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.

Core AMO & QIS Faculty

Bryce  Gadway
Assistant Professor
    AMO / Quantum Physics
    333 Loomis Laboratory
    (217) 244-9284
    Paul G. Kwiat
      AMO / Quantum Physics
      337B Loomis Laboratory
      (217) 333-9116
      Virginia  Lorenz
      Associate Professor
        AMO / Quantum Physics
        337A Loomis Laboratory
        (217) 300-3306

        Interdisciplinary AMO & QIS Faculty

        Gordon A. Baym
        Research Professor
          Nuclear Physics
          337C Loomis Laboratory
          (217) 333-4363
          Alexey  Bezryadin
            Condensed Matter Physics
            1016 Superconductivity Center
            (217) 333-9580
            David M. Ceperley
              Condensed Matter Physics
              2107 Engineering Sciences Building
              (217) 244-0646
              Martin Gruebele
              Professor of Chemistry and Physics
                Biological Physics
                A220 Chemical and Life Sci Lab
                (217) 333-6136
                Nancy  Makri
                Professor of Chemistry
                  Condensed Matter Physics
                  A442 Chemical and Life Sci Lab
                  (217) 333-6589
                  Munir H. Nayfeh
                    Cross-cutting Physics
                    407 Loomis Laboratory
                    (217) 333-3774
                    Smitha  Vishveshwara
                      Condensed Matter Physics
                      2109 Engineering Sciences Building
                      (217) 333-4370
                      Lucas K. Wagner
                      Assistant Professor
                        Condensed Matter Physics
                        2131 Engineering Sciences Building