About CRUCS


The Centre for Research on Ultra-Cold Systems (CRUCS) is a premier Canadian research institute for
Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics and Physical Chemistry. The Centre combines both theoretical tools and state-of-the-art experimental infrastructure for the creation, manipulation, and study of ultracold atoms, molecules, plasmas, and condensed matter systems.  Research carried out at the Centre involves the pursuit of both fundamental questions and technological applications of these cold systems.  CRUCS infrastructure was funded by several grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The largest and most significant CFI award funded the major portion of the facility built from 2009-2011. The CRUCS facility is now used daily by over 50 graduate students, postdoctoral research fellows and visiting scientists. CRUCS also hosts a weekly seminar series and serves as an international hub for research collaborations on ultra-cold matter.


CRUCS was founded in January of 2006 by Ed Grant, John Hepburn, David Jones, Roman Krems, Kirk Madison, Valery Milner, Taka Momose, Moshe Shapiro and Ruth Signorel with the unifying goal to create a world-leading facility to study quantum matter at ultralow temperatures. Since that time, a number of new fundamental and applied directions have arisen and new collaborations born that rely on the original infrastructure. Since 2010, CRUCS has hosted 3 international workshops and has established formal collaborations with over 30 different user groups internationally including scientists from Japan, Germany, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and the US. CRUCS has also engaged in formal collaborations with TRIUMF, ALPHA, NIST (U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology), and the UCN (Ultra-Cold Neutron project)


Centre highlights:

  • In 2012, the CRUCS facility created the first and only molecular Bose Einstein condensate in Canada. This is a new quantum state of matter first realized in 2003, and this capability is unique in Canada and one of only ten like it worldwide.

  • In 2012, the CRUCS facility demonstrated the first and only source of cold polyatomic molecular ensembles (in particular molecular radicals) at sub-Kelvin temperatures by magnetic slowing. This capability is unique in Canada and one of only five like it worldwide.

  • The high-photon-flux XUV femtosecond frequency comb laser system at CRUCS and demonstrated operational in 2013 is the only one of its kind in Canada and only one of four world-wide. Our system is the only one capable of performing photo-emission spectroscopy.

  • The optical centrifuge, developed at CRUCS and demonstrated in 2013, is one out of two systems in the world, and the only laser system of this kind in Canada. Using this optical centrifuge, the CRUCS facility demonstrated the first and only direct observation of "molecular super rotors'' in the world.

Madison Awarded a Killam Research Fellowship

From left to right: Mrs. Ann McCaig (a trustee of the Killam Estate), John Hepburn (the Vice President of Research), and Kirk Madison

In January of 2013, Kirk W. Madison was awarded a UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowship from the "Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for Advanced Studies."

CRUCS Achivement : production of a molecular Bose-Einstein condensate and BCS pairs in a degenerate Fermi gas

picture of a molecular condensate.

(On left) Absorption images and resulting horizontal density profiles of 6Li2 Feshbach molecules after a 3-ms TOF expansion at a magnetic field of B=690 G for different ensemble temperatures: (a) T=710 nK (T/Tc∼1.2), (b) T=230 nK (T/Tc∼0.9), (c) T=110 nK (T/Tc∼0.8), (d) T=65 nK (T/Tc∼0.6). The wings of the profiles are fit to a Gaussian function and the bimodal character of the density profile is evident for temperatures well below the critical temperature. For the coldest molecular cloud (d) we show in (e) the absorption images after different free expansion times.

Investigating polaron transitions with cold molecules

Polaron figure

A two-photon stimulated Raman transition creates a polaron state with a well defined momentum q and energy ω = ω1 − ω2. (b) The presence of the quasiparticle is subsequently detected using resonantly-enhanced multi-photon ionization (REMPI).

Felipe Herrera, Kirk W. Madison, Roman V. Krems, Mona Berciu
Physical Review Letters 110, 223002 (2013).

Funding provided by: