The "ultracold" part of the Midlands Physics Alliance targets cutting-edge interdisciplinary research at the rapidly evolving interface between cold atom, condensed matter, and optical physics. It joins more than 15 research groups in theoretical and experimental cold atom physics in a strategic partnership between the Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, and Warwick. A milestone was the 2007 initiation of the Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre (MUARC) in the Schools of Physics and Astronomy at the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham with a £9m EPSRC/HEFCE-funded Science and Innovation Award to create a world-class centre for cold atom research.

MPAultracold builds on, and integrates with, the large established programmes in condensed matter physics, nanoscience, and cold atom/condensed matter theory – thus producing a step change in the UK's capacity for research innovation across these fields.

The vision of MPAultracold is to create a critical mass of cold-atom related knowledge to take full benefit of cross-field synergies and efficiently cover the full range from fundamental physics to high-profile applications.

Particular focal points of research are:

  • quantum simulation of condensed matter phenomena (e.g. high-Tc superconductivity)
  • quantum phases in optical lattices and with novel interactions
  • quantum measurement and quantum information
  • atom-surface interactions
  • atom-photon interfaces
  • applications (quantum sensors)