Cindy Regal was raised in Duluth, Minnesota and attended Lawrence University in Wisconsin as a physics undergraduate. She was a Hertz Fellow from 2001 to 2006 at JILA, a joint institute between the University of Colorado, Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Her thesis work used laser-cooled atomic gases to study physics formerly available only to condensed-matter physicists. Using a cold gas of fermionic potassium atoms, her work helped reveal a new physical system that links BCS superconductors and bosonic superfluids, such as 4He and Bose-Einstein condensates. This transition, known as the BCS-BEC crossover, could be relevant to our basic understanding of high-Tc superconductors.
Cindy's graduate thesis in addition to receiving a Hertz Thesis Prize was chosen for the American Physical Society’s Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Thesis Prize. Her work has continued to focus on applications of laser-cooling to studying the quantum regime; for example she has contributed to recent progress to extend laser-cooling from atoms to mesoscopic mechanical oscillators. Cindy is an associate professor of physics at the University of Colorado and a fellow of JILA.