Professor in Physics, the Enrico Fermi Institute and the James Franck Institute
Cheng Chin has established the first research group devoted to studying ultracold atoms and molecules at the University of Chicago. Chin’s experiments are designed to achieve temperatures just billionths of a degree above absolute zero (minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit). Much of his research focuses on how ultracold molecules form a superfluid, a new state of matter that exists only at ultralow temperatures. Superfluids exhibit characteristics distinctively different from the solids, liquids and gases that dominate everyday life. Chin also uses ultracold technology to simulate the physics of the universe in the first moments following the big bang, and for the development of quantum computers. His honors include a Humboldt Research Fellowship and the American Physical Society's I.I. Rabi Prize.