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Atomic Physics

Atomic physics studies the fundamental quantum mechanical interactions in matter. The research at Duquesne uses dilute gases of atoms as quantum building blocks to study the many states of matter. When atoms are cooled to temperatures near absolute zero, their quantum nature manifests itself. Under these conditions the atoms can be arranged into patterns using light and made to interact in varying ways by subjecting them to magnetic fields and lasers. Currently, we are interested in building analogs to exotic two-dimensional materials such as topological insulators.

Our atomic physics research program also has strong collaborations with the Duquesne University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Optical systems built by physics students are used for various types of chemical analysis including fluorometry and photodissociation.

Much of the equipment in our atomic physics research lab is built largely by our students: vacuum systems, electronic devices, and laser systems.

Corcovilos Lab

Members

Members
Theodore Corcovilos, PhD, Assistant Professor
Jahnavee Mittal, Physics Major
Jake Kline, Physics Major
Spencer Graves, Physics Major
Madelyn Hoying, Biomedical Engineering Major


Past Members
Ed Heinle, BA in Physics 2017
Gage Tiber, BS in Physics 2017
Isaac Davies, BS in Physics 2017
Tim Ireland, BS in Physics and BS in Math 2017
Aria Parangi, MS in Environmental Science 2016
Robert Brooke, BA in Physics 2016
Drew Finton, BS in Physics 2015
Julie Gillis, BS in Physics 2015
Anthony Ruggiero, undergraduate physics major, Duquesne University
Chris Zaccagnini, undergraduate physics major, Duquesne University

Collaborations

Dr. Corcovilos is a member of the Executive Board of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute


Infrared multiphoton dissociation in gas-phase ions. Michael J. van Stipdonk, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University

Fluorometric detection of heavy-metal ions in solution. Partha Basu, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University

Theoretical studies of two-dimensional heterostructures. Vincent Liu, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Physics, University of Pittsburgh

Synthetic gauge fields and topological materials. David Pekker, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, University of Pittsburgh

Quantum Computing in a 3D array of neutral atoms. David Weiss, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Physics, Pennsylvania State University

Instrumentation

Room 227 Fisher Hall

Michelson Interferometer
Home-built optical wavelength meter featuring a Michelson Interferometer and a polarization-stabilized Helium-Neon reference laser

Potassium vapor saturated absorption spectroscopy
Potassium vapor saturated absorption spectroscopy setup featuring a MogLabs ECD-004 tunable diode laser and home-built Arduino temperature controller


Newport vibration-isolated optics table with the optical wavelength meter in the foreground and Varian turbomolecular pumping station in the background