Department Contact Information

Physics Department

Location: 180-204
Phone: (805) 756-2448
Fax: (805) 756-2435
Chair: Robert Echols


Support Physics

Katharina Gillen

Kat Gillen

Katharina Gillen

Associate Professor

Office: 180-615
Phone: 805.756.2199
Personal Webpage


  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2005
  • M.S., The Ohio State University, 2000
  • Vordiplom, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn, 1998

Research Interests

  • Optics
  • Atomic Physics
  • Quantum Computing


My research field is neutral atom quantum computing. In my lab here at Cal Poly, my students and I have built a magneto-optical atom trap that traps and cools rubidium atoms to 200 micro-Kelvin from absolute zero! We are now working on transferring these atoms to a pure light trap formed behind a pinhole. If we succeed, we'll be the first lab in the world to use this pattern as an atom trap. Someday, this pattern may form the memory for a quantum computer. Please feel free to email me if you'd like to learn more, like a tour of my lab, or are interested in working on my research project!




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