January 23, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.— Research Corporation has presented Amherst College with a Cottrell College Science Award worth $39,786 in support of assistant physics professor David S. Hall’s “Tunable interaction in a 87Rb Bose-Einstein condensate” project.

The award will allow Hall to study interactions between ultracold atoms and molecules in a Bose-Einstein condensate, which reveal the basic properties of the atoms themselves and help scientists to understand their “interatomic potentials.” “Improved knowledge of these potentials will, in turn, lead to exquisite experimental control of the system, permitting production of molecules in selectable quantum states in the rapidly developing field of tunable quantum chemistry,” Hall wrote in his research proposal. “We also expect these results to lead to better predictions for quantities important to precision measurement in atoms, such as those involving atomic clocks.”

A 1991 Amherst graduate, Hall is an experimental physicist specializing in Bose-Einstein condensation. He received A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University and did postgraduate work at the University of Colorado.

The Cottrell College Science Award is meant to support significant fundamental research in astronomy, chemistry and physics done by both faculty and students. It is one of several awards given by Research Corporation, a private foundation that aids basic research in the physical sciences at U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities. It supports ideas independently proposed by college and university faculty members and is not itself involved in the performance of laboratory research.

See the Research Corporation Website.