Hirokazu Miyake

Research: Ultracold Atoms

The realization of Bose-Einstein condensates in dilute ultracold atomic gases in 1995 opened a new direction in the study of macroscopic quantum phenomena [1, 2] and was acknowledged by a Nobel Prize in 2001. Many phenomena that were previously only accessible in condensed matter such as superfluidity in liquid helium and superconductivity in various solid state materials were now also open for investigation in atomic systems with the tools developed in atomic, molecular and optical physics [3]. I am currently working with Dr. Gretchen Campbell at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Joint Quantum Institute on an ultracold strontium experiment. Previously I was involved in the study of ultracold rubidium atoms in the group of Professor Wolfgang Ketterle at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Vacuum chamber and cold atoms
Left figure is a vacuum chamber where ultracold atoms are produced. Right figure is a false color image of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) taken with a CCD camera. The BEC is a few micrometers in size.

Applications of these studies include gaining a better understanding of strongly interacting materials which could lead to useful and better materials, and new methods of sensing and measurments for position, timing and navigation. Potentially better materials include those for magnetic data storage and transportation through spintronics, where the spin of an electron is used directly to store and transport information. Potential new platforms for position, timing and navigation include ultrastable atomic clocks and inertial sensing systems which for example do not rely on the global positioning system.


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