We are one of the leading groups in the world for the study of laser-cooled atoms, molecules and ions, including the creation of a BEC on a chip, and the application of this cold matter to studies in fundamental physics.  We have a major programmes to measure the electric dipole moment of the electron using cold molecules and to use cold atoms for inertial sensing.

Centre For Cold Matter

Contact: Dr Ben Sauer

The Centre for Cold Matter (CCM) is devoted to the study of fundamental problems in physics using the techniques of atomic and laser physics. We work on: new techniques and devices to control, interact with, and study the basic physics of cold atoms and Bose-Einstein condensates; methods to produce, cool, and trap molecules; "quantum nanophotonics", interfacing photons with single quantum systems; and testing fundamental theories of physics through measurements on cold molecules.

Ion Trapping

Contact: Professor Richard Thompson

The ion trap group is working on experiments to test the predictions of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) in highly-charged ions. We are also investigating the fascinating physics of "ion Coulomb crystals", which can be used in applications such as quantum simulation and studies of quantum tunnelling.  We carry out our experiments with a Penning trap, which uses static electric and magnetic fields to confine atomic ions. We use laser cooling to reduce the temperature of calcium ions to less than 1 kelvin and study the ions using precision laser spectroscopy and high resolution imaging of the ions.