Quantum Optics/Ultra-cold Atoms

Researchers in optical physics explore the interaction of light with matter by using and developing light sources that span the electromagnetic spectrum from the microwave to the X-ray region. This research is motivated by a wide variety of interests including the desire to understand fundamental features of nature, such as conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics at one extreme, and technology-oriented applications, such as biomedical imaging or optical communications, at the other.

Quantum Electronics

The Duke Quantum Electronics laboratory is involved in a diverse set of research projects in the areas of quantum optics, nonlinear optics, control and synchronization of chaos in optical and electronic systems, and characterizing and controlling the dynamics of biological systems. In the area of nonlinear optics, the researchers are developing a new type of all-optical switch based on the formation of transverse optical patterns. Interesting nonlinear and quantum optical effects are also being studied in a highly-anisotropic two-dimensional magneto-optical trap (MOT). This MOT traps a sample of cold atoms that is several cm long and provides sufficient optical depth to explore novel interactions between light and matter.

The Quantum Electronics Laboratory is also exploring methods to enhance nonlinear optical processes in optical fiber systems. Using Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS), we have demonstrated slow and stopped light in optical fiber using commercial telecom devices and off-the-shelf components.

Quantum Optics/Ultra-cold Atoms Faculty

  • Thomas Barthel

    Charles H. Townes Assistant Professor of Physics
    Research Interest:
    Quantum many-body theory, strongly correlated systems, entanglement, phase transitions, response functions, nonequilibrium phenomena, simulation using DMRG and tensor network states; Theoretical and numerical investigation of ultra-cold atoms in optical lattices, phase transitions, nonequilibrium, thermometry
  • Jungsang Kim

    Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Research Interest:
    Quantum Information & Integrated Nanoscale Systems
  • Maiken Mikkelsen

    Nortel Networks Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Research Interest:
    Experiments in Nanophysics & Condensed Matter Physics