What’s So Interesting About Quantum Phenomena?

Third of the five research categories within DAMOP that I talked about is Quantum Phenomena. This is a little bit of a catch-all, as there are a few different things going on in this area. They are all unified, though, by the fact that they end up making quantum mechanical effects manifest in some way, […]

What’s So Interesting About Ultracold Matter?

The first of the five categories of active research at DAMOP that I described in yesterday’s post is “Ultracold Matter.” The starting point for this category of research is laser cooling to get a gas of atoms down to microkelvin temperatures (that is, a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero. Evaporative cooling can […]

What’s So Interesting About AMO Physics?

That’s the title of my slightly insane talk at the DAMOP (Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics of the American Physical Society) conference a couple of weeks ago, summarizing current topics of interest in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics. I’ll re-embed the slides at the end of this post, for anyone who missed my […]


One of the odd things about going to conferences is the unpredictable difference between talks and papers. Sometimes, when you go to a talk, you just get an exact repetition of what’s in the paper; other times, you get a new angle on it, or some different visual representations that make something that previously seemed […]

What’s So Interesting About AMO Physics?

That’s the title of my talk this morning at DAMOP, where I attempt the slightly insane feat of summarizing a meeting with over 1000 presentations in a single 30-minute talk. This will necessarily involve talking a little bit like the person reading the legal notices at the end of a car commercial, and a few […]

What’s So Interesting About AMO Physics?

I’ve got three months to decide. I’ll be giving an invited talk at the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (DAMOP) with this title, with a goal of introducing the field to students and physicists from other fields: In recent years, DAMOP has expanded to the point where the meeting can be quite daunting […]

Dance of the Photons by Anton Zeilinger

I hadn’t heard anything about Dance of the Photons: From Einstein to Quantum Teleportation before it turned up in my mailbox, courtesy of some kind publicist at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, otherwise I would’ve been eagerly anticipating it. Anton Zeilinger is a name to conjure with in quantum optics, having built an impressive career out […]

Indirect Excitation Control: Ultrafast Quantum Gates for Single Atomic Qubits

Last week, John Baez posted a report on a seminar by Dzimitry Matsukevich on ion trap quantum information issues. In the middle of this, he writes: Once our molecular ions are cold, how can we get them into specific desired states? Use a mode locked pulsed laser to drive stimulated Raman transitions. Huh? As far […]

High Excitement in Review: “Quantum information with Rydberg atoms”

I’m a big fan of review articles. For those not in academic science, “review article” means a long (tens of pages) paper collecting together the important results of some field of science, and presenting an overview of the whole thing. These vary somewhat in just how specific they are– some deal with both experiment and […]

Launch Pad for Quantum Physics

Over at Jeff Vandemeer’s blog, Rachel Swirsky has a series ofm guest posts (start here if you prefer direct post links) about the recently completed Launch Pad workshop. this is a NASA funded workshop bringing a group of writers together for six days of lectures on modern astronomy from working astronomers. From the workshop web […]