Killian Group Update

Congratulations to Ying Huang for earning her Master's Degree for "A New Optical Trap System for Ultracold Strontium" and Mi Yan for completing his PhD "Optical Feshbach Resonances and Coherent Photoassociation in a Strontium BEC". Mi will start a job with CGG Veritas.

"Rabi Oscillations between Atomic and Molecular Condensates Driven with Coherent One-Color Photoassociation" is published in Physical Review Letters and received the Editor's Suggestion distinction. 2013 has been a fantastic year for publications, with papers in Physical Review Letters (3), Physical Review A (2), Physics of Plasmas, Nature Protocals, Scientific Reports, and Tissue Engineering Part C. Good job everyone.

Kelli Humbird, Physics and Nuclear Engineering major from Texas A&M, completes her summer RQI REU. Noah Morrison, Computer Science major from the University of Texas at Austin, completes his summer internship. Good luck Kelli and Noah!

Patrick MCQuillen gives and invited talk at the APS Division of Atomic, Moleculer, and Optical Physics Meeting on "The pursuit of more strongly coupled plasmas using the Rydberg blockade ."

The Ultracold Atoms and Plasmas group welcomes new graduate students James Aman and Thomas Langin.

The use of magnetic levitation to create accurate laboratory models of human lung tissue was published in "Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods" and was featured in the in the Rice News.

Prof. Killian gave a 5 minute talk on the "The Pursuit for Total Control in Atomic Physics" in the Rice "Scientia: The Power of Ideas" series.

The ultracold plasma group published the first direct measurement of collision rates in strongly coupled plasmas, which is an open problem important for modeling stellar interiors and inertial confinement fustion plasmas, "Velocity Relaxation in a Strongly Coupled Plasma."

Prof. Killian gave a talk at the "5th International Workshop on Ultracold Group II Atoms" in tokyo title "Controlling Condensate Collapse and Expansion in 88Sr with an Optical Feshbach Resonance."

Prof. Killian gave a talk at the "14th International Conference on the Physics of Non-Ideal Plasmas" in Rostock, Germany title "Beyond Landau-Spitzer: Collisions in Strongly Coupled Ultracold Plasmas."

Patrick McQuillen and Brian DeSalvo successfully defended their master's degree projects and earn PhD candidacy.

Prof. Killian gave a talk at the German Physical Society Meeting in Stuttgart on "Equilibration of Strongly Coupled Ultracold Plasmas."

The Ultracold Atoms and Plasmas group welcomes Trevor Strickler, who will start a post-doctoral research position here in April.

Prof. Killian gave a talk at the APS Division of Plasma Physics Meeting on "Ion Acoustic Waves in Ultracold Neutral Plasmas ."

Jose Castro successfully defended his PhD thesis, "Collective effects in Ultracold Neutral Plasmas." Congratulations Dr. Castro!

Prof. Killian gave a talk at the APS March Meeting on "Degenerate Fermi Gas of Strontium-87."

The Killian lab moved to Brockman Hall, Rice's new physics building. Click here to view the video "Moving Giant Laser Table Intact", a high point of the move.

We developed a new technique to sculpt the density of ultracold neutral plasmas and used it to excite ion acoustic waves. Phys. Rev. Lett., "Ion Acoustic Waves in Ultracold Neutral Plasmas".

We created a quantum degenerate Fermi gas of strontium-87! Phys. Rev. Lett., "Degenerate Fermi Gas of 87-Sr"

Prof. Killian gives a talk at the APS DAMOP Meeting on "Quantum Degenerate Gases of Atomic Strontium."

BEC of strontium-88! Phys. Rev. Lett., Bose-Einstein condensation of 88-Sr through sympathetic cooling with 87-Sr

Prof. Killian co-authors an article on ultracold neutral plasmas in Physics Today.

Big results from the Killian group! We achieved BEC of strontium-84 nearly simultaneously with the Austrian group. See a review of the achievement in Physics and Phys. Rev. Lett., "Bose-Einstein Condensation of 84-Sr".

At long last, an update. There are new group members (Brian and Patrick), newly earned master's degree holders (Dan and Jose), and some newer publications. Oh yeah, and certain professor types (Tom) are now parents.

The group went blueberry picking again this summer.

Sarah, Clayton, and Sampad all returned to Rice for the graduation and hooding ceremonies. Congratulations to these fine doctors.

Welcome to our newest group member, Mi Yan!

The Rice alumni magazine, Sallyport, profiled the ultracold plasmas experiment in its fall 2007 issue. Be sure to watch the video on the website!

All four of our recently graduated lab members landed on their feet in interesting and challenging jobs:

  • Clayton is at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD on an NRC fellowship.
  • Sarah has joined the faculty on a teaching fellowship here at Rice.
  • Sampad is doing analysis for an exploratory oil firm in Houston.
  • Priya is straddling the divide between R&D and sales for New Focus in San Jose, CA.

Clayton successfully defended his doctoral thesis. Congratulations!

A flurry of activity this week resulted in the successful doctoral defenses of Sampad and Sarah. Congratulations to them both! Pictures here.

Tom and the ultracold plasma crew are featured in Rice News.

Andrew is graduating. His senior thesis is titled "Photoassociative Spectroscopy of Strontium Along the 1S0-3P1 Transition using a Littman/Metcalf Laser". Congratulations!

Science published a review article of ultracold plasmas written by Tom!

Priya successfully defended her PhD thesis titled Expansion and Electron Temperature Evolution in an Ultracold Neutral Plasma ! Congratulations! -- Pictures from Priya's final days --

Jose and Tom will attend the Atomic Processes in Plasmas conference in Gaithersburg, MD from March 19th to the 22nd. Tom will present a talk titled, "Equilibration in Ultracold Neutral Plasmas", and Jose will present a poster titled, "Ion Temperature and Expansion Velocity Measurements Through Fluorescence Imaging in Ultracold Neutral Plasmas".

Clayton attended the Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Physicists and Black Physics Students in Boston from February 21st to the 25th.

Tom presented a talk titled, "Pushing the Envelope of Plasma Physics: Ultracold Neutral Plasmas" for The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas last year, a video of which has been posted online.

Hong Gao, our new post-doc, began working in the lab a couple of weeks ago. Welcome Gao!

Nature News and Views Plasma physics: Cool vibes written by Tom.

Most of the lab group just returned from DAMOP.

Sampad, Pascal, and Tom presented talks titled, respectively:
"Gaussian expansion and electron temperature determination in ultracold Sr plasma"
"Saturation effects in photoassociation spectroscopy of 86-Sr"
"Expansion dynamics of ultracold neutral plasmas"

Clayton, Sarah, and Natali presented posters with the following titles, respectively:
"Study of ultracold strontium plasma"
"An in-house thermal evaporation system for anti-reflection coating of laser diodes" (done in conjunction with Duong from the Hulet group)
"All-optical experiments with ultracold strontium"

Priya is gone at CLEO this week.

Welcome to our newest group members, Jose Castro and Dan Stark. We look forward to working more with them. Scott McIsaac and Aditya Shashi, Rice undergraduates, have also been working in the lab.

The Killian group is a founding member of the Rice Laboratory for Ultracold Physics (RLUP).

Our paper on determining the scattering lengths of strontium was published. You can find it here:

P. G. Mickelson, Y. N. Martinez, A. D. Saenz, S. B. Nagel, Y. C. Chen, T. C. Killian, P. Pellegrini, and R. Cote, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 223002 (2005).

The Killian Lab graduated its first student: Aaron Saenz has completed his M.S. in physics and is moving to New York. Congratulations, Aaron! -- Pictures from Aaron's final week --

Welcome to our new undergraduate students:
- Kris Zarling and Andrew Traverso, both Rice students.
- Josh Dorr from the Colorado School of Mines.
- Meaghan Paceley from Caltech.
We had a sad leave-taking, as Ying-Cheng left in December for a new job in Taiwan where he seems to be doing very well so far.

Web page is updated to include information on the post-doctoral position. The research page was updated as well.

A post-doctoral research position in our group is available. If you are interested, please contact Tom for more information. Also, see the post-doc position.

Our latest paper, Photoassociative spectroscopy at long range in ultracold strontium, is posted to the pre-print server.

Posted copies of Sarah's thesis and Priya's thesis.

A group outing saw the Killian Lab blueberry picking.

The group traveled to DAMOP in Tucson, Arizona. Clayton, Sampad, Priya, Ying-Cheng, and Tom all presented talks on the optical imaging of ultracold plasmas, while Sarah talked about narrow-line cooling of strontium. Natali and Pascal presented posters related to narrow-line cooling.

Sarah Nagel also successfully defended her master's thesis. It was titled "A Narrow Linewidth Diode Laser System for Strontium Laser Cooling Applications". A mouthful of a title, but congratulations nevertheless!

It's Tax Day, and also Tom's Birthday. Happy Birthday, Tom!
Priya Gupta has successfully defended her master's thesis titled , "Pulsed Dye Laser". Good work!

Using Absorption Imaging to Study Ion Dynamics in an Ultracold Plasma
Clayton Simien has successfully defended his master's thesis titled, "422 nm Laser". Congratulations.

Aaron Saenz is our newest group member.
Added pictures of our experiment to the "Laboratory" page.
Our pre-print (see below) was approved for publication on the 17th of February.

Meet our newest family member.

Our newest paper, on the optical imaging of plasmas, is posted to the pre-print server.

This web page is updated to include new group members. Welcome Ying-Cheng, Natali, Pascal, and Temple.

The group went to DAMOP in Boulder, CO. Sarah and Clayton gave talks, and Priya and Sampad presented posters.

Our paper on metastable trapping was published in PRA.

Dr. Killian was recently awarded a Packard Fellowship.

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