My research interests lie in the experimental study of ultracold atomic gases. Cooled down to a mere fraction of a degree above absolute zero (less than 100 nanoKelvin), these gases display beautiful and often bizarre properties which can be ascribed to the dominant role of quantum mechanics and particle statistics.
The interest in ultracold gases stems partly from the fact that these gases lend themselves to a variety of experimental techniques that can be used to modify their properties in precise ways, for instance, by changing how the atoms interact with each other, or by varying the geometry of their 'containers' to create effectively one, two or three dimensional quantum fluids.
As such, these gases are model systems to create new and exotic forms of quantum matter as well as to simulate the behavior of a variety of quantum materials in order to address fundamental questions in topics ranging from strongly correlated electronic materials, quantum phase transitions, nuclear physics, quantum measurement and even cosmology! Specifically, I aim to pursue such studies with ultracold fluids that have internal (spin) degrees of freedom i.e. spinor gases. Of particular interest is the behavior of such magnetic fluids in low dimensions and in the presence of disorder.
Recently, my research has revolved around the nature of these spinor quantum fluids in the presence of both short-range interactions as well as long-range magnetic dipolar interactions. Under such circumstances, we've observed that the quantum fluid spontaneously 'crystallizes' into ordered magnetic domains  - a behavior reminescent of classical magnetic systems except that it occurs in what is ostensibly still a superfluid, besides being a tenuous gas that is almost a million times more dilute than air! I plan to conduct future studies that will elucidate the nature of this weird form of matter.
In addition, experimental techniques for the manipulation of ultracold gases have reached a level of sophistication whereby mesoscopic aggregates of such gases in precisely engineered quantum states can be created and stored in tailored environs for long durations. Given the exquisite sensitivity of cold atoms to ambient fields, these techniques can be used to realize a pristine metrological resource with immense potential for the measurement of electric and magnetic fields, inertial sensing and surface studies. Alongside applications of ultracold fluids for the simulation of paradigmatic many-body systems, I am also interested in interfacing such fluids with mesoscopic 'solid-state' devices. The primary goals of this research avenue would be surface studies and magnetic microscopy  of correlated electronic materials; as well as issues of fundamental interest that arise from the coupling between seemingly disparate macroscopic quantum systems.
 M. Vengalattore et al, Spontaneously modulated spin textures in a dipolar spinor BEC, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 170403 (2008);  M. Vengalattore et al, High resolution magnetometry with a spinor BEC, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 200801 (2007);