Associate Professor Matthew Davis

Physics of Ultra-Cold Quantum Gases, The University of Queensland

In the last fifteen years the trapping and cooling of tiny samples of gases down to temperatures a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero has become routine.  Under these extreme conditions a new state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) may form. Associate Professor Davis’ research focuses on studying the non-equilibrium behaviour of BEC’s and in particular how they form from an ordinary gas.  This work provides quantitative insights into the dynamics of phase transitions, relevant to many aspects of nature from the unraveling of DNA to the birth of the universe, but they are still poorly understood.

Matthew initiated and ran a “Quantum Science” seminar series as well as being involved in the Siemens Science Experience. He has a knack for understanding his audience, and gives accessible presentations to a wide range of audiences from colleagues to undergraduate students to the general public. He has also introduced active learning to the lecture room of his first year Physics course.

2011