Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Academic Visitor







Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus





My research focusses on probing nature using cold atoms and molecules. By carefully studying atomic and molecular structure we can learn a great deal about the world around us, for example by performing precise tests of fundamental physics, studying chemical reactions in great detail, and by sensitively measuring the chemicals present in our atmosphere as well as in deep space.


I currently work in the Centre for Cold Matter on a number of projects which use cold and ultra-cold matter to shine light on our understanding of nature. These projects include:

  • Developing a cryogenic source of cold complex molecules
  • Laser cooling of molecules
  • Trapping atoms and molecules in a radio-frequency magneto-optical trap (RF MOT), and trapping ultra-cold atoms in a Type II MOT with blue-detuned light
  • Building an ultra-cold refrigerator to sympathetically cool of molecules with laser cooled lithium atoms

Previous projects include:

  • Preparing positronium atoms Rydberg states for a measurement of antimatter gravity
  • Two-photon prodution of high Rydberg states of helium by single-colour, two-photon excitation
  • Deceleration, trapping and adiabatic cooling of ammonia molecules for a measurement of the possible time-variation of the proton-to-electron mass ratio, resulting in the creation of the world's first molecular fountain
  • Stark deceleration and guiding of heavy dipolar molecules

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Cheng C, van der Poel APP, Jansen P, et al., 2016, Molecular Fountain, Physical Review Letters, Vol:117, ISSN:0031-9007

More Publications