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.
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.
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 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 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.
Before coming to Columbia, Kon completed his undergraduate studies at Imperial College London, where he was active within the Quantum Optics and Laser Science group. At ZLab, he is interested in developing high-precision lattice-clock spectroscopy of ultracold molecules and their applications to fundamental physics questions, such as whether there are deviations from Newtonian gravity at the nanometer length scale. He is working to improve the vibrational molecular clock by extending the coherence time of vibrational qubits in an optical lattice.
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.
Joanna is a Columbia undergraduate physics student. Currently she is mentoring the high school Cavendish experiment.
Moctar is a student at the Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts. He is building a Cavendish balance.
Michel is from the Success Academy High School. He is working on a Cavendish balance experiment.