developed to manipulate cold neutral atoms. Two-dimensional spatial light modulators are exploited to create nearly diffraction-free (Bessel) beams with one or more dark channels. From the coherent transport of entangled atoms to the study of atoms in restricted dimensions, hollow laser beams are providing a unique environment for developing new technology and studying fundamental physics.
2. Ultra-fast Studies
Intense femtosecond laser pulses are employed to view and follow the collective motion of atoms in small molecules. State-of-the-art technologies (pulse shaping, genetic feedback algorithms and fast-frame imaging) are exploited to decouple fundamental modes (bending, stretching, dissociation and ionization). Freezing the atomic motion allows the dynamics to be controlled and specific decay channels to be enhanced.

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