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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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!