Ultracold Research

Cold (μK) and ultracold (nK) atoms have, in many ways, revolutionized how a few key open questions in physics are addressed.  On the one hand, ultracold ensembles in and of themselves are interesting.  Perhaps more importantly, however, they offer an exquisitely-controllable platform for studying long-standing problems and simulating situations that are very difficult, if not impossible to create any other way with today’s technology.  Our interest is in simulating quantum systems and revealing quantum nature not observable under classical conditions.  To that end, we study experimentally similar physics under both classical and quantum condition.  Specifically we have investigated atom circuits – classically (with thermal cold atoms, a nearly perfect ideal gas) and quantum mechanically (with Bose-Einstein condensates, a good approximation of a superfluid).  In each case, we can identify the behavior with equivalent electrical circuits.  We also are interested in exploiting the quantum nature of ultracold ensembles to prepare artificial Hamiltonians that share the properties of exotic situations described by dynamic gauge theories – the quantum vacuum being one example.

Group Lead

Wendell T. Hill

(301) 405 4813


Room B0165 Physical Sciences Complex

Building 415, University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742


This work is supported by the National Science Foundation