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At nanoKelvin temperatures, billionths of a degree above absolute zero, Bose-Einstein condensates are the coldest substance in the universe. This purely quantum state of matter was first predicted in 1924 by Satyendra Bose and Albert Einstein, but was not created in a lab in a dilute gas until 1995. The experimental realization of this macroscopic quantum state revolutionized studies of quantum mechanics and provided a wide array of new tools for manipulating quantum systems.
The McGuirk group at SFU studies quantum dynamics in both BECs and nondegenerate systems that still exhibit quantum behavior. Recently studies have probed the role of quantum symmetry in driving magnetic oscillations (spin waves) in a gas well above the onset of quantum degeneracy. These spin waves have profound impact on the motion and coherence of the gas. Future work will continue to study the effects of quantum symmetry on atomic interactions above and below degeneracy, and will examine how ultracold gases may be used to perform precision measurements of microscopic forces.
We are always looking for motivated people to join the team. M.Sc. and Ph.D. positions are available. General information on the physics graduate program at SFU may be found here. Contact Dr. McGuirk directly for further information about the McGuirk group.
Future courses may be subject to change.