Prof Christopher Foot

Prof Chris Foot

Prof Chris Foot

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 College since 1991 (and Senior Tutor 2010-14).

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.

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.