Colloquium Abstracts / Author Information
Dr. Wrubel Jonathan, Department of Physics, Creighton University. Laser-cooled atoms, clocks, and strange quantum mechanics. April 5, 12 noon - 1 pm, DSC 170
Abstract: One of the most remarkable achievements of the 20th century was the invention of the laser. Lasers are present in much of our daily lives: scanners in super-markets, CD and DVD players, the personalized inscriptions on electronics, cutting and welding in industry, and many more applications. From these uses, which often involve melting or cutting, you might not guess that lasers can also be used to cool. The use of lasers for cooling is both surprising and powerful. Laser-cooled atoms have allowed us to reach the lowest temperatures ever produced in the universe: less than 1 part in 10 billion above absolute zero. These ultra-cold atoms have revolutionized our ability to keep time and opened up the strange new world of quantum mechanics in ways never before possible.