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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Platform for Realizing Integrated Molecule Experiments (PRIME)


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Sensor Science Division

opportunity location
50.68.51.C0630 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Eric Burton Norrgard 301-975-2185


Since the earliest days of laser cooling atomic gases, researchers have dreamed of applying the same techniques to cool gases of molecules.  On the one hand, the multitude of internal states of molecules makes laser cooling a technical challenge.  On the other hand, this same rich internal structure is an opportunity for exciting new applications, motivating multiple serious and successful efforts in laser cooling and trapping of molecular species  in recent years.

This research project will explore several novel and high-risk techniques for cooling, trapping, and manipulation of molecules.  We aim to deliver a record number of cold trapped molecules, N > 10^6, advancing nearly all related applications. Furthermore, the project aims to demonstrate the first laser-cooled molecule fountain. A molecule fountain allows cold molecules to reach maximum precision as sensors, free from perturbative effects of trapping fields. A molecule fountain is an enabling technology for sensitive measurements ranging from tests of fundamental symmetries of nature [1,2] to quantum blackbody thermometry [3].

[1] E. B. Norrgard, D. S. Barker, S. P. Eckel, J. A. Fedchak, N. Klimov, and J. Scherschligt, Nuclear-Spin Dependent Parity Violation in Optically Trapped Polyatomic Molecules, Commun. Phys. 2, 77, (2019).

[2]  Y. Hao, P. Navrátil, E. B. Norrgard, M. Iliaš, E. Eliav, R. G. E. Timmermans, V. V. Flambaum ,and A. Borschevsky. Nuclear spin-dependent parity-violating effects in light polyatomic molecules. Phys. Rev. A 102, 052828 (2020).

[3] E. B. Norrgard, S. P. Eckel, C. L. Holloway, and E. L. Shirley, Quantum Blackbody Thermometry. New Journal of Physics 23 033037 (2021).

key words
laser cooling; cold molecules; precision measurement; spectroscopy; quantum systems; quantum coherence; quantum metrology


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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