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Zach Newman


Hi everyone. My name is Zach Newman. I'm a graduate student studying atomic physics (home dept. Optical Sciences) at the University of Arizona in sunny Tucson, Arizona.

My lab studies small clouds of Rubidium atoms which have been cooled to temperatures on the order of ~10 nanoKelvin (which is very, very cold)! At this temperature, the Rubidium atoms no longer behave as an ideal gas, like the air in the room you're sitting in; instead, they undergo a phase transition and behave as a single superfluid body, which can be understood using the laws of quantum mechanics. Some of you may know that I am talking about a Bose-Einstein condensate. More specifically we study the rotational properties of these relatively large (at least when compared to the size of atoms and molecules) quantum mechanical systems.

In order to study these atoms, our lab uses tools and techniques which are well know and common in atomic physics experiments, but probably not so well know outside of this discipline. Many of these techniques involve lasers and electronics.

So...why am I mentioning all this? Well, It's because I'm very interested in teaching and getting people involved in science. Since I'm most familiar with optics, laser physics and atomic physics I'm hoping I'll be able to share some ideas about those subjects with you. In addition, I hope to share Sophia with some of my friends at school who may be able to share some of their knowledge as well!

I'm very excited about contributing Sophia; I think it has great potential and could become a very powerful learning tool. And I'm excited about learning many new things from you as well.


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