Simon L. Cornish

Principal Investigator

Prof. Simon Cornish (Durham University) has over 15 years research experience in experimental atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics. He has pioneered the use of Feshbach resonances to control the interactions in atomic Bose-Einstein condensates and is a world-leading authority on the association of ultracold molecules from ultracold atoms. His team has recently produced an ultracold gas of ground-state polar molecules, becoming only the third group in the world to achieve this major goal. He has published over 50 papers attracting in excess of 2500 citations. He has been a group leader in major European collaborations (the ESF EuroQUAM and EuroQUASAR programmes) and has managed EPSRC grants totalling over £4M as PI. He currently leads a group of 4 PDRAs and 6 PGs. He is Director of Facilities in the Physics department and is the Head-elect of the Atomic & Molecular Physics group. He has held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, a Lindemann Fellowship and a JILA Visiting Research Fellowship.

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Jeremy M. Hutson



Jeremy M. Hutson FRS is Professor of Chemistry and Physics at Durham University. He has published about 190 papers, including 12 in Physical Review Letters since 2009, and has an h-index of 53. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010. His recent prizes include the Tilden Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2011) and the Thomson Prize of the Institute of Physics (2016).

JMH established his reputation with research on the theory of intermolecular interactions and collisions and the spectroscopy and dynamics of Van der Waals complexes and clusters. However, since 2001 he has focussed on the theory of the formation, collisions and control of cold and ultracold molecules.

JMH is the author of the MOLSCAT package, which is a general-purpose quantum molecular scattering code that is extensively used worldwide for both room-temperature and ultracold collisions, and the BOUND and FIELD packages, which locate near-threshold bound states as a function of energy and applied field, respectively. The capabilities provided by these program have been crucial to the recent production of ultracold RbCs molecules in both Durham1,2 and Innsbruck3,4 and have also underpinned recent collaborations with S. Jochim on near-threshold bound states of 6Li25, with R. Grimm on Efimov states in Cs36,7 and 6Li38, and with P. S. Julienne on a wide variety of topics (10 joint papers since 2011). JMH also carried out the first calculations of the hyperfine level structure of low-lying states of alkali-metal dimers9,10.

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Michael Tarbutt


Dr. Michael Tarbutt (Imperial College London) is an expert in molecule cooling who has developed Stark deceleration, buffer gas cooling, and laser cooling of molecules, and has used cold molecules to test fundamental physics. He has published 60 papers attracting more than 1300 citations. He has been PI or Co-I on several EPSRC, EU and STFC-funded projects, most recently as the PI of EPSRC project EP/M027716/1 on magneto-optical trapping and sympathetic cooling of molecules.

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Ed Hinds


Prof. Ed Hinds, FRS (Imperial College London) is an experimental physicist in the fields of atom chips, Bose-Einstein condensation, quantum optics and cold molecules. He holds a Royal Society Research Professorship and an ERC Advanced Grant. He has won  numerous prizes including the Royal Society 2008 Rumford Medal and the IoP 2013 Faraday Medal. He has published over 190 papers and has about 8000 citations.

Ben Sauer


Dr. Ben Sauer (Imperial College London) is an expert on molecular spectroscopy, recognized for his pioneering work on laser cooling of molecules and on the use of cold molecules to measure the electron’s electric dipole moment (eEDM). He recently led the EPSRC project EP/H031103/1 studying direct laser cooling of CaF and SrF, and has been a co-I on many projects focussed on cold atoms, cold molecules and the eEDM. He has published over 50 papers with over 1700 citations.

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Dieter Jaksch


Prof. Dieter Jaksch (University of Oxford) is Head of Atomic and Laser Physics at the University of Oxford. His expertise is in theoretical quantum optics and quantum simulation. He has published 138 papers, which are cited over 8100 times, including 1 Science, 5 in the Nature series, and 18 in Phys. Rev. Lett. His h-index is 33. He is a PI on the EU FET project QuProCS and the ERC Synergy grant Q-MAC. He is also the PI on EPSRC project EP/K038311/1 for the sustainable development of the Tensor Network Theory (TNT) library.

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Alex Clark


Dr Alex S. Clark is an expert in integrated quantum photonics and using cold organic molecules to further quantum science. He received his PhD from the University of Bristol where he worked on fibre-based photon sources and their application to creating entanglement, quantum gates, and cluster states. Upon moving to the University of Sydney, he received an ARC DECRA Fellowship to work on quantum frequency conversion and worked in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems, where he led the Quantum Integrated Photonics flagship project. In 2015 he received a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship to work on cold organic molecules at Imperial College London. He now holds a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and leads the QSUM work package on Interfaces.

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Research Staff

Elizabeth Bridge

Research Associate

Dr. Elizabeth Bridge is a Research Associate based at Durham University working with Prof. Simon Cornish. She is primarily involved in the RbCs Advanced Molecule Sources, Tweezers, Lattices, and Microscope challenges. She completed her PhD on the strontium optical lattice clock at the National Physical Laboratory, and has also worked with Dr. Matthew Jones on the strontium Rydberg project at Durham University and Prof. Kai Bongs on the strontium lattice clock project at the University of Birmingham.

Jack Devlin

Research Associate

Jack Devlin is a Research Associate in the Centre for Cold Matter at Imperial College. He works on measuring the electron electric dipole moment using ytterbium fluoride molecules, and he is also interested in modelling how laser cooling and trapping works when applied to diatomic molecules.


Noah Fitch

Research Associate


Dr. Noah Fitch is a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Cold Matter at Imperial College, London. His main research interests are the production and control of cold and ultracold molecules for precision measurements and tests of fundamental physics. He is currently involved with the CaF and YbF laser-cooling experiments, as well as the development of a new molecular-beam slowing technique called Zeeman-Sisyphus deceleration.

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Matthew Frye

Research Associate

Dr. Matthew Frye is a Research Associate working with Prof. Jeremy Hutson on theoretical calculations of ultracold scattering and near-threshold bound states. Recent research interests include:

  • quantum defect theory models to understand the roles of small kinetic energy releases and centrifugal suppression in inelastic collisions of ground-state alkali-dimer molecules
  • the effects of complexity and chaos on ultracold scattering, including time delays and “sticky” collisions
  • interpreting experimental results from the CsYb experiment to help fit accurate potentials

Zhengkun Fu

Research Associate

Tijs Karman

Research Associate

I am a post-doctoral fellow, working with Jeremy Hutson on few body physics of ultracold molecules, including quantum chaotic scattering.

Ruth LeSueur

Research Associate

I am a part-time post-doc working with Jeremy Hutson. Currently I spend most of my time maintaining the MOLSCAT, BOUND and FIELD packages, but I have also worked on RbCs and KCs.

Michael Lubasch

Research Associate

I am a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the group of Prof. Dr. Dieter Jaksch. I am working on the Tensor Network Theory Library.

Kyle Major

Research Associate

Dr. Kyle Major is a Research Associate based at Imperial College. He is working on using dibenzoterrylene molecules as solid state sources of single photons and developing quantum interfaces between molecules and photons.

Jordi Mur-Petit

Research Associate

Dr. Jordi Mur-Petit is a Research Associate based at the Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford. He is interested in the quantum many-body physics and quantum sensing. He contributes to develop theoretical approaches to model long-range-interacting multi-level quantum systems in lattices.

He is also involved in outreach activities.

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Danielle Pizzey

Research Technician

Ana Rakonjac

Research Associate

Dr. Ana Rakonjac is a Research Associate based at Durham University working with Prof. Simon Cornish. She is primarily involved in the RbCs Advanced Molecule Sources, Tweezers, Lattices, and Microscope challenges.

She also maintains the QSUM Twitter and website.

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Jonas Rodewald

Research Associate

Dr. Jonas Rodewald is a postdoc at Imperial College’s Centre for Cold Matter in London. He works with Dr. Mike Tarbutt on laser cooling and optical trapping of molecules.

Thomas Wall

Research Associate

Thomas Wall is a Research Associate in the Centre for Cold Matter. He works on a number of projects, ranging from making dense samples of ultra-cold atoms that will act as a refrigerant for molecules, to producing buffer gas cooled polyatomic molecules to hunt for signatures of parity violation.

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Postgraduate Students

Jacob Blackmore

PhD Student

Jacob Blackmore is a post-graduate student in Prof. Simon Cornish’s group at Durham University. His work on the current RbCs apparatus has the long-term goal of understanding the collisions between unreactive dipolar molecules.

Luke Caldwell

PhD Student

Luke Caldwell is a PhD student based at Imperial College London working with Mike Tarbutt, Ben Sauer and Ed Hinds on direct laser cooling and quantum control of CaF molecules. When not doing physics Luke is mainly out running.


Philip Gregory

PhD Student

Alexander Guttridge

PhD Student

Alex Guttridge is a PhD student working for Prof. Simon Cornish at Durham University. He currently works on the CsYb experiment within the lattice challenge.

Sarunas Jurgilas

PhD Student

I am a CDT student in Controlled Quantum Dynamics student at Imperial College. I joined the Centre for Cold matter for the MRes project to work towards trapping single CaF molecules in optical tweezers. I will continue to pursue this goal together with developing methods of producing ultra cold molecules for the duration of my PhD.

Daniel Owens

PhD Student


Daniel Owens is a PhD student working with Jeremy Hutson on theoretical studies of ultracold scattering of alkali atoms in combined magnetic and radiofrequency fields.

Mew Ratkata

PhD Student

Mew Ratkata is a PhD student based at Durham University working with Prof. Simon Cornish. She is involved in the KCs ultracold molecules experiment and interested in the Tweezer challenge.

Paolo Rosson

PhD Student

I am using tensor networks to study fractional quantum Hall systems in two dimensions. I’m a Phd student at Oxford University.

Hannah Williams

PhD Student

I am a final year PhD student working with Mike Tarbutt and Ben Sauer at Imperial College London. I work on the ultracold CaF experiment.

Sid Wright

PhD Student

Sid is a PhD student at Imperial College London, working with Michael Tarbutt. He is working towards sympathetic cooling of polar molecules using ultracold lithium gas as a refrigerant.

Visiting Researchers

Paul Julienne

Visiting Researcher

Prof. Paul Julienne (JQI, NIST and University of Maryland, USA) has over 20 years experience working on the theory associated with the production and control of ultracold molecules.

Lincoln Carr

Visiting Researcher

Lincoln Carr (Colorado School of Mines, USA) specializes in the theory of quantum many-body systems.

External Advisory Board

David DeMille

External Advisor (Chair)
Prof. David DeMille (Yale) is a world leader in cooling and trapping molecules, and he will chair the Group.

Rudolf Grimm

External Advisor
Prof. Rudolf Grimm (Institute for Experimental Physics and Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Innsbruck) is a preeminent expert in ultracold molecule formation and few-body physics.

Kai Bongs

External Advisor
Prof. Kai Bongs (University of Birmingham) leads the Quantum Technology Hub on Sensors and Metrology.

David Lucas

External Advisor
Prof. David Lucas (University of Oxford) leads Work Package 1 of the Hub on Networked Quantum Information Technologies.

Graham Malcolm

External Advisor
Dr. Graham Malcolm, OBE is founder and CEO of M Squared Lasers.

Other Collaborators

Geraldine Cox


My work is about finding ways to express hidden aspects of Nature and the journey of discovery. This research has taken me to the heart of the atom, the beginnings of the universe and the essence of light. I have bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Painting and in 2011 received a Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Award for a residency at the Physics Department of Imperial College London where I continue to work with physicists supported by grants from the college.