The Columbia atomic, molecular, and optical physics program involves a variety of research activities. On the optical side, pulsed laser techniques are utilized for studies of femtosecond time scale dynamics of nanotubes and other materials and surfaces, and for spectroscopy of low dimensional systems. On the atomic and molecular side, laser-cooled atoms in optical lattices offer possibilities to carry out novel precision measurements, to form ultracold molecules, and to allow research of a wide range of quantum systems and behaviors. On the interface with nuclear physics, spin-polarized noble gases are studied for use as polarized targets and beams.
(Vacuum chamber with a glowing blue cloud of atoms that are laser-cooled near the temperature of absolute zero)