Prof. David Patterson is a new member of the UCSB physics faculty, and started in Santa Barbara in fall 2017.   When he is not in the lab, he can be found in the nearest machine shop, or enjoying the outdoors almost any way possible.


Aaron Calvin is our resident postdoc. Aaron joined in summer 2018 and brings his extensive ion trapping experience and good cheer to the lab.

Graduate students

Zeyun Peng is our first graduate student!  Zeyun joined the group in fall 2017, and is leading the trapped ion project.

Scott Eierman joined us in summer 2018 as a physics graduate student. In contrast to his previous experience in a lab researching laser heating, he now shoots lasers at cold molecules.

Greta Koumarianou joined us in winter 2018 as a chemistry graduate student. She is designing and building an experiment to perform chiral analysis without rotational constant assignment in the cell of our microwave spectrometer.

Lincoln Satterthwaite knows our microwave spectrometer inside out. Previously a lab tech in the group, he joined as a grad student in the fall of 2019 to build the supercell.

Merrell Brzeczek joined the group in fall of 2021 and works on the ion trap.

Undergraduate students

Samuel Kresch joined the group in winter of 2022 and works on the ion trap.

Former researchers

Daniel Sorensen was a physics undergraduate. He has spends a lot of time developing cryogenically compatible microwave Fabry-Perot cavities. He is now a graduate student at Colorado University, Boulder.

Ben Riley was a physics undergraduate. He is now a graduate student at Columbia working on cold-atom spectroscopy under Dr. Tanya Zelevinsky.

Yael Brynjegard-Bialik was a physics undergraduate. She worked on the buffer gas cells.

Billy Murphy was a physics undergraduate.

Tristan Richmond was a physics undergraduate. He likes to design and build things which he does both in and outside the lab. Now works for the DOE.

RJ Sedlik was a physics undergrad working on the buffer gas cell. He developed a pyrolysis input source for radicals, and is now at UCSD getting his doctorate.

Irene Wang was a physics and chemistry undergraduate working on the buffer gas cells. She was instrumental in designing a singlet oxygen experiment, and in taking data for the blind chiral detection paper. She now works as an operator at SLAC.

Jerry Yan was a physics undergraduate in UCSB’s College of Creative Studies working on molecular structure determination from our microwave data.

Ce Pei recently graduated from UCSB physics. Ce ran simulations and built our camera for the cold molecule project.

Simon Gan also recently graduated from UCSB physics, and helped upgrade our spectrometer electronics and wrote code to find commonalities between spectra.

Lia Yeh was a computing and physics undergraduate at UCSB, and was working on algorithms to help us assign and make sense of the complex data recorded by our spectrometer. She was first author on Automated, context-free assignment of asymmetric rotor microwave spectra. She is now at the University of Oxford, studying quantum computation and algorithms.

Luca Scharrer is a physics undergraduate in UCSB’s College of Creative Studies, and worked on simulations of the ion trapping experiment, which helped us better understand how the trapped ions interact with each other.

Matthew Capocci was a 4th year physics undergraduate who wrote some fantastic code that we use every day.

Kaelin Spencer graduated from physics at UCSB in 2019.  Kaelin headed a Kerr cell experiment to quantify our ability to observe the Kerr effect.

Dylan Finestone graduated from physics at UCSB in 2019, and is now working at HRL laboratories.  He designed and built several of our experimental apparatuses.

Devin Thatcher graduated from physics at UCSB in 2018. Devin designed and built low-noise power supplies for our microwave spectrometer.

James Stadler joined in summer 2018 as a lab tech. James figured out, assembled, and troubleshooted the electronics for our cold molecule project.

As a new group, we are actively recruiting members!  Please feel free to contact us.