Research Interests

The developing field of ultracold atomic physics provides tantalizing opportunities for exploring physical phenomena in a regime that has heretofore been inaccessible: material systems with temperatures in the nanokelvin range (and below), with broadly and instantly tunable interactions, residing in dynamically adaptable containers, and amenable to the precise manipulation and detection tools of atomic physics. My research has focused on developing further capabilities in this field, and utilizing these advances to study many-body quantum physics, to explore the "coherent optics" and "quantum optics" of matter waves, to realize novel consequences of light-atom interactions, and to perform precision measurements of scientific and technological importance. Students and postdocs in my group acquire a broad range of experimental skills while exploring the frontiers of low-temperature quantum physics.

Current Projects

The developing field of ultracold atomic physics provides tantalizing opportunities for exploring physical phenomena in a regime that has heretofore been inaccessible: material systems with temperatures in the nanokelvin range (and below), with broadly and instantly tunable interactions, residing in dynamically adaptable containers, and amenable to the precise manipulation and detection tools of atomic physics. My research has focused on developing further capabilities in this field, and utilizing these advances to study many-body quantum physics, to explore the "coherent optics" and "quantum optics" of matter waves, to realize novel consequences of light-atom interactions, and to perform precision measurements of scientific and technological importance.

My present research proceeds in three directions. One focuses on creating and studying novel quantum fluids, and also in realizing model systems for the study of quantum magnetism. Here, we have developed a microscopy technique to directly image the magnetization of a spin-1 Bose gas. Using this technique, we have identified quantum phase transitions and instances of spontaneous symmetry breaking, characterized a near-quantum-limited parametric spin amplifier, uncovered dynamical signatures of long-range interactions, and, most recently, discovered new low temperature phases with crystalline patterns of magnetisation. We are presently gearing up for studies of strongly correlated quantum magnetic systems.

A second research direction focuses on utilizing high-finesse optical resonators, and effects of cavity quantum electrodynamics (CQED) to measure quantum properties of matter-wave systems. Targets of our research are the production of entangled spin states in atomic ensembles, non-destructive measurements of single atoms and molecules, and quantum transport phenomena for matter waves propagating in "atomtronic" circuits produced by microfabricated devices. A major spin-off of this research is a novel approach to studying cavity opto-mechanics, analogous to experiments with cantilevers and macro-scale optical interferometers, yet with the advantage of accessing the quantum mechanical regime directly.

Our third research effort is directed toward realizing atom interferometers capable of making precise measurements of scientific and/or technological importance. Here we are constructing a ring-shaped magnetic waveguide for cold atoms so that matter waves may be launched along distinct trajectories and then recombined for measurement. Alternately, ring-shaped quantum fluids may be created and used to study superfluid phenomena and quantum transport. New connections between coherent atom optics and conventional beam physics are being established and pursued.

My research agenda continues to evolve and to involve new students (undergraduate and graduate), postdocs, and visitors. If you are interested in our work, or interested in joining us, please contact us.

Selected Publications

S. Gupta, K.W. Murch, K.L. Moore, T.P. Purdy, and D.M. Stamper-Kurn. “Bose-Einstein condensation in a circular waveguide,” Physical Review Letters 95, 143201 (2005).

L.E. Sadler, J.M. Higbie, S.R. Leslie, M. Vengalattore, and D.M. Stamper-Kurn. “Spontaneous symmetry breaking in a quenched ferromagnetic spinor Bose condensate,” Nature 433, 312 (2006).

M. Vengalattore, J. M. Higbie, S. R. Leslie, J. Guzman, L. E. Sadler, and D. M. Stamper-Kurn, “High-Resolution Magnetometry with a Spinor Bose-Einstein Condensate,” Physical Review Letters 98, 200801 (2007).

K.W. Murch, K.L. Moore, S. Gupta and D.M. Stamper-Kurn, "Observation of quantum-measurement backaction with an ultracold atomic gas," Nature Physics 4, 561 (2008)