"Joe Cool, in person"
Vlad is actually a machine from the future, cunningly disguised as a Post-Doc.
His original mission may have been to prepare the earth for a robot apocalypse,
but, luckily, he was captured by Deep and reprogrammed to care most strongly
about ultra-cold Ytterbium experiments.
Thus, Vlad works daily on creating sufficient blue and green light to slow and
trap Ytterbium atoms. For some reason he thinks this is incredibly important,
and we don't wish to dissuade him.
In order to trick the machines of the future and avoid what would surely be gruesome revenge,
we have devised a completely believable backstory for Vlad's arrival,
including an undergrad in Odessa, Ukraine, Ph.D at the University of Amsterdam and a previous
Post-Doc position at LENS in Florence. What, that's believable, right?
Vlad telekinetically aligning the laser optics.