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Erich Mueller


Erich Mueller

Physical Sciences Building, Room 418

Educational Background

B.Sc., Mathematics/Physics, 1996, University of British Columbia. Ph.D., Physics, 2001, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Postdoctoral fellow, Physics, The Ohio State University 2001-2003. Assistant Professor, Physics, Cornell, 2003-2009.  Associate Professor, Physics, Cornell, 2009-2015.  Professor, Physics, Cornell, 2015-Present.  Director, Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics 2015-Present.  Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 2005-2007. Robert A and Donna B Paul Award for excellence in advising 2013. Fellow, American Physical Society, 2015.



Ultracold atomic gases, quantum optics, strongly correlated matter, and exotic quantum phenomena.


  • Physics

Graduate Fields

  • Physics


  • Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR)
  • Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics (LASSP)


I study the theory of atoms cooled to nK temperatures. At these temperatures, the classical image of atoms as small billiard balls must be replaced by a quantum mechanical picture of wave-packets.  Although I am focused on basic science questions, this research may impact applications in quantum computing, precision measurement, and navigation.

I am particularly interested in how simple inter-atomic interactions lead to complex collective behavior.  I am driven by a belief that studying these atomic systems can help refine our understanding of fundamental physics.

Much of my recent efforts have been dedicated to finding ways of taking important physics from other fields (solid state physics, nuclear physics, and high energy physics) and asking how one can design cold atom experiments to elucidate the phenomena.

My group works closely with a number of experimentalists, both at Cornell and elsewhere.  We use an eclectic blend of analytic and numerical techniques.

Graduate Students

Kristina Colladay
Thomas Kiely
Vaibhav Sharma


Fall 2021


Ran Wei, Erich J. Mueller, Anomalous charge pumping in a one-dimensional optical superlattice, Phys. Rev. A 92, 063639 (2015). arXiv:1502.04208

Eliot Kapit, Paul Ginsparg, Erich Mueller, Non-Abelian Braiding of Lattice Bosons, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 066802 (2012) (arXiv:1109.4561)

Yean-an Liao, Ann Sophie C. Rittner, Tobias Paprotta, Wenhui Li, Guthrie B. Partridge, Randall G. Hulet, Stefan K. Baur, Erich J. Mueller, Spin-Imbalance in a One-Dimensional Fermi Gas, Nature 467, 567 (2010) (arXiv:0912.0092)

Erich J. Mueller, Artificial electromagnetism for neutral atoms: Escher staircase and Laughlin liquids, Phys. Rev. A, 70, 041603 (2004)

Tin-Lun Ho, Erich J Mueller, High Temperature Expansion Applied to Fermions near Feshbach Resonance, Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 160404 (2004); (cond-mat/0306187)