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ColdQuanta Incorporated: The History and Future of a University Spinoff Company

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G1B20

Speaker Name(s): 

Dana Anderson

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

JILA, University of Colorado
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Physics Department Colloquium

Event Details & Abstract: 

ColdQuanta Inc. was founded in 2007 by three physicists and a businessman, myself, Theodor Hänsch, Jakob Reichel and Rainer Kunz.  Its mission is to develop and commercialize cold and ultracold matter technology that can enable the scientific and applications communities.  Much of ColdQuanta’s early technology emerged from a MURI grant from the Army Research Office and more so, a large DARPA grant to develop technology for guided Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) applications. Out of that effort came compact components for producing ultracold matter and in particular a sophisticated “atom chip” technology that made it possible to considerably reduce the size of BEC machines and similar systems.  A BEC machine that in the past took many months to build, occupied a large optical table and needed racks of electronic instrumentation can now be purchased from ColdQuanta, occupies a single rack, and can be up and running in six hours.  Since 2007 ColdQuanta has produced instruments for making cold atoms in undergraduate labs, and has enabled numerous applications and scientific experiments from optical lattices to quantum computing to the JPL/NASA mission to put cold atoms on the International Space Station.  This talk tells the story of how ColdQuanta was formed and highlights the role of students and spin-off companies in the University’s mission to provide an educated workforce, to promote scientific advancement, and to maintain this nation’s technological leadership.  It also covers some relevant “this is reality” topics such as starting a tech business, money, and conflicts of interest.  Regarding the latter: 

*I hereby disclose that I have a financial interest in ColdQuanta, Inc. (!)