Clover leaf by Scott Robinson on Flickr

Quantum mechanics explains efficiency of photosynthesis

Light-gathering macromolecules in plant cells transfer energy by taking advantage of molecular vibrations whose physical descriptions have no equivalents in classical physics, according to the first unambiguous theoretical evidence of quantum effects in photosynthesis published today in the journal Nature Communications. More...

Published: Jan 9, 2014 3:48:33 PM

Free Electron Lasers and Attosecond Light Sources Conference

UCL is hosting a conference on Free Electron Laser and Attosecond-Strong Field Science from June 30 to July 2 2014 at UCL. The preliminary  web-page for the conference is now live at
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/phys/amopp/atto-fel-conference More...

Published: Oct 1, 2013 2:24:13 PM

Macroscopic and microscopic work.

Quantum engines must break down

Our present understanding of thermodynamics is fundamentally incorrect if applied to small systems and needs to be modified, according to new research from University College London (UCL) and the University of Gdańsk. The work establishes new laws in the rapidly emerging field of quantum thermodynamics. More...

Published: Jun 27, 2013 9:40:58 AM

Ultracold Gases

Prof Peter Barker
Dr Phil Jones
Prof Tania Monteiro
Prof Ferruccio Renzoni
Dr Gillian Peach

Our research programmes in cold atoms and molecules are both theoretical and experimental and range from developing methods for cooling, trapping to utilising cold atoms for understanding quantum chaos and statistical physics. We also study ultracold Bose and Fermi gases and their interactions.

Cooling atoms and molecules: We are exploring new methods for creating cold atoms and molecules. This includes cavity cooling, optical Stark deceleration for the creation of slow cold molecules and sympathetic cooling of molecules with cold atoms . Cold atoms trapped in periodic potentials (optical lattices) can be used to mimic the random motions of systems in equilibrium with a thermal bath.  Directed (ratchet) motion and a Brownian motor has been realised using these systems (Barker , Jones, Renzoni).

Quantum dynamics and chaos:  We investigate the theory for quantum dynamics of systems subjected to time periodic driving. Quantum chaos using cold atoms is one area of interest: eg, new examples of quantum suppression of chaotic diffusion; new types of quantum chaotic ratchets; the stability of BECs in these regimes. The  possibilities for manipulation of phase transitions by cold  atoms in optical lattices are also studied (Monteiro, Jones).

Ultracold Bose and Fermi gases:  Many-particle descriptions of pairing via Feshbach resonances are studied, as well as the production and probing of exotic few-body molecules, and photoassociation using coherent control. (Kohler).

To learn more about our work please follow the links below: