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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Laser Cooling of Neutral Atoms


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Quantum Measurement Division

RO# Location
50.68.41.B1752 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Lett, Paul David 301.975.6559
Phillips, William D. 301-975-6554
Porto, James V. 301.405.0854
Spielman, Ian B. 301.975.8664


We are studying the interaction of atoms and light in the laser-cooling process, and applications of cold atoms to fundamental problems. Recent directions include studying multiphoton laser cooling, which can provide some advantages over traditional single-frequency laser cooling. Using both Zeeman-tuned and chirp-cooling techniques, we slow and cool atomic beams with laser beams. We then hold the atoms in laser or magnetic traps for study and cool them further to the microkelvin range or lower with laser or evaporative cooling techniques. These extremely low temperatures allow new classes of spectroscopic measurements. Our laboratory was the first to produce temperatures below the Doppler-cooling limit, and we are continuing to study the basic quantum optical processes involved in this phenomenon. We are also interested in manipulating atomic beams, using cold atoms in super-accurate atomic clocks, studying cavity quantum electrodynamics, and performing any basic experiments that involve the interaction of light with atoms. Research is conducted in collaboration with theoretical groups at NIST.


Atomic beams; Atomic clocks; Atomic spectra; Electrodynamics; Laser cooling; Quantum optics;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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