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.

Debayan Mitra
Debayan Mitra

Debayan studied at Presidency College in India as an undergrad. Then he received his Master's from École Polytechnique in France and PhD from Princeton University. For his PhD, he built a lithium quantum gas microscope and studied the Fermi-Hubbard model. As a postdoc at Harvard, he worked on laser cooling of polyatomic molecules like CaOH, CaOCH3 and CaO-phenol using cryogenic buffer gas sources. He has been a researcher with ZLab since August 2021, currently working on laser cooling, trapping and dissociation of CaH molecules.

Mateusz Borkowski
Mateusz Borkowski

Mateusz spent a large part of his career at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland, studying engineering followed by a theoretical physics PhD. His earlier work involved theory of ultracold molecules, particularly the use of high-precision measurements to search for subtle effects beyond the Born-Oppenheimer physics such as non-Newtonian gravity. He retained a close connection to experiment, working on Ca laser cooling at the University of Strathclyde, Yb photoassociation at Kyoto University, and the ultracold RbSr experiment at the University of Amsterdam. At ZLab, he aims to leverage the ultimate precision offered by the strontium molecular lattice clock to search for new interactions beyond the Standard Model and for signatures of dark matter.

Kon Leung
Kon Leung

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.

Sebastian Vazquez-Carson
Sebastian Vazquez-Carson

Sebastian graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2017. As an undergraduate he participated in high-energy nuclear physics research. He developed a double event detection algorithm for the PHENIX experiment and designed collection optics for the hadronic calorimeter upgrade. The allure of testing fundamental physics in a small team on a completely home-built experiment motivated Sebastian to try AMO physics at Columbia. As he works toward direct laser cooling of diatomic hydride molecules to microkelvin temperatures, he is excited by the myriad of applications of this emerging technology.

Emily Tiberi
Emily Tiberi

Originally from Montréal, Emily graduated from Harvard University in 2018. As an undergraduate, she first became interested in AMO physics when her lab was building an erbium quantum gas microscope. At Columbia, Emily is still laser cooling atoms, but has transitioned to high-precision experiments with ultracold molecules. At Zlab, she works on a molecular lattice clock to improve the clock precision and coherence. She is especially excited about developing more precise quantum control of molecules and its implications for probing fundamental physics.

Qi Sun
Qi Sun

Qi graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2019, where he was engaged in precision measurement of hot atomic physics using for example, vapor-cell magnetometers. After joining ZLab, Qi began working on ultracold molecular physics, and now focuses on direct laser cooling of diatomic molecules. He is excited about the possibility of building a magneto-optical trap (MOT) of alkaline-earth-metal hydride molecules, which could lead into new studies of ultracold chemistry and potentially allow the creation of cold, dilute clouds of hydrogen atoms.

Brandon Iritani
Brandon Iritani

Brandon completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington in 2019. There he worked with the Eöt-Wash group doing precision tests of gravity at sub-millimeter distances using torsion balances. At Columbia, he is working on the strontium molecular lattice clock, performing searches for possible violations of Newton’s inverse square law at the nanometer length scale or the time variation of the proton-to-electron mass ratio. He is interested in tests of fundamental physics using tabletop experiments, as well as in developing techniques for laser cooling atoms and molecules.

Jianhui Li
Jianhui Li

Before coming to Columbia, Jianhui studied physics at the National University of Singapore. As an undergraduate, he developed an interest in AMO physics while working on building an optical lattice of lithium atoms at the Centre for Quantum Technologies. Currently, Jianhui is excited about the potential of testing fundamental physics with molecules. He is working with the CeNTREX collaboration, situated at Argonne National Lab, looking for the electric dipole moment of the proton and hadronic CP violation effects in cold thallium fluoride molecule.

Jinyu Dai
Jinyu Dai

Prior to joining ZLab, Jinyu was an undergraduate student at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). He was fascinated by modern atomic physics technologies and conducted research on atom trap trace analysis (ATTA) with calcium atoms. He also gained research experience with nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color centers in diamond. Now as a PhD student at Columbia, Jinyu is continuing his journey of exploring the secrets of nature. He is currently working on laser cooling and trapping of CaH molecules. He is having a great time, and loves anything to do with physics!

Name Affiliation Project(s)
Mick Aitken Columbia University Nuclear Schiff moment measurements
Shuhan Zhang Columbia University Lasers and optics for molecule cooling
Dr. Rees McNally Columbia University Laser cooling of hydride molecules
Dr. Konrad Wenz Columbia University Tests of fundamental symmetries with cold molecules
Dr. Ivan Kozyryev Columbia University Laser cooling of molecules
Dr. Hendrik Bekker Columbia University Molecular lattice clock
Yuzhou Chai Zhejiang University Molecular lattice clock
Dr. Chih-Hsi Lee Columbia University Molecular lattice clock
Tianli Wang Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Laser cooling of molecules
Dr. Stan Kondov Columbia University Molecular lattice clock
Edita Bytyki Columbia University Experiment software
Aaron Liberman Columbia University Atom trapping and electronics
Joanna Cohen Columbia University Optics and mentoring
Chris Liedl Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Molecular lattice clock
Michel Sidemion Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts Cavendish balance
Moctar Fall Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts Cavendish balance
Dr. Geoffrey Iwata Columbia University Cryogenic molecular beam and cold molecule optical spectroscopy
Hannah Williams Imperial College London Laser cooling of molecules
Alex Sandomirsky Columbia University Electronics and high school student mentoring
Sam Quinn Columbia University Hands-on mentoring of high school students
Paul Pouyanne Ecole Normale Supérieure Thermal molecule production
Annie Block Columbia University Nested-trash-can oven
Tom Miller Columbia University Electronics
Dr. 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