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Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics

Physics hardware

Apparatus for creating quantum gases of the most magnetic atom, dysprosium, for quantum simulation of exotic many-body physics (Lev group)

AMO research in the Department of Applied Physics explores new regimes of quantum physics and exploits quantum effects for novel devices

The Department of Applied Physics has a proud tradition in AMO physics stretching back decades. Art Schawlow and Steve Chu, joint faculty members with the Physics Department, won Nobel prizes in 1981 and 1997 for laser spectroscopy & laser cooling and atom trapping, respectively.  Today, our AMO efforts span a wide range of intellectual inquiry, complementing that explored in other Stanford departments such as Physics and Electrical Engineering.

The AMO physics in the Department of Applied Physics explores regimes of nature wherein quantum and nonlinear effects are manifest at low energies or high field intensities. Several faculty work at SLAC in the field of ultrafast and x-ray lasers for studying atomic, molecular, and solid-state structure and dynamics. On campus, we exploit AMO systems for quantum engineering writ broadly:  quantum sensing, devices, computing, and analog simulation of quantum many-body physics. Foundational and applied quantum physics with quantum gases complements work with atom-like solid-state systems made from superconducting circuits, optoacoustic and optomechanical materials, and color centers in crystals.

We explore:

Quantum Engineering

Quantum Many-Body Physics and Simulation

Ultrafast, X-Ray, and Accelerator Physics


Visit Quantum Sensing, Simulation, & Computation
Visit Condensed Matter Physics & Quantum Materials
Visit Photonics
Visit Ultrafast and Accelerator Physics

Related AMO and Quantum Information faculty in the Department of Physics:
Patrick Hayden, Jason Hogan, Leo Hollberg, Monika Schleier-Smith


High-finesse confocal cavity for quantum neural networks in many-body cavity QED (Lev group)

Physics hardware

Electro-optic quantum conversion device
(Safavi-Naeini group)

Physics hardware

Laser science in the AP Department (Lev group)

Physics hardware

Nanomechanical structure controlled by a superconducting qubit (Safavi-Naeini group)