My undergraduate days were spent at the The University of Leiden in Leiden, the Netherlands. After obtaining my Master’s in Leiden in 1989 in the group of Prof. Woerdman, I moved to The University of Eindhoven for my PhD in the group of Herman Beijerinck, which I finished in 1993. Subsequently, I went to do a postdoc at The National Institutute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, in the group of Bill Phillips.
In 1994, I moved to Australia, where I became a Research Fellow and lateron (1999) a Fellow in the Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, at the Australian National University, Canberra. In 2001 I moved back to the Netherlands to start work in a commercial company, ASML, on lithographic equipment. In 2002 I took up a position of Senior Lecturer at The University of Auckland.
My research is been centered around the interaction and correspondence between light and matter, and the application of its principles to other areas of research. At low temperatures, matter can be made to behave much like light, i.e., best described by waves. In its interaction with such matter, light can behave like it is composed of particles. Laser cooling and trapping forms a key technique in understanding this interplay. I apply these cooling and trapping techniques to experimental research areas of fundamental atomic physics, quantum chaos, quantum information, and atom lasers. From this research emerges a deeper understanding of the quantum world, which determines in turn what happens in the world around us. Spin-offs from this research I am involved with are improved spectroscopic techniques, laser techniques, interferometric high-precision measurements and atomic beam applications.
Vivian McPhail (Rb lab)
Thomas Haase (Rb lab)
Dylan Brown (Rb lab)