Cold atom experiments worldwide are currently playing a leading role in our explorations of the quantum world. The exquisite control on the atom traps and the high-resolution imaging have opened up a new and direct window on the physics of many atoms in the quantum regime. This has revealed a wealth of new phenomena that are under vigorous theoretical and experimental study. We are therefore happy to announce that as of 2022 we are embarking on our own cold atom adventure with a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) experiment.
A BEC consists of order \(10^4\) (or more) atoms that are cooled to temperatures less than a microKelvin, and can be trapped and manipulated with magnets and lasers. Our system, for which we are working together with the company ColdQuanta, will use Rubidium 87 atoms. The final potential that traps the cooled atoms is a combination of a cigar shaped magnetic trap, generated by an atom chip, and a flexible optical trap, generated by a two-axis AOD laser projection system. The latter will allow us to ‘paint’ 2D potentials on the atom cloud, with high resolution both in space and in time.
This will effectively turn our BEC into a quantum simulator, allowing for many exciting experiments on different aspects and regimes of quantum many body physics and quantum field theory. We plan several experiments that look at non-equilibrium evolution, thereby also pushing towards situations that go beyond the mean field Gross-Pitaevskii regime. Moreover we will study analogue gravity applications, in which the BEC is used to simulate quantum field theory on curved space-times. Furthermore we want to realize several quantum information theoretic protocols and will explore possible new entanglement based approaches to quantum tomography.
Contact us for more information, we welcome suggestions and ideas for possible collaborative projects.