The Key Laboratory of Quantum Optics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), was established in 1989 by Prof. Wang Yuzhu, an Academician of CAS. For meeting national strategic and social demands, it has now developed into a comprehensive scientific laboratory with the exploring of significant fundamental frontiers of light-matter interactions and development of high-tech innovation for applications as the leading orientation, and is also developing into a research base with the leading level of the world and a training center of advanced young scientific talents. We follow the international development frontier of quantum optics and focus on developing our original academic ideas and experimental methods. The main research fields in our laborotary is quantum optics, cold atom physics and the study of related applications, such as quantum degeneracy, quantum frequency standard, quantum information and biomedicine optics.
The precursor of our lab, Atomic Frequency Standard Group, is one of the first groups studying atomic frequency standard in China. We have developed the first type of Rubidium atomic clock, popularized and produced several types of atomic clocks for applications, which satisfy the national strategic demands. From 1979, the lab has firstly started the theoretical and experimental research on laser cooling of gaseous atoms in China. We proposed novel mechanism of laser cooling by AC-Stark effect and by red-shift diffuse reflection in integrating spheres. In 1983，our results and experimental methods in the experiment of laser-induced atomic beam deflection was a leading position at that time. This technique was used to study the photon statistics, and we demonstrated the sub-Poisson statistics of the resonant fluorescence of two-level atoms, which was commended and cited extensively by the international academic. In 1988, we observed the temperature of Na atoms with 60μK, which was lower than the Doppler limit in one-dimension laser cooling experiments, and this is also the first observation of laser cooling below the Doppler limit in the world. On the study of cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED), we fabricated the micro-sphere laser with Nd-glass, and observed new spectral lines, which was paid close attentions both at home and abroad. Since 1990’s, we have fulfilled many experiments involving laser cooling with red-shift diffuse reflection in integrating spheres, electromagnetic induced transparency, magneto-optical traps for Na and Rb atoms, cold atom spectroscopy, quantum coherence effect, Doppler atom interferometers, microwave spectra of atomic beams in a slow-wave field, and cluster science. The principle and technical work of these research efforts have our own characteristics and innovations. From 1999, under the support of National Natural Science Foundation of China, we firstly carried out the theoretical and experimental research of Bose-Einstein Condensates (BEC) in the domestic. In 2002, the first BEC of gaseous atoms in China was realized in our laboratory, and subsequently light scattering of BEC was also investigated. A proposal of trapped atoms in high-frequency potential wells, different from the existing schemes, was presented to realize a BEC and quantum information tasks with ultracold atoms. Charged carrier atomic micro-potential was also proposed to study the storage of quantum information. At the same time, we began the research of micro-gravity space atomic physics, and one of the goals is to build a new generation of atomic clock systems with the accuracy better than 10-16. This new atomic clock will greatly improve the satellite Global Positioning System (GPS) and play a significant role in industry, agriculture, science and technology, transportation and environmental protection.
Since the laboratory is founded, it has made significant achievements, such as the top award of National Science and Technology Progress Award (one of the main award-winning — “Yuanwang” ships), third awards of National Natural Science (two achievements), a second prize of Scientific and Technological Progress Award of CAS, the First Rao Yutai Prize in physics and many other prizes.
In order to continue to absorb the latest achievements in the field of quantum optics and keep up with the forefronts of international research and participate in international competitions, our lab maintained regular and close cooperation and academic exchanges with famous foreign research institutions and scientists.
After two decades of efforts, the laboratory has been established good conditions to study quantum optics, and was equipped with more than 30 sets of importing equipment such as laser systems. More than a dozen of experimental platforms have been built up, such as BEC, high-frequency potential wells, space atomic clock, compact Rb atomic clock, integrating-sphere laser cooled atoms, atom chips, quantum imaging, Raman spectra analyses with laser trapping. With outstanding achievements in the research of quantum optics, the lab has won a certain status in international community and trained a large number of excellent talents.
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