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20-22.02.2024 - Workshop on Quantum Simulators of the Future: From Dynamical Gauge Fields to Lattice Gauge Theories | (smr 3922)

An ICTP Meeting This Workshop will gather world-leading groups that design, realize, and characterize a new generation of simulators with ultracold atoms and beyond. It will address novel quantum simulators of statistical gauge fields, dynamical lattices, and lattice gauge theory models (LGT), as well as connections to quantum computing and tensor network methods.

06-08.09.2023 - Time Crystals Conference

More details on conference website.

27.06-2.07.2022 - 6th Workshop on Algebraic Designs, Hadamard Matrices & Quanta

More details on conference website.

05-11.09.2021 - Quantum Optics X

More details on conference website.

About the Department

Atomic Optics Department (AOD) has been established in 1962, at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry at Jagiellonian University by prof. dr hab. Danuta Kunisz. The Department is now a part of the Institute of Theretical Physics at the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science. Its head is prof dr hab. Jakub Zakrzewski.


The Atomic Optics Department carries out theoretical research on a broad spectrum of modern quantum mechanical problems, starting from mathematical foundations of quantum information, through quantum chaos, quantum optics, interaction of ultrashort laser pulses with matter, physics of ultracold atoms, modelling of condensed matter problems withultracold atoms, quantum simulations, time crystals or even ab-initio calculation of atomic structure.

AOD History

Department Heads

2009 - prof. dr hab. Jakub Zakrzewski
1994 - 2009 prof. dr hab. Tomasz Dohnalik
1991 - 1994 prof. dr hab. Wojciech Gawlik
1979 - 1991 prof. dr hab. Tomasz Dohnalik
1962 - 1979 prof. dr hab. Danuta Kunisz, first woman - professor of Physics in Kraków.

Location within the University

2020 The Department is within new Institute of Theoretical Physics at Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Computer Science, Jagiellonian University.
2014 transfer of the AOD, together with Smoluchowski Institute of Physics to the new physical location: building of Campus of the 600th Anniversary of the Jagiellonian University Revival
2003 - 2020 Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science, Smoluchowski Institute of Physics
1979 - 2003 Faculy of Mathematics and Phyisics, Jagiellonian University (starting from 17 July 2001 the Faculty was renamed to Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science, Jagiellonian University), Institute of Physics (the Institute has been awarded the name of Marian Smoluchowski in 1989)
1964 the Department, together with the Institute of Physics was moved to a building at Reymonta 4
1962 - 1979 Faculy of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University


19.06.2024 Grant ERC Advanced
Prof. Karol Życzkowski, a member of the Atomic Optics Department, has been awarded the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant for his project "Typical and Atypical structures in quantum theory (TAtypic)," which received funding of over 2.25 million euros. Prof. Życzkowski's TAtypic project focuses on quantum mechanics, particularly structures that may be crucial for the development of quantum information theory and quantum technologies. This is the first ERC Advanced Grant in the history of the University. More details: [link]
18.06.2024 Preprint Highlighted by New Scientinst
Preprint by K. Giergiel, P. Hannaford and K. Sacha on "Time-tronics: from temporal printed circuit board to quantum computer" ( was highlighted by the New Scientist.
17-18.05.2024 Workshop on Time Crystals
On May 17-18, 2024, a workshop on "Time Crystals" was held at the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science of the Jagiellonian University for physics students from the University of Warsaw and the Jagiellonian University. The organizer was Mykhailo Hontarenko from the Jagiellonian University and the FUW Tournament Club. The workshop consisted of an introductory lecture and practical classes aimed at introducing students to techniques for describing systems exhibiting crystalline behavior over time. The workshops were conducted by Krzysztof Sacha's group: Krathik Eswaran, Weronika Golletz, Dawid Janik, Majid Yazdani-Kachoei, Ali Emami Kopaei and Damian Włodzyński.
15.05.2024 Polish Science Fund Start Awards
mgr Tomasz Szołdra is a laureate of a Polish Science Fund Start 2024 competition
[full info]
31.03.2024 2024 Outstading Referee Physical Review Journals
Krzysztof Sacha selected as Outstanding Referee Physical Review Journals 2024. He joined earlier selected colleagues from Institute of Theoretical Physics:
  • 2020 Jakub Zakrzewski
  • 2018 Jerzy Jurkiewicz
  • 2017 Jacek Dziarmaga
  • 2009 Andrzej M. Oleś

so 5 out of 26 selections in Poland come from ITP UJ.
18.12.2023 Comment by prof. Krzysztof Sacha in News and Views, Nature Photonics
Reflection and refraction at a time boundaryPeter Hannaford & Krzysztof Sacha

Ultracold atoms provide a platform for realizing the temporal analogue of Snell’s law.

In 1621, Dutch astronomer Willebrord Snell mathematically described how a light wave behaves when it crosses a boundary between media with different refractive indices. Since then, Snell’s law of refraction has become a cornerstone of optics. Interestingly, the space–time duality inherent in Maxwell’s equations suggests there should also be temporal analogues of the laws of reflection and refraction for a light wave crossing a time boundary.
Read the commentary in Nature Photonics,
20.10.2023 Article in Quanta Magazine
The results from the latest pre-print by Oliver Reardon-Smith and Kamil Korzekwa titled "Improved simulation of quantum circuits dominated by free fermionic operations" have been popularized in Quanta Magazine in the article "The Quest to Quantify Quantumness".
14.10.2023 Ranking TOP 2%
Just like in previous years, in the TOP 2% list - a ranking developed by Stanford University in cooperation with Elsevier and SciTech Strategies, ZOA employees were found:
  • Dr. hab. Bogdan Damski
  • Prof. Krzysztof Sacha
  • Prof. Jakub Zakrzewski
  • Prof. Karol Życzkowski
. This year, two lists were prepared: one evaluating the overall scientific achievements (with 18 employees of the Faculty) and the second one related to citations for the year 2022 (9 employees of the Faculty). Our employees have been included in both of these lists. Prof. Karol Życzkowski achieved highest place out of Faculty employees on both of the lists.
Your Image Description Today, on October 3, at 8.30 a.m. dr Dominique Delande of Laboratorire Kastler-Brossel of Ecole Normale Superieure Paris passed away prematurely at the age of 65. Dominique was a long time friend and collaborator with 30+ papers published with Jakub Zakrzewski, he collaborated also with Krzysztof Sacha and Mateusz Łącki. Together with Jakub Zakrzewski he received the Marie et Pierre Curie reward of the Foundation of Polish Science (FNP) and French Academy of Sciences in 2020. He was also an elected foreign member of the Polish Academy of Art and Sciences. Dominique Delande was a world class specialist in studies of disordered systems, he was famous for his early studies of chaos in hydrogen atom in a magnetic field. He was a leading force in realizing Anderson localization transition in atomic matter waves. He was an invited professor in our Department giving lectures which are being used by many scientists worldwide link. This is a terrible loss.
8.09.2023 Poster award for Tomasz Szołdra

Tomasz Szołdra received an award for the poster he presented at the Time Crystals Conference. The conference took place in Krakow from September 6th to 8th, 2023.

6-8.09.2023 Time Crystals Conference at the Manggha Museum in Krakow

From September 6th to 8th, 2023, the third edition of the Time Crystals Conference took place at the Manggha Museum in Krakow. The conference was organized by Prof. Krzysztof Sacha, Weronika Golletz, and Ali Emami Kopaei.

The event was attended by 80 people, and among the speakers was Nobel laureate, Frank Wilczek.

The field of time crystals is developing remarkably, and one of its pioneers is the research group led by Professor Krzysztof Sacha at Jagiellonian University. A significant driving factor in the development of this new field is experiments conducted in various physical systems. Often, these experiments not only confirm the existence of previously known time-crystalline phenomena but also present challenges to theoretical physicists in explaining the observed phenomena.

20.08.2023 Award for dr Krzysztof Giergiel
The Polish Physical Society awarded Dr. Krzysztof Giergiel the Zygmunt Florenty Wróblewski Scientific Award for his doctoral dissertation titled 'Time Crystal Phenomena'.
22.04.2023 Frontiers of Science XVI: Live science: Universe, Life, Mind
Prof. Krzysztof Sacha is one of pioneers of time crystals. In Copernicus programme „Frontiers of Science XVI: Live Science - Universe, Life, Mind” he explains:

  • what are time crystals
  • what is the difference with respect to standard space crystals
  • what are possible future applications.

03.02.2023 Time Crystals - lectures
The lecture series on Time Crystals, conducted by Krzysztof Sacha for students at Jagiellonian University, is available on YouTube.
04.01.2023 AOD Article blew minds in 2022
Scientific American has identified 6 best articles in physics that blew minds in 2022. We have pleasure to anounce that the time crystals research by prof. Krzysztof Sacha group was included in in that choice. See 6 Times Quantum Physics Blew Our Minds in 2022 at Scientific Americal website. The work co-authored by prof. Sacha: All-optical dissipative discrete time crystals.
19.12.2022 Best Poster Prize for Weronika Golletz
Weronika Golletz won the poster competition at 777. WE-Heraeus-Seminar on Ultracold Quantum Matter: Basic Research and Applications, 12-16.12.2022 at the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef (Germany)

15.12.2022 TOP 2% Ranking
12 scientists from the Institute of Theoretical Physics (including 4 AOD employees) are on the TOP 2% list - a ranking prepared by Stanford University in cooperation with Elsevier and SciTech Strategies:
  • prof. Andrzej Białas
  • prof. Piotr Bizoń
  • dr hab. Bogdan Damski
  • prof. Jacek Dziarmaga
  • prof. Wojciech Florkowski
  • prof. Romuald Janik
  • prof. Andrzej M. Oleś
  • prof. Adam Rycerz
  • prof. Krzysztof Sacha
  • prof. Józef Spałek
  • prof. Jakub Zakrzewski
  • prof. Karol Życzkowski
21.07.2022 OPUS-LAP grant
Prof. dr hab. Jakub Zakrzewski has received a OPUS-LAP grant in collaboration with prof. Lev Vidmar from Slovenia. The title of the grant is Nonergodic dynamics in disorder-free systems. The grant funds a post-doc position and stipends for master and PhD students.
21.07.2022 Quant-ERA21 grant
Prof. dr hab. Jakub Zakrzewski has received a Quant-ERA21 grant entitled Next Generation Quantum Symulators: From DYNAMIcal Gauge Fields to Lattice Gauge ThEory as a partner in consortium led by prof. M. Lewenstein from ICFO (Barcelona). Grant finances new positions for a post-doc and a PhD student.
06.07.2022 Maestro grant
Prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Sacha received Maestro 13 grant from Polish Science Fund entitled "Time-tronics. Details: link. Grant funds positions for postdocs, PhDs and students.
28.02.2022 Publication in PRL
Dr Titas Chanda and prof. Jakub Zakrzewski coauthored an article in Physical Review Letters

Titas Chanda, Maciej Lewenstein, Jakub Zakrzewski, and Luca Tagliacozzo
Phase Diagram of 1+1D Abelian-Higgs Model and Its Critical Point,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 090601 (2022).
25.02.2022 Publication in PRL
Dr Adam Burchardt, dr Wojciech Bruzda, prof. Karol Życzkowski coauthored an article in Physical Review Letters

Suhail Ahmad Rather, Adam Burchardt, Wojciech Bruzda, Grzegorz Rajchel-Mieldzioć, Arul Lakshminarayan, and Karol Życzkowski
Thirty-six Entangled Officers of Euler: Quantum Solution to a Classically Impossible Problem,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 080507 (2022).
21.02.2022 Publication in Nature Communications
Prof. Krzysztof Sacha coauthored a publication in Nature Communications link. The article is accompanied by an (audio) interview in Physics World link
Full citation:
Taheri, H., Matsko, A.B., Maleki, L., Sacha, K. All-optical dissipative discrete time crystals. Nat Commun 13, 848 (2022).
23.12.2021 Publication in PRL
Four present and former employees of the Department published together an article in Physical Review Letters

Krzysztof Giergiel, Arkadiusz Kuroś, Arkadiusz Kosior, Krzysztof Sacha
Inseparable time-crystal geometries on the Möbius strip,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 263003 (2021).
30.11.2021 Four musketeers
Four musketeers from Atomic Optics Deparment: B. Damski, K. Sacha, J. Zakrzewski, K. Życzkowski are within TOP 2% scientists in the world according to Elsevier [full article]. This is the stongest representation of a single deparment from entire Faculty.
21.10.2021 Press publication on time-crystals
Prof. Krzysztof Sacha published an article in a daily newspaper "Gazeta Wyborcza", in which he presents short history of time crystals, recent experimental developmnet of time crystals and his current research on time-tronics.

14.09.2021 Publication in PRL
dr Piotr Sierant and prof. Jakub Zakrzewski coauthored a PRL article:
Constraint-Induced Delocalization
Piotr Sierant, Eduardo Gonzalez Lazo, Marcello Dalmonte, Antonello Scardicchio, and Jakub Zakrzewski, Phys. Rev. Lett. 127, 126603 – Published 14 September 2021
22.03.2021 Publication in PRX
Dr Kamil Korzekwa is a co-author of PRX publication, which shows how quantum coherence, a property which allows for interference, allows also for reduction of memory necessary for realization of a given stochastic process, for example thermodynamical system cooling and quantum information processing.
27.01.2021 Highly Cited Papers in the Department
Three publication by Department employees have reached "Highly cited papers in 2020" status. Namely:
18.01.2021 UPC 2020 - silver medal
Team: Szymon Gamrat, Mateusz Stępniak i Konrad Pawlik (opiekun prof. J. Zakrzewski) was awarded a silver medal in The University Physics Competition 2020. Below a link with rankings – out team has numer 417.
24.11.2020 Stanford University: AOD Deparment employees are "influential"
As reported by University Portal, 47 scientists from Jagiellonian University are in top 2% in terms of influence. It is our pleasure to inform that 3 employees from that group are from Atomic Optics Department. They are:
  1. prof. dr hab. Karol Życzkowski
  2. dr hab. Bogdan Damski
  3. prof. dr hab. Jakub Zakrzewski
More details: link
11.09.2020 Book "Time Crystals"
Prof. Krzysztof Sacha published a book on time crystals in Springer: link
17.06.2020 Success in Ministry of Science
Kamil Korzekwa i Mateusz Łącki exceptional young scientists with appropriate stipend - congratulations!
18.05.2020 Grants from National Science Centre
Mateusz Łącki i Jakub Zakrzewski with OPUS 18 grants, new positions for postdocs, PhD and Master students; Karol Życzkowski with Preludium-bis for a PhD student
12.05.2019 Polish Science Fund Start Awards
mgr Piotr Sierant and mgr Krzysztof Giergiel are laureates of Polish Science Fund Start 2020 competition
[full info]
07.05.2020 PRL Publication
Thouless time analysis of Anderson and many-body transition
Piotr Sierant, Dominique Delande, and Jakub Zakrzewski, Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 186601 (2020).
06.05.2020 PRL Publication
Confinement and lack of thermalization after quenches in the bosonic Schwinger model
Titas Chanda, Jakub Zakrzewski, Maciej Lewenstein and Luca Tagliacozzo, Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 180602 (2020).
11.04.2020 "Geometry of Quantum States" - new edition
A new edition of the book Geometry of Quantum States: An Introduction to Quantum Entanglement by prof. Ingemara Bengtssona i prof. Karola Życzkowskiego has been published.
07.04.2020 Marian Mięsowicz award - PAU
Dr hab. Bogdan Damski i dr hab. Marek Rams are laureates of Mariana Mięsowicz award by Polska Akademia Umiejętności (PAU). They were rewarded for their seminal paper "Quantum fidelity in the thermodynamic limit" published in "Physical Review Letters".
[more info - in Polish]
[PAU portal information with photos]
16.03.2020 PRL Publication
Quantum measurements of time
Lorenzo Maccone and Krzysztof Sacha, Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 110402 (2020).
05.03.2020 Publication in PRL
Physical Review Letters just published a paper co-authored by mgr J. Czartowski and prof. Karol Życzkowskiego. It shows a scheme of two-qubit quantum measurement which is related to a Platonic sold - a regular dodecahedron embedded inside Bloch ball:
01.10.2019 Publication in PRL
Physical Review Letters just published a paper co-authored by prof. Karol Życzkowski. It describes a discovery of an universal, 'lemon-like shape' in the complex plane, which describes support of spectra of typical Lindblad evolution operators:
26.06.2019 Award: Diamenty 2018
Crystallographic Comittee of Polish Academy of Science has rewarded the work : K. Giergiel, A. Miroszewski, and K. Sacha, "Time crystal platform: from quasi-crystal structures in time to systems with exotic interactions", Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 140401 (2018), in the competition: "DIAMENTY – wyróżnione polskie prace krystalograficzne 2018" [Translation: DIAMONDS - exceptional Polish crystallographic publications ].
09.05.2019 Polish Science Fund Start Awards
dr Arkadiusz Kosior i dr Andrzej Syrwid are laureates of Polish Science Fund Start 2019 competition
[full info]
10.02.2018 60th birthday of Kuba Zakrzewski
To celebrate this imporant day, numerous important guests arrived in Krakow to celebrate by participating in the CHAOTIC PATHS TO COLD ATOM PHYSICS.

[conference site]

Happy Birthday!
15.05.2018 PLANCKS 2018: third place
International Competition PLANCKS 2018. Team Smoluchowski: Błażej Ruba, Piotr Staroń, Tomasz Szołdra, Paweł Zalecki, lead by prof. Krzysztof Sacha took the 3rd place
[competition site]
[more details]
20.01.2018 UPC 2017 - silver medal
Team: Jakub Czartowski, Paweł Matus, Tomasz Szołdra (coach prof. Krzysztof Sacha) was awarded silver medal The University Physics Competition 2017.
[full info]
24.06.2017 Marian Mięsowicz Award - PAU
Prof dr hab. Krzysztof Sacha has been awarded Marian Mięsowicz Award by Polska Akademia Umiejętności (PAU). He was rewarded due to his work "Modelling spontanneous breaking of time-translation symmetry" published in Physical Review A 91, 033617 (2015).
[More information and photos]
20.01.2017 UPC 2016 - silver medal
Team Piotr Staroń, Tomasz Szołdra, Paweł Zalecki; (coach prof. Krzysztof Sacha) was awarded a silver medal at The University Physics Competition 2016.