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

Jacob P. Covey
Assistant Professor
    AMO / Quantum Physics
    327 Loomis Laboratory
    Bryce  Gadway
    Associate Professor
      AMO / Quantum Physics
      333 Loomis Laboratory
      (217) 244-9284
      Paul G. Kwiat
      Bardeen Professor of Physics
        AMO / Quantum Physics
        337B Loomis Laboratory
        (217) 333-9116
        Virginia  Lorenz
        Associate Professor
          AMO / Quantum Physics
          337A Loomis Laboratory
          (217) 300-3306
          Wolfgang Pfaff
          Assistant Professor
            AMO / Quantum Physics
            295A Engineering Sciences Building

            Interdisciplinary AMO & QIS Faculty

            Gordon A. Baym
            George and Ann Fisher Professor in Engineering Emeritus, Center for Advanced Study Professor of Physics Emeritus, Research Professor
              Nuclear Physics
              337C Loomis Laboratory
              (217) 333-4363
              David M. Ceperley
              Founder Professor of Physics
                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
                      Dale J. Van Harlingen
                      Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Physics
                        Condensed Matter Physics
                        (217) 300-9259
                        Smitha  Vishveshwara
                          Condensed Matter Physics
                          2109 Engineering Sciences Building
                          (217) 333-4370
                          Lucas K. Wagner
                          Assistant Professor
                            Condensed Matter Physics
                            2131 Engineering Sciences Building