Team Members
ZLab Team
Tanya Zelevinsky
Prof. Tanya Zelevinsky

Prof. Z graduated from MIT in physics and math, and received her physics PhD at Harvard University where her thesis work involved precise spectroscopy of helium atoms. She came to Columbia in 2008, after a few years of learning about optical lattice atomic clocks in Boulder, Colorado. She teaches various subjects such as mechanics, electromagnetism, and atomic physics, and her research interests involve precision measurements and quantum optics, particularly state-of-the-art optical spectroscopy with diatomic molecules.

Stanimir Kondov
Stan Kondov

Stan is an experienced ultracold atom trapper who graduated from the University of Arkansas and earned his physics PhD at the University of Illinois. His PhD thesis centered on ultracold fermionic atoms in optical lattices and disordered potentials. He then worked at Princeton, again on the interface of atomic and condensed matter physics. There he focused on quantum simulations of strongly correlated electrons, using dilute fermionic gases with imbalanced spin populations. At ZLab, Stan has transitioned to diatomic molecular physics and optical-lattice-clock style spectroscopy. As one of his initial projects, he has integrated an optical frequency comb into the molecular clock experiment to probe the mass dependence the van der Waals force between pairs of spinless atoms.

Geoffrey Iwata
Geoffrey Iwata

Geoff came to Columbia after graduating from Berkeley, where he worked on stabilizing lasers to miniature atom cells for sensitive field measurements. As a Columbia graduate student, Geoff decided to switch from atoms to molecules by joining the molecule laser-cooling experiment. He has designed and built a cryogenic beam of diatomic molecules for laser cooling and trapping. Geoff is also hoping to explore pathways for producing ultracold hydrogen gas from the laser-cooled molecules. Geoff is a recent National Science Foundation IGERT fellow in optical sciences.

Chih-Hsi Lee
Chih-Hsi Lee

Chih-Hsi received his undergraduate physics degree from the National Taiwan University in 2013 and completed military service in 2014, shortly before coming to Columbia for his PhD studies. For a long time he had been interested in quantum optics and ultracold atom physics. At ZLab, after a brief training period by Bart McGuyer and Mickey McDonald, he quickly embarked on the strontum ultracold-molecule experiment on his own. This is no easy feat, given the need to tame a UHV system, a dozen separate (but phase-locked) lasers, and a frequency comb. Chih-Hsi's plans for the near future involve high-precision spectroscopy of the ground-state vibrational levels in spinless strontium molecules and its applications to possible new fundamental physics.

Konrad Wenz
Konrad Wenz

Konrad graduated from the University of Warsaw where he was interested in theoretical astrophysics, including black holes and dark matter. Besides astrophysics, he likes thinking about biophysics, data science, and table-top precision measurements. Konrad is a member of CENTREX (Cold Molecule Nuclear Time Reversal Experiment) which is a collaboration between Yale, Columbia, and University of Massachusetts. The experiment aims to achieve the highest sensitivity to the nuclear Schiff moment arising from a slight charge asymmetry in the nucleus, using diatomic polar molecules. An observation of this asymmetry would strongly point to new time-reversal symmetry violating particles beyond the Standard Model. Konrad is focusing on the optical systems and quantum manipulations of the molecules.

Rees McNally
Rees McNally

Rees graduated from the University of Colorado - Boulder in 2015. He became interested in science and engineering after visiting an arospace lab and getting involved in a satellite project, particulary collecting and processing data from the satellite. This was followed by other research projects, including one on the world's best atomic clock at JILA. As a graduate student at Columbia, Rees has received a National Science Foundation IGERT fellowship in optical sciences. Rees is focusing on generating a cryogenic beam of diatomic molecules, and demonstrating laser slowing and cooling properties with a new molecular species.

Christian Liedl
Chris Liedl

Chris did his undergraduate work at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. During his thesis research he learned about quantum communication using atom-photon entanglement and spectroscopy. As an exchange student at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, he worked on a quantum information project with silicon spin qubits. A student assistant job at the LMU got him interested in experiments with ultracold matter. At ZLab, Chris is working on his Masters thesis. His research involves work on the ultracold molecular clock experiment, particularly improving the precision and stability of the optical systems used in clock-style molecular spectroscopy.

Alex Sandomirsky

Alex is a Columbia undergraduate physics student. His projects include optical systems and software.

Sam Quinn

Sam is a Columbia physics undergrad. He is mentoring the high school Cavendish balance project.

Moctar Fall

Moctar is a student at the Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts. He is building a Cavendish balance.

Michel Sidemion

Michel is from the Success Academy High School. He is working on a Cavendish balance experiment.

Name Affiliation Project(s)
Paul Pouyanne Ecole Normale Supérieure Thermal molecule production
Annie Block Columbia University Nested-trash-can oven
Tom Miller Columbia University Electronics
Mickey McDonald Columbia University Ultracold chemistry and molecules in optical lattices
Albert Law Columbia University Electrostatic guiding of polar molecules
Leïla Abbih Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan Molecular beam production and optimization
Dr. Bart McGuyer Columbia University Precision measurements with ultracold molecules
Dr. Marco Tarallo Columbia University Production and spectroscopy of cold molecules
Dr. Andrew Grier Columbia University Frequency combs for molecular spectroscopy
Fabian Sörensen Technische Universität Darmstadt Nonlinear optics
Florian Apfelbeck Ludwig-Maximilians University Ultracold molecule photodissociation
Damon Daw Columbia College Laser stabilization
Cole Rainey Columbia College Laser stabilization
Katérina Verteletsky Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan Molecular spectroscopy
Dr. André Loose Columbia University ATTA
Matthew Miecnikowski Columbia College Optical beam control
Noel Wan Columbia College Optics and electronics
Jiyoun (Jennifer) Ha Tenafly High School Visible optical beats
Dr. Chris Osborn Columbia University PhD thesis (2013)
Dr. Taehyun Yoon Columbia University PhD thesis (2013)
Omeed Maghzian Columbia College Experiment control software
Elijahu Ben-Michael Columbia College Molecule cooling; optics
Henry Du Hunter College High School Web design
Dr. Gael Reinaudi Columbia University Ultracold atom & molecule experiments
Dili Wang Columbia College Lasers and optics; undergraduate thesis
Clio Sleator Columbia College Experiment control software
Dr. Klejda Bega APS Blewett Scholar Laser setup and stabilization
Stéphane Bonnotte l'Institut d'Optique Thermal radiation and clocks
Camille Frapolli Ecole Normale Superieure de Cahcan Nonlinear optics
Paul Lintilhac Dartmouth College Optics; interferometry
Michael Rubin Columbia School of Engineering Magnetic field modeling
Jonathan Jove New Rochelle High School Experiment control electronics
Siqing Yu Columbia College Experiment control electronics
Raanan Cohen Columbia School of Engineering Experiment control electronics
Paul Mueller Columbia School of Engineering Laser cavity design
David Tam Columbia College Laser stabilization; temperature control
Nathan Smith Bard College Vibration measurements