IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society

Laser Control of Individual Atoms Workshop PDF

Wednesday, October 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 2011, 7:00–9:30 PM
Located at MIT Lincoln Laboratory – 244 Wood Street, Lexington, MA, 02420, USA

October 19, 2011
7 PM

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Micro-Optical Cold Atom Systems - Developing Tools and Technology for Practical Sensors Slides

Dr. David Scherer, Physical Sciences Inc., Andover, MA


Dr. David Scherer, Physical Sciences Inc., Andover, MA

Abstract:  Sensors based on laser interrogation of cold atoms have demonstrated state-of-the-art performance in precision metrology, with applications in timekeeping, magnetometry, and inertial measurements. While this field has seen tremendous growth in laboratory-based measurements in recent years, the practical aspects of this technology platform have received less attention. This talk will provide an introduction to some of the practical applications of atomic technology, with an emphasis on the development of fieldable sensors from an industry standpoint. Recent experimental work on compact cold atom systems at PSI will be presented. The design and development of a miniature Rb cold atom source based on an ultrahigh vacuum chamber that operates without active pumps will be described. Current work on the design and fabrication of an integrated optical micro-cavity for Rb atom chips will be presented. This micro-cavity will be used to achieve the strong-coupling regime for photon-atom interaction, and will be used for spin squeezing of a cold atomic ensemble for precision measurements beyond the standard quantum limit. Further applications of micro-optical cold atom systems in the fields of precision measurements and quantum information processing will be outlined.


Biography:  Dr. David R. Scherer is a Principal Scientist at Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) in Andover, MA. He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Boston University in 1999, and subsequently received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona in 2002 and 2007, where he was funded under a U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship. His thesis research, completed under the direction of Prof. Brian Anderson, demonstrated the formation of quantized vortices in an atomic-gas Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) by the merging and interference of multiple trapped BECs, demonstrating a novel mechanism for vortex formation in superfluids.  Dr. Scherer joined PSI in 2008, where he has led a number of research projects in the areas of atomic technology, laser systems, and integrated photonics. These include the development of a miniature ultrahigh vacuum system for cold atom sensors, UV laser beam control system for trapped ion quantum information processing, and integrated optical micro-cavity for cold atom sensors on an atom chip. His research interests focus on bringing practical applications of quantum and atomic technology to market.


For more information on the technical content of the workshop, contact either:
1) Farhad Hakimi (, Workshop Committee Chair
2) William Nelson (, Workshop Committee Co-Chair
3) Robert Stephenson (, Boston Photonics Society Chair