Professor Kai Bongs

Photographic portrait of Professor Kai Bongs

In the following table, contact information relevant to the page. The first column is for visual reference only. Data is in the right column.

Division: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Tags: Fellowship: Leadership Fellowship, Researcher, University of Birmingham
Related theme: Physical Sciences Quantum technologies


I have studied physics up to PhD degree in Hannover, did a postdoc at Yale University, Habilitation in Hamburg and am chair of Quantum Matter in Birmingham since 2007. Some of my research achievements are:

  • Bose-Einstein condensation and atom interferometry in microgravity
  • Quantum simulation with cold atoms
  • Precision quantum sensors
  • First realisation of dark solitons in a Bose-Einstein condensate
  • First spin-2 spinor condensate
  • First magnetically tuned spin dynamics resonance
  • First Fermi-Bose quantum gas mixture in an optical lattice
  • First realisation of long-lived ultracold heteronuclear molecules

My Fellowship

The fellowship aims at setting up and exploiting a worldwide unique low-field spinor condensate facility. This project combines my expertise in spinor condensates, atom optics and robust technology for precision measurement in order to establish a new research field of quantum gases dominated by dipolar interactions.

This project is based on Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) in dilute atomic vapour, which created a unique window to study quantum many body phenomena and allowed the development of applications from quantum simulation to precision sensors. The developments following the Nobel Prizes 1997 and 2001 have seen remarkable successes in quantum phase research such as the BEC-BCS crossover and superfluid to Mott insulator transition with a growth of the international community to well over 2000 researchers.

One of the most prominent and hotly pursued future directions are ultracold quantum gases with long range interactions, which would open access to a vast range of many-body phenomena of fundamental and technological importance. This has triggered a race towards degenerate gases with dipolar interactions, for example, via Rydberg atoms or ultracold heteronuclear molecules, which both offer electrical dipole interactions.

This project aims at magnetic dipolar interactions, establishing dipolar quantum magnetism as a novel research area in the timely field of dipolar quantum gases. Its aim is the world’s first low-field spinor BEC facility, with fields more than 3 orders of magnitude below the current state of the art. This unique environment will open experimental opportunities including dipolar quantum phases, a quantum-classical transition in spin space, macroscopic entanglement generation and precision magnetic field measurements.