Amar Vutha

Canada Research Chair in Precision Atomic and Molecular Physics

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2021-04-01
University of Toronto
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

Research involves

Using atoms and molecules as precise tools to understand our universe. One project aims to construct a very precise atomic clock, to observe gravitational waves from exotic astronomical objects such as black holes. Another project aims to precisely study confined molecules to understand astrophysics and chemistry occurring in space. Another project aims to understand the reason for “missing anti-matter” in the universe, using precise measurements on atomic nuclei confined in crystals.

Research relevance

New laws of physics are necessary to describe mysterious aspects of our universe, such as dark energy and dark matter. A good way to discover new physics is to probe the limits of known physical laws, through precise measurements. By developing new precise tools and techniques to probe fundamental physics, we hope to unravel new aspects of the universe. The atomic and molecular tools (such as atomic clocks and nuclear gyroscopes) that we develop in our research also have practical implications for navigation, geodesy and communications technologies.

Research summary

Why is there more matter than antimatter in the universe? This is an outstanding question in fundamental physics-and one Dr. Amar Vutha aims to help answer as Canada Research Chair in Precision Atomic and Molecular Physics.

Vutha and his research team are applying the latest developments in atom-trapping technology to measure time-reversal symmetry violation in atomic nuclei using an array of quantum-entangled atoms. This will enable them to come up with new experiments that could yield the first glimpses of physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, which is currently the best theory we have to describe the basic building blocks of the universe. Vutha and his team will also continue their research on optical atomic clocks and precision measurements to inform and support this new work.