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Fundamental Quantum Physics Lab Peter Engels

Welcome to the Fundamental Quantum Physics Lab at WSU





Photo copyright David Patterson (2013)


April 18, 2019

Congratulations to graduate Dr. Maren Mossman for being awarded the 2019 WSU College of Arts and Science Doctoral Student Award in the Sciences for her contributions to the CAS during her time at WSU. Congrats on your amazing graduate career, Maren!

LtoR: CAS Dean Matthew Jockers, Prof. Peter Engels, Dr. Maren Mossman, and Prof. Brian Saam. Photo taken by WSU Photo Services.

April 15, 2019

Graduate student Maren Mossman successfully defended her PhD! Her dissertation, entitled “Nonlinear dynamics and shock structures in elongated Bose-Einstein condensates,” details the new dual species apparatus in the Fundamental Quantum Physics Lab, and three experiments where time-dependent optical potentials are used to generate nonlinear dynamics. Maren will be staying on as a postdoctoral researcher to finish up her work on the NASA CAL project. Congrats, Dr. Mossman!

Maren just prior to giving her defense presentation.
Department chair Prof. Saam, Dr. Mossman, and Prof. Engels after a successful defense.

April 19, 2017

Our most recent publication on Negative Mass Hydrodynamics in a Spin-Orbit-Coupled Bose-Einstein Condensate was published in Physical Review Letters as an “Editor’s Choice” piece.  The experimental work for this paper was completed in the Engels’ lab by (now) Dr. Amin Khamehchi and graduate student Maren Mossman. The theoretical work and computational modeling were completed by Dr. Michael McNeil Forbes (WSU), graduate student Khalid Hossain, Dr. Khamehchi, Dr. Thomas Busch (OIST, Japan), and Dr. Yongping Zhang (Shanghai University).

This work was featured in a WSU News press release and has since gained more press, most recently from BBC News.  Other prominent places where this work has been featured are LiveScience News, Phys.org, The Telegraph (UK news source), Spiegel (German news source), NewsWeek, ScienceAlert, The Guardian, Science World Report, as well as others.


March 29, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Peter Engels for recently being awarded WSU’s 2017 College of Arts and Sciences Mid-Career Achievement Award! His hard work and dedication in the lab has not gone unnoticed.  The group, as well as the entire WSU Physics department, says congratulations!


The research in our 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 also done in the group of Prof. Doerte Blume and Prof. Michael Forbes.

Our new machine is up and running! This is the BEC formation of a Rb-87 BEC taken Dec 2015!
Our new machine is up and running! This is the formation of a Rb-87 BEC taken Dec 2015. Click on the image to view the formation!

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