Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Fundamental Quantum Physics Lab Peter Engels

News

…while we are here, lets celebrate some group news!


August 12, 2019

Thomas Bersano successfully defended his PhD! His dissertation, entitled “Nonlinear phenomena and stripe-phases in Bose-Einstein condensates” details his work with three-component solitons and superfluid stripe-phases in BECs. Thomas is heading to Boulder, CO to find work in industry. Congrats, Dr. Bersano and best of luck to you in your future endeavors!

Prof. Engels introducing Thomas at the start of his PhD defense.
After a successful defense, (LtoR) Prof. Engels, Dr. Bersano and department chair Prof. Saam gather for a photo.

April 18, 2019

Graduate Dr. Maren Mossman was honored at the WSU College of Arts and Science recognition event, receiving the 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: Associate Dean for Faculty Todd Butler, Dean Matthew Jockers, Prof. Peter Engels, Dr. Maren Mossman, and Prof. Brian Saam. Photo taken by Prof. Gary Collins.

April 15, 2019

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 8-10, 2019

PI Prof. Peter Engels and graduate student Maren Mossman traveled to Washington DC for the NASA Fundamental Physics and Quantum Information workshop. At the workshop, Maren presented a poster on “Optimized Parameter Regimes for the Investigation of Efimov Studies on CAL.” They also saw some sights while they were there.


April 3, 2019

Graduate student Maren Mossman was honored at the WSU Association of Faculty Women Graduate Awards, receiving the Harriett B. Rigas Award. This award is given to outstanding women in graduate studies at the doctoral level at WSU. Congrats, Maren!

Maren and Peter at the awards ceremony.

March 28, 2019

Graduate students Thomas Bersano and Maren Mossman both presented their work at the GPSA Research Exposition and Showcase! Maren was awarded 3rd place in the Physical and Social Science category for her poster and presentation of her work. Great work team!

Thomas explaining his research to a group of curious undergraduates.
Maren at her poster.

March 18-19, 2019

Prof. Peter Engels and post doc Sean Mossman traveled to Seattle to for the 2019 Northwest Quantum Nexus Summit to discuss the future of quantum technologies in the Pacific Northwest. They each presented a poster on their work and the future of quantum research at WSU.


March 5, 2019

Graduate student Thomas Bersano was one of four representatives from the Physics & Astronomy department at the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition for the College of Arts & Sciences at WSU. He did a great job explaining the quirkiness of superfluids and some of the recent experiments in the FQP lab. Great job Thomas!


November 19-23, 2018

Prof. Peter Engels, postdoc Dr. Sean Mossman, and graduate student Thomas Bersano traveled to Shanghai, China to visit with Prof. Yongping Zhang, a long-time collaborator now at Shanghai University. Members of the FQP lab were each invited to give a talk on current research at WSU. Each of these talks was followed by an in-depth discussion and question session. A great opportunity for FQP members to build relationship with international collaborators!

LtoR: Sean, Thomas and Peter in Shanghai.

July, 16 – Aug 1, 2018

Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Sean Mossman attended the International Conference for Atomic Physics (ICAP) summer school in Barcelona, Spain (7/16-20). This summer school is a highly competitive, week-long program where graduate and early career researchers have the opportunity to network and attend talks about a wide range of atomic physics topics. The number of participants from around the world is limited to 100.

After this, Sean and Prof. Peter Engels attended the ICAP conference (7/23-27) where both presented posters on their current line of research.

After a successful conference, Sean and Peter then traveled to Hamburg, Germany to network and visit with Prof. Dr. Klaus Sengstock and members of his group at the Institute for Laser Physics at University of Hamburg.

Sounds like an amazing trip for everyone involved!


May 31 – June 3, 2018

Post doc Vandna Gohkroo traveled to Tacoma, WA to present her research at the NW APS Meeting. She discussed her work to generate stripe-phase-like behavior in a spin-orbit coupled BEC using lattice assisted tunneling.


May 28 – June 1, 2018

Prof. Peter Engels, post doc Sean Mossman, and graduate students Thomas Bersano and Maren Mossman traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to present their research at DAMOP.

(L to R) Sean, Thomas, Maren, and Peter working out some details for their presentations.
Thomas presenting details on how we look for 3 component solitons in a BEC.
Peter during his invited talk covering our group’s progress of spin-orbit coupled BECs.
Maren introducing a new unidirectional spintronics device concept and demonstration.
Sean describing the two types of coupling in the stripe phase experiment.
The group grabbing a bite to eat after all group presentations were done!

April 16 – 20, 2018

Graduate student Maren Mossman attended the Coherent Control of Complex Quantum Systems (C3QS) workshop at OIST in Okinawa, Japan.  She presented her work on the generation of quantum turbulence in an elongated BEC using a quantum mechanical piston.


April 11, 2018

Congratulations to graduate student Maren Mossman for receiving the Golding Family Fellowship in the Sciences from WSU!  This award was established by the Golding family to provide support to graduate women in the physical and life sciences.  This fellowship is awarded to one female graduate student in science for the summer semester each year.


April 9 – 11, 2018

Prof. Peter Engels and graduate student Maren Mossman attended the 2018 NASA Fundamental Physics Workshop in La Jolla, CA.  At the workshop, Maren presented her poster on “Quantum Droplets in Microgravity” as a proposal for future experiments in microgravity.

The few-body physics in microgravity collaboration. L to R: José D’Incao, Maren Mossman, Peter Engels, Eric Cornell.

March 29, 2018

Graduate student Maren Mossman presented her research on the quantum mechanical piston shock at the annual WSU Academic Showcase. Great work Maren!

Maren with her poster at the Academic Showcase.

March 20, 2018

Graduate student Maren Mossman represented the Physics & Astronomy department at the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition for the College of Arts & Sciences at WSU.  Though she did not win, she did an excellent job in describing the complex physics we do at the FQP lab in a clear and concise way.  Way to represent the department and the group, Maren!


Week of March 19-23, 2018

Graduate student Maren Mossman was featured on the SPIE’s #FacesOfPhotonics campaign.  During the course of the week, SPIE shared three posts on social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) detailing Maren’s favorite outreach experience, the work she does in the FQP lab, and her advice to the STEM community.  She hopes that this exposure will get people excited about cold atoms and encourage more women to pursue science as a career. Congrats Maren!


January 16, 2018

Our group was very excited to host Nobel Laureate Prof. Bill Phillips for a S. Town Stephenson lecture this spring! Only the most distinguished of speakers are asked to come give a Stephenson lecture, where the science in the talk is geared towards the general public.  Prof. Phillips filled up our large physics lecture hall with families to give an hour long demo show.  Since the show, we have received many comments from parents telling us how much fun it was for their children (and for them!) to spend the evening learning about science!  Thanks again to Prof. Phillips for coming to visit and treating the families on the Palouse to a spectacular show!

Members of the FQP lab giving Prof. Phillips a lab tour.
A very full Webster 16!
Prof. Engels introducing Prof. Phillips

Prof. Phillips starting the show

Sept 25-29, 2017

Graduate student Thomas M. Bersano traveled to Okinawa, Japan for the CQD summer school at OIST. While there, he presented a poster on his research: Supersolid-like States in a Spin-Orbit Coupled Bose-Einstein Condensate. Way to represent our group, Thomas!


August 21, 2017

Prof. Peter Engels, PostDoc Dr. Sean Mossman, and graduate student Maren Mossman volunteered with the WSU College of Arts and Sciences to help students safely view the solar eclipse and serve as “local experts” on the science behind the event.

Maren served as the narrator or MC of the event.
Sean manned the pinhole viewer table where students could make their own pinhole viewer.
Peter excited about the eclipse.

August 15, 2017

WELCOME to our new PostDoc, Dr. Sean Mossman, who is joining us from Prof. Mark Kuzyk’s group at WSU, where he earned his PhD this past summer.  Some of Sean’s prior work involves numerical models and theory including the optimization of the nonlinear optical response of quantum systems and applications to material design.  Sean is excited to broaden his experience with different applications of quantum mechanics as well as to bring a different perspective to our cold-atom playground.  Welcome Sean!


June 5-9, 2017

Prof. Peter Engels, postdoc Dr. Vandna Gokhroo, and graduate student Maren Mossman attended the 48th Annual DAMOP Meeting in Sacramento, CA.  Vandna presented a poster on multicomponent soliton formation and a talk on a supersolid-like state in a spin-orbit coupled BEC.  Maren presented her work on dissipative hydrodynamics in a quantum-fluid piston shock experiment.  Please see the Publications page for more information.

At the DAMOP Banquet, Prof. Peter Engels was granted his APS Fellow Award for his work at WSU.  The citation for his award reads: “For pioneering experimental studies in superfluid hydrodynamics and other work in Bose-Einstein condensation.”  Congratulations to Peter!

Postdoc Dr. Vandna Gokhroo about to begin her presentation.
Graduate student Maren Mossman reviewing the history of quantum turbulence during her talk.
Prof. Peter Engels recieving his APS Fellow Award at the DAMOP Banquet.
Maren, Peter, and Vandna after the DAMOP Banquet.

June 1-3, 2017

Graduate students Thomas Bersano and Chunde Huang attended the 18th Annual Meeting of the APS Northwest Section at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR.  Both of them presented on their research.  Thomas presented his work on a supersolid-like state in a spin-orbit coupled BEC and Chunde presented his work into arbitrary dipole potentials.  Please see the Publications page for more information.

Graduate student Thomas Bersano explaining the details of his experiment

May 31 – June 2, 2017

Prof. Peter Engels and graduate student Maren Mossman attended the 2017 NASA Fundamental Physics Workshop in Santa Barbara, CA.  At the workshop, Maren presented her poster on “Modeling Few-Body Physics in Microgravity” in preparation for the Cold Atom Laboratory launch later this year.

Peter enjoying the California weather.
The Few-Body Studies in Microgravity collaboration: (l to r) Maren, Peter, Jose D’Incao, and Eric Cornell
Maren interacting with some international collaborators for the CAL project.

April 10, 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 and looks forward to the CAS Appreciation and Recognition Social this April!

Peter receiving his award from Dean DeWald at the recognition ceremony.

March 25 & March 31, 2017

At the annual WSU Physics & Astronomy Grad Recruitment Weekend, graduate student Maren Mossman presented her poster for curious potential WSU graduate students.  She also presented this poster at the 2017 WSU Showcase event.


Dec 8, 2016

Congratulations to graduate student Amin Khamehchi on the successful defense of his PhD!  Amin completed his dissertation and oral presentation on his research into modified dispersion relations and spin-orbit coupling in BECs.  His presentation was entitled “Dispersion engineering of Bose-Einstein condensates.”  Congratulations Dr. Khamehchi and good luck in your future endeavors!

(left to right) Amin and Peter prior to Amin’s PhD defense.
Amin during his defense.

Oct 17, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Peter Engels for recently being elected an APS (American Physical Society) Fellow! His hard work and dedication in the lab has not gone unnoticed.  The group, as well as the entire WSU Physics department, says congratulations!

Click Here to be taking to the WSU News article about Peter’s APS Fellow status.


Oct 13, 2016

Congratulations to graduate student Maren Mossman on the successful defense of her Masters of Science (MS) degree in Physics! Maren presented her current work on NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) project concerning few-body physics in microgravity.  To watch Maren’s defense talk entitled “Efimov physics in microgravity: Experimental design and numerical models of an ultracold cloud of 39K atoms”, please contact her directly.  Congratulations Maren!

Maren about to present her defense.

Oct 10, 2016

Congratulations to graduate student Chunde Huang on the successful defense of his Masters of Science (MS) degree in Physics.  Chunde presented his work on a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) for implementation in cold atom experiments at WSU.  Congratulations Chunde!


May 23-27, 2016

Dr. Engels, PostDoc Dr. Vandna Gokhroo, and graduate student Amin Khamehchi attended the 2016 DAMOP meeting in Providence, RI.  Amin gave a presentation on our past experimental work into Floquet-Bloch theory (completed with theoretical assistance from Chunlei Qu and Chuanwei Zhang at UT Dallas), while Dr. Engels presented a poster created by graduate student Maren Mossman on her recent NASA project studies.

Graduate student Amin Khamehchi presenting our recently published results on Floquet-Bloch theory.
Graduate student Amin Khamehchi presenting our recently published experimental results on Floquet-Bloch theory.
PI Dr. Peter Engels explaining Efimov physics to a curious passer-by at the poster session.
PI Dr. Peter Engels explaining Efimov physics to a curious passer-by at the poster session.

May 12-14, 2016

Dr. Engels, PostDoc Dr. Vandna Gokhroo, and graduate student Chunde Huang attended the 2016 NW APS meeting at Okanogan College in Penticton, Canada.  Chunde and Dr. Gokhroo presented posters, while Dr. Engels gave a presentation.

Graduate student Chunde Huang standing at his poster at the 2016 NWAPS meeting.
Graduate student Chunde Huang standing at his poster at the 2016 NWAPS meeting.

May 6, 2016

Congratulations to Justin Niedermeyer for his spotlight article on the WSU home page!


April 12, 2016

Congratulations to Amin Khamehchi on receiving the Leon J. and Barbara W. Radziemski Graduate Fellowship in the Sciences! This fellowship was founded to reward academic excellence for graduate students in the math and physical sciences.  There are only two fellowships awarded for the summer of 2016.  Congratulations Amin!


April 6, 2016

Congratulations to Justin Niedermeyer on his recent Undergraduate Honors Thesis Defense!  Justin has received a Fulbright Award to work as a Research Assistant in Germany for 10 months beginning in September of this year.  Once he has completed his Fulbright, Justin will be pursuing his graduate studies at The University of Colorado in Boulder studying ultracold atomic physics.  To see more on Justin’s achievements, you can click here.  Congratulations again Justin! We are looking forward to seeing great things from you!


March 15, 2016

Justin Niedermeyer has been awarded the Fulbright scholarship to pursue research opportunities in Germany for one year!  For more information on this prestigious award, see the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Congratulations Justin!


February 26, 2016

Maren Mossman has been awarded the NASA Space Grant Scholarship for 2016!  This scholarship was awarded for her current research project entitled “Few-body systems in microgravity” where she will specifically be studying the Efimov effect in microgravity.  For more information on this award, see the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium.  Congratulations Maren!


February 18, 2016

Dr. Peter Engels and graduate student, Maren Mossman, travelled to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA for the Science Concept Review for the Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) project.  They were joined by two important members of the collaboration effort, Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric Cornell and few-body theorist Dr. Jose D’Incao.  During the SCR, all members of the collaboration in attendance presented to the SCR committee, JPL scientists, and NASA HQ members.  Dr. Engels and Maren specifically presented on their recent efforts in regards to atom simulations and calculations for the project.  Congratulations to Peter and Maren for their successful trip to JPL!

Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) group photo photog: Dutch Slager
Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) group photo.
Photo by: Dutch Slager.  Photo curtesy of Dr. Anita Sengupta.
Peter presenting at the SCR.
Peter presenting at the SCR.  Photo curtesy of Dr. Anita Sengupta.
Peter and Maren in front of a full scale model of the Curiosity rover at JPL.
Peter and Maren in front of a full scale model of the Curiosity rover at JPL.

 

December 2015

Our new machine is now moving at full tilt producing Rb BECs. The machine employs a 2D MOT loading into a 3D MOT, followed by the atoms being magnetically transferred into a science chamber, 2.5 sec evaporation in a steep quadrupole trap, adiabatic transfer into a bow-tie crossed dipole trap, and 5 sec dipole trap evaporation to reach pure BECs.  Currently, we are generating Rb-87 BECs at a rate of 30 seconds per condensate.  Once everything is in place (we aren’t done quite yet!) and optimized, we look forward to preforming exciting new experiments!

Our new machine is up and running! This is the BEC formation of a Rb-87 BEC taken Dec 2015!
This is the formation of a Rb-87 BEC taken Dec 2015!  By varying where we evaporate to, the BEC fraction increases until we have a (close to) pure BEC.  Click on the image to see the formation!

November 19, 2015

WELCOME to our new PostDoc, Dr. Vandna Gokhroo, who is joining us from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) in Japan, where she worked as a PostDoc researcher for 3 years.  Some of Vandna’s prior work involves sub-doppler cooling mechanisms in 39-K (see here).  Vandna will be joining our little cold atom family for a year and we look forward to learning as much as we can from her!  Welcome!


April 24, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS to Justin Niedermeyer on winning the Goldwater Scholarship this year!  The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate award given in the sciences and thus presents an outstanding achievement.  To read more about Justin’s accomplishments, click here to be linked to the WSU Honors College article.  Way to represent cold atoms, Justin!