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Special CM-AMO Seminar | Building Synthetic Materials from Ultracold Atoms: Quantum Magnetism in an Optical Lattice, Speaker: Jonathan Simon (Harvard University)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
12:00 AM
335 West Hall

Speaker: Jonathan Simon (Harvard University)

Ultracold atoms in optical lattices are a unique testbed for quantum many-body physics. Using these systems it has recently become possible to engineer strongly-correlated materials from the ground up and probe them with single-atom resolution. I will present experiments in which we have synthesized the first magnetic material composed of ultracold atoms, and watched in situ as quantum fluctuations induce a phase transition from a paramagnet to an antiferromagnet. I will then introduce a new algorithmic cooling scheme that we have demonstrated, pointing the way to even more exotic quantum phases which exist at lower temperatures. I will conclude by discussing ways to combine these techniques to address outstanding questions in many-body dynamics, topological physics and beyond.