Nathan Lundblad

PhD (Physics) California Institute of Technology

BA (Physics, Astrophysics) University of California, Berkeley

My research interests lie in the physics of matter cooled to just barely above absolute zero: Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC), superfluid/insulator transitions, solid-state analogues in optical lattices, and quantum computing with neutral atoms. In particular, I perform experiments at ultrahigh vacuum with ultracold atoms trapped with magnetic fields and lasers.

In recent years, the BEC phenomenon (where hundreds of thousands of atoms suddenly begin to behave as a single quantum “super-atom” when the ensemble is cooled below a critical temperature) has become accessible not just as an interesting physical system but as a (almost) turnkey source of ultracold coherent matter. Such sources are ideal for loading into optical lattices: a periodic interference pattern of light that exerts forces on atoms analogous to beads rolling in an egg-carton. In certain limits, single atoms can be trapped at single sites of the lattice, creating an elegant, simple, and defect-free laboratory for studying the frontiers of solid-state physics, a field where some of the most intriguing and baffling puzzles of modern physics reside.

In my spare time I backpack and camp, read, and fret about the Dodgers and Cal (Berkeley) football.

For more information please see my laboratory home page at

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