Kyung Soo Choi

Faculty, Assistant Professor
Kyung Soo Choi

Kyung Soo Choi received a BS (Hon.) degree in Physics from State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2006. He received his PhD degree in Physics from California Institute of Technology in 2011.

His doctoral thesis was based on experimental quantum optics and completed under the supervision of H. Jeff Kimble. There, he and his colleagues has led a worldwide effort towards scalable quantum networks, including the first experimental realizations of elementary quantum repeater, optical quantum memory, sudden death for entanglement, multipartite “single-photon” entanglement, and multipartite quantum networks with ultracold atomic ensembles.

Subsequently, Kyung held an Institute for Quantum Information (IQI) Postdoctoral Fellowship (2011) and an Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM) Visiting Scientist position (2012-2014) at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He was a Senior Scientist at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) from 2011 until he joined the Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo in 2014.

During this period, his team contribute to an emerging research area between nanophotonics and cold atom physics, and pioneered some of the experimental platforms for waveguide Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) with neutral atoms. These work included the early work on nanofiber-based atom-photon quantum interfaces and the band-edge enhanced strong coupling regime for cold atoms localized in one-dimensional (1D) photonic crystal waveguides.

At the University of Waterloo, his research focuses on building exotic quantum systems with strongly interacting atoms and light in the vicinity of nanoscopic structures and with ultracold Rydberg atoms. By applying advanced techniques in cold atom physics and quantum optics, he plans to utilize quantum dynamics at the level of single quanta to manipulate and examine highly entangled states of light and matter, and to build a foundation for new quantum optical materials at ultracold temperature quanta-by-quanta.

Current projects

  • Emergence of non-equilibrium quantum phases from driven dipolar quantum matter (experimental)
  • Extreme quantum nonlinear optics with Rydberg polaritons (experimental)
  • Strongly coupled light and matter with photonic crystals (experimental)
  • Casimir-Polder forces for cold atoms near nanophotonic structures (theory)
  • Critical scaling behavior of entanglement for quantum many-body systems (theory)

Teaching affiliations

  • Graduate and undergraduate physics classes at the University of Waterloo, 2014-Present


  • PhD, Physics, Caltech, 2006-2011
  • BS, Physics, Stony Brook, 2002-2006

Awards & honors

  • Early Researcher Award, Government of Ontario, 2015-Present
  • Hanrim Frontier Scientist, Korean Academy of Science and Technology, 2014 - Present
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers (PECASE), Republic of Korea, 2012 - Present
  • National Research Foundation, Republic of Korea, 2012 - Present
  • KIST Institutional Programs, 2012 - 2014

Major positions

Title Location When
Assistant Professor Department of Physics & Astronomy and IQC, University of Waterloo 2014-Present
Senior Scientist Spin Convergence Research Center, KIST 2011-2014
Visiting Scientist IQIM, Caltech 2012-2014
Postdoctoral Fellow IQI, Caltech 2011