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Center for Ultracold Atoms

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Center for Ultracold Atoms  (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center for Ultracold Atoms (CUA) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University is a Physics Frontiers Center (PFC) supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Physics Frontiers Centers foster major advances at the intellectual frontiers of physics by providing university-based resources not usually available to individual investigators or small groups.

CUA research focuses on research at the frontiers of ultracold science including the nature of high-temperature superconductors, the origin of quantum magnetism, and the nature of entanglement and correlations in few-particles systems. Strongly correlated quantum systems realize some of the most fundamental states of matter, which are important for understanding phenomena in cosmology, condensed matter, nuclear and many other areas of physics.

Education & Outreach

The CUA sponsors a variety of outreach activities including a summer school in atomic physics that is normally held in conjunction with the International Conference on Atomic Physics, a visitors program, co-sponsorship of workshops in collaboration with the nearby Theoretical Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (ITAMP), maintenance of a virtual journal of strongly interacting atomic quantum fluids, and the Teaching Opportunities in Physical Science (TOPS) program to encourage undergraduate physics students who are considering careers in teaching physical science at the pre-college level.

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  • image of electron moving in crystal lattice of a solid
An electron moving in the crystal lattice of a solid