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Fundamental Quantum Physics Lab Peter Engels

Welcome to the Fundamental Quantum Physics Lab at WSU

The research in the Fundamental Quantum Physics lab is aimed at the experimental investigation of ultracold, quantum degenerate atomic gases for studying fundamental quantum physics. When a cloud of atoms is cooled to ultra-low temperatures (in the nano-Kelvin regime) and enters quantum degeneracy, the matter-wave characteristic of atoms becomes apparent and leads to peculiar dynamics. Bosons can form a new state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), while fermions form an equally intriguing degenerate Fermi gas (DFG). The experimental realization of ultracold quantum gases has revolutionized the way in which the quantum mechanical foundation of nature can be studied and harnessed in the laboratory.  To see what we have been up to recently, please see our News page!

Theoretical research in this area at WSU is performed in the group of Prof. Michael Forbes.

Research Opportunity: 

Photo copyright David Patterson (2013)

A bit about us:



December 10, 2021

We are excited to see that our study of gravitational caustics in an atom laser has appeared in Nature Communications online today.

Click here for the paper!

WSU also wrote a brief news article on it, linked here.

December 9, 2021

Our former group member Maren Mossman, now the Clare Boothe Luce assistant professor of physics at the University of San Diego, has been on TV tonight! She is advocating for women and minorities in STEM and for the Clare Boothe Luce Physics Identity Program that she is building. Congrats and yells of “Way to go!”

Click here for the video clip on the webpage!


November 18, 2021

We had a fantastic time in the lab with Richard Scalettar who has been visiting us from UC Davis! It’s been a lot of fun to chat with him. Thank you immensely for your gift of time and energy!

August 17, 2021

It has been a great pleasure for us to give a lab tour for Richard-Duane Chambers and Mary Guenther, Senior & Professional Staff Member for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee! We sincerely appreciate their interest, and we had a fantastic time discussing about quantum science and technology with them.

P. Engels, R.-D. Chambers, M. Guenther, B. Saam in the Fundamental Quantum Physics lab at WSU

For more news, see here.