Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics Experimentalist

Antimatter embraces Earth, falling downward like normal matter

September 28, 2023

Antimatter falling through a tube-like structure

Antihydrogen atoms (blue) fall inside a magnetic trap and annihilate in an experiment to measure the effects of gravity on antimatter.

For those still holding out hope that antimatter levitates rather than falls in a gravitational field, like normal matter, the results of a new experiment are a dose of cold reality.

Physicists studying...

Joel Fajans


Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985. Joined Berkeley faculty in 1988. Awards: Hertz Foundation Fellowship, American Physical Society Simon Ramo Thesis Prize, Hertz Foundation Thesis Prize, NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, ONR Young Investigator Award, Sloan Fellowship, Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Research Interests

Although most of the universe is in the plasma state, the basic properties of plasmas are not well understood. Plasmas are collective systems, and exhibit remarkably complicated nonlinear behaviors like turbulence and chaos. Better...

Shimon Kolkowitz

Associate Professor and Herst Chair in Physics

Shimon Kolkowitz is an atomic physicist and quantum scientist, with his experimental research focusing on quantum sensing, precision measurement, and metrology. Shimon’s research group has pioneered new techniques and applications for ultra-precise optical atomic clocks, and new measurement tools that make use of atom-scale defects in diamond. Shimon was an undergraduate at Stanford University, graduating with distinction in 2008 with a B.S. in Physics. Shimon earned his PhD in experimental physics at Harvard in 2015 with advisor Professor Mikhail Lukin, where his research focused on...

Dmitry Budker

Professor Emeritus of the Graduate School

Dmitry Budker received his Ph.D. in physics from UC Berkeley in 1993 and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University until his faculty appointment in 1995. Born in the former USSR, Budker was a student at the Novosibirsk State University from 1980 until 1985, when he received an equivalent to MS with honors from the Department of Physics. He then served as a junior researcher at the Institute of Nuclear Physics, where he conducted research on laser spectroscopy of atoms. In 1994, Budker received the American Physical Society Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic,...

Roger Falcone

Professor Emeritus of the Graduate School

Roger Falcone is a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and an affiliated faculty member of Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group and Applied Science and Technology Program. He chaired the Physics Department from 1995-2000. As of January 2018 he is a Professor of the Graduate School at Berkeley. He received his A.B. in Physics (1974) from Princeton, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (1979) from Stanford, and was the Marvin Chodorow Fellow in Applied Physics (1980-83) at Stanford. He was the Director of the Advanced Light Source x-ray synchrotron facility at...

Feng Wang


Feng Wang received a B.A. from Fudan University, Shanghai, in 1999 and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2004. From 2005-2007, he has been a Miller Fellow with Miller Institute for Basic Science at Berkeley. He joined the physics faculty in fall, 2007.

Research Interests

We are interested in light-matter interaction in condensed matter physics, with an emphasis on novel physical phenomena emerging in nanoscale structures and at surfaces/interfaces. When electrons and phonons are confined in nanometer scale or at surface/interfaces, they respond differently to external stimuli. We...

Hartmut Haeffner


Hartmut Häffner received his PhD in physics from the University of Mainz / Germany in 2000. After short periods as a Postdoctoral fellow in Mainz and Bangalore/India, he received a Feodor-Lynen fellowship from the Alexander-von-Humboldt foundation Germany and went to NIST / Gaithersburg as a guest researcher (2000-2001). In 2001 he moved to the University of Innsbruck / Austria as a university assistant where he held a Marie-Curie fellowship from the European Union from 2002 - 2004. From 2004 till 2009 he worked as senior scientist at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum...

Stephen Leone

The John R. Thomas Professor in Physics

Dr. Leone received his B.A. in Chemistry at Northwestern University in 1970 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley with Professor C. Bradley Moore in 1974. He was an assistant professor at the University of Southern California from 1974-76. He assumed a position with NIST and the University of Colorado in 1976 and became a full professor in 1982. Dr. Leone was a Fellow and staff member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a Fellow of JILA, as well as an Adjoint Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and a Lecturer of Physics at the...

Holger Mueller


Holger Müller successfully applied for his first patent when he was 14. Later, he did his undergraduate thesis with Jürgen Mlynek at the University of Konstanz, Germany. He graduated from Humboldt-University, Berlin, with Achim Peters as his advisor. Müller received a fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation and joined the group of Steven Chu in Stanford as a postdoc. In July 2008, he joined the physics faculty at U.C. Berkeley.

Research Interests

Our research has been advancing atomic, molecular and optical physics to probe nature at the utmost sensitivity. Examples are...

Eric Y. Ma

Assistant Professor

Eric Y. Ma received his B.S. in Physics from Peking University in 2010 and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 2016. He stayed at Stanford as a joint postdoctoral scholar in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering. He was also briefly Senior Scientist at Apple. In July 2021 Dr. Ma joined UC Berkeley full-time as Assistant Professor in Physics and by courtesy EECS, and currently holds the Georgia Lee Chair in Physics.

Research Interests

Most practical phenomena, except those related to nuclear reactions, can be well described by atomic nuclei and electrons...