Cold Atom Experimentalist

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Nice Sophia Antipolis
1 October, 2019


Institut de Physique de Nice
1361 route des Lucioles
Valbonne 06560
Phone: +33 4 92 96 73 91

Anderson Localization of Light by Cold Atoms

After the prediction by Anderson of a disorder-induced conductor to insulator transition for electrons, light has been proposed as ideal non interacting waves to explore coherent transport properties in the absence of interactions. The development in experiments and theory over the past several years have shown a route towards the experimental realization of this phase transition. Previous studies on Anderson localization of light using semiconductor powders or dielectric particles have shown that intrinsic material properties, such as absorption or inelastic scattering of light, need to be taken into account in the interpretation of experimental signatures of Anderson localization. Laser-cooled clouds of atoms avoid the problems of samples used so far to study Anderson localization of light. Ab initio theoretical models, available for cold Ytterbium atoms, have shown that the mere high spatial density of the scattering sample is not sufficient to allow for Anderson localization of photons in three dimensions, but that an additional magnetic field or additional disorder on the level shifts can induce a phase transition in three dimensions. The cold atom group in Nice has a well-recognized expertise in coherent light scattering by cold atoms, mainly using Rubidium atoms. In the ERC project ANDLICA, a new cold Ytterbium experiment will be built, allowing to overcome limitations due to the internal hyperfine structure of Rubidium. The main aim of this project is the observation ofAnderson localization of light in three dimensions, which has challenged theoreticians and experimentalists for many decades.

We are now hiring PhD students and Postdoc to work on this new experiment.

If you are interested in joining our group in Nice, please send a detailed Curriculum Vitae, publications list and possible recommendations to robin [dot] kaiser [at] inphyni [dot] cnrs [dot] fr.

More information on the activities of our research group can be found on

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