Research Topics

Below is a list of research topics supported by the AFRL Scholars Professionals program. You may apply for one (1) topic on an application per site.

Use the filters and keyword search below to find research topics of interest.

Scholars are encouraged to contact any mentors whose projects they find of interest. To contact the mentor, use the link included at the conclusion of each project description.

Fiber Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics
Mentor: Spencer E Olson, Space Vehicles
Location: Kirtland
Academic Level: Master's, Ph.D.

The subject of our research is precision timing and inertial sensing enabled by advances in atomic physics and photonics. One of our major efforts pursues the development of robust, miniaturized optical clocks including optical frequency combs. These portable clocks will provide a cost-effective replacement for the atomic clocks aboard the global positioning satellite constellation and other platforms.

Another major effort uses atom-chip devices to develop confined atom interferometry, which offers the possibility to tune the performance for an atom-based sensor without dramatically increasing the experimental footprint. We use a rapid prototyping technique for atom chips that allows us to quickly customize and live-test atom chip structures. One recent focus for our cold-atom work involves the integration of micro-optical cavities with atom-chip devices to directly couple to magnetically trapped atoms. Using a newly-developed in-house capability to form these micro-optical cavities with AFRL-built atom chips, we are exploring a new domain of ultra-tight magnetic atom waveguides exceeding trap frequencies of 40kHz, where cavities coupled to atoms in the strongly interacting regime will be used to explore the dynamics of 1-D Bose gasses.

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