Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics & Quantum Information Science
What are Atomic, Molecular, Optical Physics and Quantum Information Science?
Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physics is the study of light-matter and matter-matter interaction ranging from the quantum scale of atoms, molecules, or photons to classical electrodynamics.
Quantum information science (QIS) is the study of the often-bizarre-seeming features of quantum mechanics (wave-particle duality, superposition, randomness and quantum measurement, entanglement) and their application to problems in information processing, e.g., cryptography, teleportation, and computing.
What are we doing in AMO Physics and QIS at Illinois?
Here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we are studying a wide range of topics in AMO and QIS, with two major research thrusts in the areas of ultracold atomic physics and quantum optics. Experimental research on ultracold atomic physics includes the quantum simulation of condensed matter systems using bosonic and fermionic quantum gases in optical lattices, in particular the study of strongly correlated states of matter, disordered systems, and topological physics. Experimental research on quantum optics and optical quantum information includes studies of entanglement, quantum information processing, and quantum memories using single photons and atomic vapors.
More broadly, there are numerous research groups throughout the Department of Physics and throughout the College of Engineering that tackle problems related to QIS. These include theoretical efforts aimed at studying cold atom physics, quantum many-body systems, complex molecules, and strongly correlated systems, as well as experimental efforts to study energy flow in complex molecular systems, quantum chaos, atomic electronics, and superconducting qubits.
Illinois Physics faculty members working in quantum information science were instrumental in establishing and providing inaugural leadership for the Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST) on the Urbana campus; and in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s joining the Chicago Quantum Exchange as its fourth and final core member.