Dan M. Stamper-Kurn came to Berkeley following his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D. 2000) and postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology (1999 – 2001). He is the recipient of the 2000 APS Division of Atomic, Optical and Molecular Physics Outstanding Thesis award, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (2001 – 2003), the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering (2002 – 2007), and the Presidential Young Investigator Award in Science and Engineering (2002). He holds the Class of 1936 Second Chair in the College of Letters and Sciences (2007 – 2012), and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Optical Society of America.
The developing field of ultracold atomic physics provides tantalizing opportunities for exploring physical phenomena in a regime that has heretofore been inaccessible: material systems with temperatures in the nanokelvin range (and below), with broadly and instantly tunable interactions, residing in dynamically adaptable containers, and amenable to the precise manipulation and detection tools of atomic physics. My research has focused on developing further capabilities in this field, and utilizing these advances to study many-body quantum physics, to explore the "coherent optics" and "quantum optics" of matter waves, to realize novel consequences of light-atom interactions, and to perform precision measurements of scientific and technological importance. Students and postdocs in my group acquire a broad range of experimental skills while exploring the frontiers of low-temperature quantum physics.
My present research proceeds in three directions. One focuses on creating and studying novel quantum fluids, and also in realizing model systems for the study of quantum magnetism. One focus of this work has been the study of spinor Bose gases and the magnetically ordered superfluids they produce at low temperature. With this system, and applying several magnetization-sensitive imaging techniques that we developed, we have studied magnetic excitations, magnetic phase transitions, and non-equilibrium quantum dynamics. Another focus has been on the behavior of quantum gases, of both bosons and fermions, within optical lattice potentials that show strong geometric frustration. We are also interested in introducing dipolar molecules into such lattice potentials.
A second research direction focuses on utilizing high-finesse optical resonators, and effects of cavity quantum electrodynamics (CQED) to measure quantum properties of matter-wave systems. We pioneered the use of cold atomic gases within cavities to represent and study cavity optomechanics in the quantum regime, obtaining the first measurements of radiation-pressure quantum fluctuations, ponderomotive squeezing, and force sensing near the standard quantum limit. This work is now extending to the cavity-optical measurement and control of not only the motion but also the internal degrees of freedom of the atoms.
Our third research effort is directed toward realizing atom interferometers capable of making precise measurements of scientific and/or technological importance. Here, we recently observed the coherent propagation of magnon excitations within a spinor Bose-Einstein condensate, allowing for the precise interferometric measurement of the magnon recoil energy. My research agenda continues to evolve and to involve new students (undergraduate and graduate), postdocs, and visitors. If you are interested in our work, or interested in joining us, please contact us.
Ryan Olf, Fang Fang, G. Edward Marti, Andrew MacRae, and Dan M. Stamper-Kurn, “Thermometry and cooling of a Bose-Einstein condensate to 0.02 times the critical temperature,” Nature Physics 11, 720 (2015).
Sydney Schreppler, Nicolas Spethmann, Nathan Brahms, Thierry Botter, Maryrose Barrios, and Dan M. Stamper-Kurn. “Optically Measuring Force near the Standard Quantum Limit,” Science 344, 1486 (2014).
Gyu-Boong Jo, Jennie Guzman, Claire K. Thomas, Pavan Hosur, Ashvin Vishwanath and Dan M. Stamper-Kurn. “Ultracold Atoms in a Tunable Optical Kagome Lattice,” Physical Review Letters 108, 045305 (2012).
S. Gupta, K.W. Murch, K.L. Moore, T.P. Purdy, and D.M. Stamper-Kurn. “Bose-Einstein condensation in a circular waveguide,” Physical Review Letters 95, 143201 (2005).
L.E. Sadler, J.M. Higbie, S.R. Leslie, M. Vengalattore, and D.M. Stamper-Kurn. “Spontaneous symmetry breaking in a quenched ferromagnetic spinor Bose condensate,” Nature 433, 312 (2006).