Our People

Sciencelens DSF2257

Ana Rakonjac

Senior Research Scientist

Temperature and Humidity

Areas of expertise

  • Experimental atomic, molecular, and optical physics
  • Gravimetry
  • Single atom trapping and molecular assembly
  • Bose-Einstein condensation
  • Bose-Fermi mixtures
  • Lasers


  • PhD (Physics), University of Otago (2012).


Ana joined MSL in 2021. Prior to joining, she worked in several areas of cold atom physics, both in academia and industry.

Ana did her PhD at Otago University within the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, where she developed an optical collider for ultracold atoms. This apparatus can access extremely low collision energies with high precision, which enables study of interatomic interactions with a well-defined collision energy and helps gain insight into fundamental atomic and molecular properties.

After her PhD, Ana continued working as a postdoctoral fellow at Otago for another year, extending the capabilities of the optical collider and working with ultracold fermions. Following this, she moved to Durham University in the UK and joined the Quantum Light and Matter group as a postdoc, where she worked on several experiments over five and a half years. Early on at Durham, she studied rotational dynamics of Bose-Einstein condensates and analysed superfluid vortex lattice formation and decay using computer vision methods. Later, she worked on bright-matter-wave soliton interferometry, where she developed a prototype soliton interferometer with potential for interrogation times on the order of 20 seconds. Following this, she developed a brand new experiment designed to assemble dipolar molecules from single trapped atoms. This project is part of the Quantum Science with Ultracold Molecules collaboration between Durham University, Imperial College London, and Oxford University, which aims to create and fully control dipolar molecules for applications in quantum computing, quantum simulation, and fundamental physics.

Following several years as a postdoc, Ana joined Atomionics as a senior research scientist. Atomionics is a quantum sensing start-up company based in Singapore. Ana’s work focussed on designing and building a mobile cold atom gravimeter for applications such as natural resource detection, underground feature detection for construction and tunneling, detection of underground infrastructure in urban environments, as well as general purpose environmental applications such as sea level monitoring.


  • R. V. Brooks, S. Spence, A. Guttridge, A. Alampounti, A. Rakonjac, L. A. McArd, J. M. Hutson, S. L. Cornish, “Preparation of one 87Rb and one 133Cs atom in a single optical tweezer”, New Journal of Physics 23 (6), 065002 (2021)

  • R. Kumar and A. Rakonjac, Cold atom interferometry for inertial sensing in the field”, Advanced Optical Technologies 1 (2020)

  • O. J. Wales, A. Rakonjac, T. P. Billam, J. L. Helm, S. A. Gardiner, AND S. L. Cornish, “Splitting and recombination of bright-solitary-matter waves”, Communications Physics 3 (1), 1-9 (2020)

  • J. L. Helm, T. P. Billam, A. Rakonjac, S. L. Cornish, and S. A. Gardiner, “Spin-orbit coupled interferometry with ring-trapped Bose--Einstein condensates”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 063201 (2018)

  • A. L. Marchant, T. P. Billam, M. M. H. Yu, A. Rakonjac, J. L. Helm, J. Polo, C. Weiss, S. A. Gardiner, and S. L. Cornish, “Quantum reflection of bright solitary matter waves from a narrow attractive potential”, Phys. Rev. A 93, 021604(R) (2016)

  • A. Rakonjac, A. L. Marchant, T. P. Billam, J. L. Helm, M. M. H. Yu, S. A. Gardiner, and S. L. Cornish, “Measuring the disorder of vortex lattices in a Bose-Einstein condensate”, Phys. Rev. A 93, 013607 (2016)

  • K. O. Roberts, T. McKellar, J. Fekete, A. Rakonjac, A. B. Deb, N. Kjærgaard, “Steerable optical tweezers for ultracold atom studies”, Optics Letters 39 (7), 2012 (2013)

  • A. Rakonjac, K. O. Roberts, A. B. Deb, N. Kjærgaard. “Note: Computer controlled rotation mount for large diameter optics”, Review of Scientific Instruments 84, 026107 (2012)

  • A. Rakonjac, A. B. Deb, S. Hoinka, D. Hudson, B. J. Sawyer, N. Kjærgaard, “Laser based accelerator for ultracold atoms”, Optics Letters 37 (6), 1085 (2012)

  • A. B. Deb, A. Rakonjac, N. Kjaergaard, “A versatile laser system for experiments with cold atomic gases”, Journal of the Optical Society of America B 29 (11), 3109-3113 (2012)