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Many-body Quantum Dynamics

Cavendish Laboratory

Atom Interferometry - AION

We are part of the AION collaboration that is developing a new experimental platform to perform interferometry with ultracold strontium atoms. In close collaboration with other UK universities, we will use the strontium clock transition to perform high-resolution interferometry on atoms in free flight. The long-term goals of this project include detection of mid-frequency gravitational waves, ultra-light dark matter, and other tests of fundamental physics, see:

AION: An Atom Interferometer Observatory and Network
L. Badurina et al. (AION Collaboration)
JCAP 05(2020), 011 (2020)

In atom interferometry, a cloud of ultracold atoms is separated and the two components allowed to separately evolve before being recombined. Information on the difference in phase accumulated along each path is obtained from the resulting interference. This phase evolution is highly sensitive to small forces and changes in atomic transition frequencies, leading to established applications in gravimetry, inertial sensing and metrology. An emerging application of atom interferometry is to detection problems in astrophysics, cosmology and high energy physics.

Within Cambridge, we are working closely together with our collegues from the high energy group (

Latest news

Towards quantum simulation of false vacuum decay

20 January 2022

In our lastest work we have used a resonantly driven optical lattice to turn the Mott transition into a first-order (discontinuous) transition. We were able to directly observe the associated hysteresis and metastability, where the system remains stuck in its original phase (the false vacuum) even though the ground state...

First AION collaboration workshop

11 November 2021

Finally, we were able to hold teh first in-person collaboration of the new AION collaboration, where we want to develop large scale atom interferometers. aion_collaboration_nov21_2mp.jpg

Postdoc positions Open

2 December 2020

Two new Postdoc positions available to work with us on experiments with ultracold atoms in and out of optical lattices. Application closes on 3/1/21.

Localisation paper published in PRL

13 November 2020

Our latest work on Observing localisation in a 2D quasicrystalline optical lattice was published today in PRL. Quasicrystals are long-range ordered but not periodic, representing an interesting middle ground between order and disorder. We experimentally and numerically study the localization transition in the ground state...