Laser cooling and atom trapping; Atom chips; Rydberg atoms; Quantum decoherence.
I work on laser cooling and atom trapping. I am particularly interested in Rydberg atoms, which are atoms that have been excited to very high energies through the promotion of one or more electrons to a high principal quantum number. Because of the shielding of the nuclear charge by the inner electrons, a Rydberg atom with a single promoted electron mimics a hydrogen atom. This simplicity along with their large size makes them useful for studying a wide range of quantum mechanical phenomena, such as quantum decoherence. To further this research, I am also engaged in developing atom chips for experiments with Rydberg atoms. Such micro-devices utilize laser fields to trap and manipulate cold atoms.