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Post Doctoral Fellow Profile

Coraline Fujiwara

Quantum Optics


Dr. Coraline Fujiwara is a postdoctoral fellow working with Professor Joseph Thywissen studying trapped gases of ultracold potassium. From 2020 to 2022, she was a recipient of a Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control postdoctoral fellowship. Before joining the University of Toronto community in January of 2020, Coraline received her PhD in Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara under the tutelage of Professor David Weld.

Dr. Fujiwara loves spending her time in the laboratory as it allows her to work with her hands and apply her physics education every day. She particularly enjoys the exquisite control and freedom afforded by the table-top experiments featured in AMO (Atomic, Molecular, and Optical) physics, where the entirety of an experiment is localized to single space. She feels grateful to have worked with and mentored fantastic undergraduate and graduate students over the years in the tight-knit teams formed in these relatively small-scale experiments.

Dr. Fujiwara's current research focuses on using ultracold fermionic potassium in optical lattices to study problems in condensed matter physics in a field known as quantum simulation. In these systems, the hopping of atoms in the optical lattice potential is analogous to the motion of electrons moving in a conventional solid-state material. Working with a theory team at the University of Colorado, Boulder they recently demonstrated control over so-called unitary p-wave interactions between potassium atoms in a three-dimensional optical lattice [1,2,3]. Control over these kinds of interactions could enable the realization of exotic phases of matter in atomic systems which have been previously challenging to generate.

An additional exciting feature of the experiment here at the University of Toronto, is the ability to spatially image individual atoms in an optical lattice in a technique known as Quantum Gas Microscopy [4]. This enables read-out of spatial correlators, which directly probe the various phases of matter realized in the optical lattice.

For her PhD, Dr. Fujiwara helped construct an experiment studying Bose Einstein Condensates of lithium and studied its dynamical properties in one-dimensional optical lattices. Here, she investigated the thermalization and transport behavior of these systems when subjected to extreme forces in a technique known as Floquet engineering [5].

Outside of the laboratory, Dr. Fujiwara enjoys skiing and backpacking when the season allows. She also enjoys puzzle video games and chess. More information about her may be found at her group website [6] or her personal page [7].