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Professor Christopher Foot

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Professor Christopher Foot

  • Perenco Fellow and Tutor in Physics
  • Professor of Physics

Chris Foot received his B.A. in Physics and D.Phil. in Atomic & Laser Physics from the University of Oxford. He then spent several years working at Stanford University, supported in part by a Lindemann Trust Fellowship, before returning to start research on laser cooling and trapping of atoms in Oxford. He has been a Tutorial Fellow at St Peter’s since 1991 (and was Senior Tutor between 2010 and 2014).


At St Peter's, Chris teaches Quantum Mechanics and Atomic, Molecular & Laser Physics. In the Department of Physics he has lectured on Atomic Physics and gives graduate classes on Ultracold Quantum Matter. Recently he has been the coordinator of the fourth-year option on Lasers and Quantum Information Processing.


His current research interests include the experimental study of ultracold atomic gases at temperatures of tens of nanokelvin, e.g., the phenomena of Bose-Einstein condensation and superfluidity. Current techniques for confining atoms with magnetic fields, which hold them almost stationary in a region in a region of ultra-high vacuum, enable very precise control of these systems and the manipulation of the lowest energy quantum state (ground state) to probe the physics of many-body quantum systems in new ways.

Recently, the research team led by Chris Foot has developed several new experimental techniques that use radio-frequency fields in combination with i) magnetic fields to trap ultra-cold neutral atoms and ii) static electric fields to confine atomic and biomolecular ions. These techniques allow us to investigate ‘large’ quantum systems with masses a million times greater than individual atoms.