2005 News

12/30/2005~12/31/2005 : 60th Anniversary of NTU Taida Physics I have great honor to give a talk in this special meeting to celebrate the 60th Birthday of the Physics Department at National Taiwan University, where I got my Bachelor's degree. In the meeting held by the Chair Prof. Chang, Prof. Hsiung and Prof. Hwang at NTU, I visited my college teachers as well as several alumni, many of them are very successful in academic research, as well as in industry, financing, education and even politics... One of the important figures in Taiwan high-tech industry, Dr. Tsai, received her Ph.D. in the Physics Department of U of C. I gave a talk on the first day, "Bottom-up Quantum Simulation and Synthesis of Complex Objects based on Ultracold Atoms."


11/22/2005 : Prof. Victor Flambaum visited us I read his paper on effective range theory when I was a student at Stanford! Many years later I had the honor to invite him to give a JFI colloquium talk. His works cover a broad range of physics and so did his talk here. The topic of his talk "Effects of variation of fundamental constants from big bang to atomic clocks" attracted audience from JFI, EFI as well as astronomy and astrophysics center. Victor and I had long discussion in the morning on new experiments we can do with ultracold molecules and molecular condensates. We had several very interesting ideas, which further strengthen my belief that cold molecules will explore a brand new and exotic quantum world not seen by cold atoms. In the afternoon, Victor talked to Jonathan Rosner and Donald York. Tom Witten and I went to dinner with him. BTW, I think he is probably the first speaker who took CTA bus to UC.


11/19/2005 : Midwestern Cold Atom Workshop Brian deMarco, Zheng-Tian Lu and I organized this workshop and brought together eight experiment groups from UIUC, Ohio State University, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, Western Illinois University, and us at UC to present our research progress. Jeff, Chen-Lung, Selim Jochim (our postdoc candidate) attained the meeting (Bob overslept and missed it!) We also brought a poster on our new apparatus. It was very nice to meet all the local groups working on cold atoms and hear all the interesting results from our neighbors. Hopefully soon we will also get our new experiment running. In the evening, we went to a Chinese restaurant with Tse-Chieh Wet (My old friend at UIUC) and another friend of Selim.


11/16/2005~11/18/2005 : Prof. Vladan Vuletic visited us I was really happy to see Vladan, and his colloquium talk in the Physics department on "Single photons stored in many entngled atoms" was really enlightening. (Isaac Abella and Bruce Winstein were particularly interested.) I worked with Vladan at Stanford for six years on various projects including optical cooling, Feshbach spectroscopy and BEC on atom chips. I always love discussions with him which are always stimulating and frequently lead to unexpected new ideas. I also benefited from him very much on how to conduct serious and careful experiments, but with wild and unlimited imagination. (Although I never understand how he could just knock on the malfunctioned instruments and bring them back to life.) Now that I am in Chicago, I wish I will have more chance to meet him.


11/11/2005 : 2005 MidWest Regional Meeting on Quantum Gases Kathy Levin, Brian deMarco, Jason Ho and I are organizing the first regional meeting on ultracold atoms. Together with another four groups led by Tony Leggett, Gordon Baym, Smitha Vishveshwara and Lumin Duan, we will have about 30 people in 8 research groups from four universities in this meeting. The two main goals of this meeting is, first of all, to know all the local groups interested in cold atoms system and second, to seek possible chance to promote local collaboration and to support our interest on the quantum gas research.


11/4/2005~11/6/2005 : Cold Atom Workshop at Taipei In this workshop organized by Prof. Wen-Chin Wu, I am happy to see friends and works from several groups in Taiwan working on cold atom systems. I am also happy to see Allan Griffin, Stefano Giorgini and Ballagh Rob. I presented two talks on the Fermi gas experiment and the molecule experiment. As I see it, research on cold atoms now diversifies and attracts people in condensed matter, nuclear physics, astrophysics... I hope more groups in Taiwan also find this area interesting. I am particularly happy to see and talk to Prof. Gao from NTU, Prof. Han from NCCU, Prof. Hu from NTU, Prof. Bao from NCCU and Prof. Yang from NTU this time.


10/24/2005~10/26/2005 : Dr Paul Julienne from NIST visited us I invited Paul Julienne to deliver a JFI colloquium talk on 10/25. The title of his talk is "Scattering Resonances and Molecules in Ultracold Atomic Gases". More information is here . I am very happy to tak to him about our new experiment and ideas. His visit was also very welcomed by our colleagues including Karl Freed, Kathy Levin, Philippe Guyot-Sionnest, Steve Berry, Zheng-Tian Lu and Tom Witten.


9/28/2005 : First Group Meeting We had the first group meeting at RI 349. Bob talked about his diode laser design, Chen-Lung about general concept of Zeeman slower, Jeff on the new chamber design. Martin will start next week on imaging system and programing.


9/12/2005 ~9 /20/2005 : BEC/degenerate Fermi gas conference, CPS meeting and Shanghai Jiao Tong university visit Thanks to the invitations from Dr. H.W. Xiong and Prof. J.M. Lee, I will present our recent works on cold molecules and Fermi gases in the BEC/Fermi gas conference, the Chinese physics society meeting and Shanghai Jiao Tong university. I will also meet Jun Ye in Wuhan.


8 /30/2005 : Back to Chicago My summer visit in Europe was very fruitful and we had important progresses in Innsbruck on the collective behavior of Fermi gases and the Efmov effect. I gave two presentations on a Feshbach model and Efimov physics in the last week. I am very grateful working with Rudi, Christoph, Johannes (also Nancy and Joshua. Congratulations!!), all the hard-working students and Christine. So I wrote... Subject: Innsbruck, the valley

Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 16:55:18 -0500

From: Cheng Chin

To: Arbeitsgruppe Grimm


Dear Hermits,
In many Chinese martial art novels and plays, there is this cliche that the main actor, originally juvenile and unsuccessful, was one day set up by the evil and thrown over the cliff. Fortunately, he/she survived. After a long aimless struggle in the wild, he/she either encountered  hermits with incredible KungFu skills or found magic potions in secret caves. Whatever that is, he totally concentrated working on it, which eventually turned him/her into a martial art master. Few years later, one day, he/she became strong enough to leave the valley. Then the real story starts....

Very much did I enjoy these fantasies when I was a kid, but little did I know they still happen in the 21st century. 

Because of You, the Chin-ese story can continue.

8/15/2005 ~8 /18/2005 : Paul Julienne from NIST visited us
    Paul is visiting us these days and gave a wonderful talk on the Feshbach molecules at the academic institute. We cooperate on cold collision studies for 7 years, and there are still so many exciting things we can talk about every time we meet. We are now discovering many interesting connections in our approaches to understand the quantum nature of Feshbach molecules.  There are few people like Paul with whom I can enjoy extensive and unlimited discussions on these topics.

8/11/2005 ~8 /13/2005 : Low Temperature Physics Conference (LT24) in Orlando
    My first time going to the LT conference. It was great to learn many recent exciting experiments on He and on superconductors. I had a great time discussing many ideas with Tilman, John Thomas, Yoji Ohashi and also had the chance to discuss with Danial Tsui and Doug Osheroff. On my way back, I came across Rudi at the Washington Dullas airport. Interesting.  

7/24/2005 ~ 8/10/2005 : Visit Tilman Esslinger's group at ETH, Zurich in Switzland
    I  am going to visit Tilman's group. Their recent experiments on Fermi gas in optical lattices are intriguing and I hope I will be able to learn more from Tilman and his coworkers. Selim Jochim is also in Zurich ... it is very nice talking to Michael, Thomas, Ken, Henning, Stephan, Thilo... I also met Chih-Wei Lai from NTU Phys.

7/14/2005 ~ 7/16/2005 : School on Quantum Phase Transitions and Non-Equilibrium Phenomena in Cold Atomic Gases
    I  gave two talks to mostly theorists in this summer school at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics. The first one on 7/14 is more pedagogical, the topic is the quantum nature of Feshbach molecules and recent experiments on the cold molecules. The second one, on 7/15, is about collective modes, pairing gap measurements and the mean-field model of a strongly interacting Fermi gas in the BEC-BCS crossover regime. I have many stimulating discussions with Jason Ho, Willie Zwerger, Gora Shlyapnikov, Markus Greiner, Daw-wei Wang... about possible directions in the near future. Trieste is a lovely place...

7/8/2005 : Rudi Grimm, my former advisor, won the "Wittgenstein Prize", a pretigeous academic prize in Austria .
    Rudi is one the two recipients of this major prize this year. I am invited to go the award ceremony in Vienna together with Johannes Hecker Denschlag, Hanns Christoph Naegerl, Florian Schreck, Christine Obmascher and Rudi's family. I am very happy our work on Fermi gas and cold molecules are recognized.

7/4/2005 ~ 7/7/2005 : Telluride workshop on ultracold molecules
    I am going back to US to this ultracold molecule workshop in Telluride. Exactly the same time, Kathy is going from Chicago to Italy . This is pretty crazy, but I really expect in this conference I can learn more and also discuss with other participants about our recent interesting observations on ultracold molecules. They are wild!! I mean the molecules.

6/2005~8/2005: Visit Innsbruck in Austria and ETH in Switzland
    I am returning back to Innsbruck to continue working on both Li and Cs molecule experiments in Rudi Grimm's group. I also invited Jeff and Chen-lung to come work in Innsbruck so they will get to know how the top experiments in cold atoms and molecules are operating. Jeff stayed from 6/4 to 6/24 and Chen-lung 6/19 to 7/19. Apparently, they are having a much better time in Innsbruck than I expected.

5/29~ 6/1/2005 : Aspen Physics workshop: Ultracold Trapped Atomic Gases
    Aspen is beautiful and I had a good time discussing many issues with the experts in the field of quantum gases. I presented our recent calculations on a simple Feshbach model and also the pairing gap experiment. I got to present outdoor and write on the blackboard, which was fun. Unfortunately, I had to leave earlier to catch the flight to Innsbruck .

5/17~5/21/2005: Conference: DAMOP 2005 at Lincohn, Nebraska
    I presented our works in Innsbruck: one invitd talk on the pairing gap measurements in strongly interacting Fermi gases (Friday morning) and one on cesium ultracold molecules and tetramer bound states (Friday afternoon). It was very nice to meet many friends and old colleagues of mine.

5/11/2005 : Experiment Progress: MOT
    This evening we got cold atoms in a magneto-optical trap (MOT). To get MOT, we illuminate thermal atoms with six laser beams together with a  strong magnetic field gradient. The radiation pressure of the lasers slows down the atomic motion to few ten-millionth of a Kelvin above aboslute zero. Bob, Dennis and I went to a Greek restaurant to celebrate!!

4/26/2005 : Experiment Progress: Laser locks
    We got all the lasers locked! These lasers are for cooling and trapping the alkali atoms we want to investigate. Our next step is to get the atoms into a magneto-optical trap.
4/17~ 4/21/2005 :  Meeting: Workshop on Strongly Interacting Quantum Gases, Columbus , Ohio
    I gave a talk on the creation of exotic ultracold molecules (G-wave, L-wave and tetramer), and a short presentation on the mean-field model of BEC-BCS crossover. Many issues on interacting Fermi gases and few-body systems were extensively discussed.

4/5/2005: Meeting: Workshop on Quantum Analog Simulation of Quantum Condensed-Matter Model, Arlington, VA
    Many exciting and promising prospects to investigated complex systems based on ultracold atoms in optical lattices were discussed.

4/1/2005 :  Our  " Cs2+Cs2=Cs4" paper is published. Here is the UC press release . This work has been in my dream for many years.

3/29/2005 :  I invited Prof. John Thomas from Duke University to give a JFI colloquium talk on the "High Temperature Superfluidity in Atomic Quantum Gases". He stayed for two days, and we discussed for many hours together with Kathy and Qijin.  My voice was gone after his visit.

3/18/2005 :  John, Bob, Dennis and I are going to move a cesium apparatus from Stanford to Chicago . It will be some intensive work for the weekend!

3/10/2005 :  Prof. Z.-T. Lu invited me to give a colloquium talk at the Argonne National Lab. I also visited many exciting experiments there.

3/3/2005 :   I talked in the Physics colloquium on the pairing gap. I am happy to receive quite a few positive responses.

2/26/2005 :  I gave a talk in the BCAM 2005 conference on "Pairing of fermionic atoms in a strongly interacting quantum gas". Hope more people will be interested in this field.

2/18/2005 :  I gave a Friday talk on my research projects to first year graduate students. I hope students here will be interested in this new and exciting field.

2/4/2005 :   I gave a talk at the PSROC2005 meeting on "Pairing of Fermionic Atoms in a Strongly Interacting Quantum Gas" and met many friends and teachers of mine.

1/17/2005 :   My first day at the U. of Chicago. I have two optical tables and two empty labs at RI. I hope the new labs at IBD will be ready soon.

1/10/2005 :   I am going to move to Chicago from Innsbruck this Friday ( 01/14/2005 ). The weather forecast says it can be -20°C. That sounds pretty bad.