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Probing strongly correlated quantum systems

December 9, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:30pm
Stefan Kuhr
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom


Ultracold atoms in optical lattices are a versatile tool to investigate fundamental properties of quantum many body systems. In a series of experiments, I demonstrated how the control of such systems can be extended down to the most fundamental level of single atomic spins at specific lattice sites. Using a high-resolution optical imaging system, we were able to obtain fluorescence images of strongly interacting bosonic Mott insulators with single-atom and single-site resolution [1] and addressed the atomic spins with sub-diffraction-limited resolution [2]. In addition, we directly monitored the tunneling quantum dynamics of single atoms in the lattice, and observed quantum-correlated particle-hole pairs [3] spreading of correlations after a parameter quench [4], and the quantum dynamics of spin-impurities [5]. A new experimental setup involving fermionic 40K is currently under construction at the University of Strathclyde. Our goals are the single-atom-resolved observation of strongly correlated fermionic systems, implementation of novel cooling schemes, engineering of quantum many-body phases and experiments for quantum information processing.

[1] J. F. Sherson, C. Weitenberg, M. Endres, M. Cheneau, I. Bloch, S. Kuhr, Single-atom-resolved fluorescence imaging of an atomic Mott insulator, Nature 467, 68 (2010).

[2] C. Weitenberg, M. Endres, J. F. Sherson, M. Cheneau, P. Schauß, T. Fukuhara, I.Bloch, S. Kuhr, Single-spin addressing in an atomic Mott insulator, Nature 471, 319 (2011).

[3] M. Endres, M. Cheneau, T. Fukuhara, C. Weitenberg, P. Schauß, C. Gross, L. Mazza, M.C. Banuls, L. Pollet, I. Bloch, S. Kuhr, Observation of Correlated Particle-Hole Pairs and String Order in Low-Dimensional Mott Insulators, Science 334, 200 (2011).

[4]  M. Cheneau, P. Barmettler, D. Poletti, M. Endres, P. Schauß, T. Fukuhara, C. Gross, I. Bloch, C. Kollath, S. Kuhr, Light-cone-like spreading of correlations in a quantum many-body system, Nature 481, 484 (2012).

[5] T. Fukuhara, A. Kantian, M. Endres, M. Cheneau, P. Schauß, S. Hild, D. Bellem, U. Schollwöck, T. Giamarchi, C. Gross, I. Bloch, S. Kuhr, Quantum dynamics of a single, mobile spin impurity, Nature Physics 9, 235 (2013)

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