Measurement. Science is rooted in measurement: it is from measurements, as unified by theory, that understanding is born. Our comprehension of the universe is therefore bounded by our ability to observe and shaped by human creativity.  Scientific progress is driven by the identification of new physical systems and measurement techniques, leading to new conceptual understanding. Our experiments use systems of ultracold neutral atoms, quantum gases, that make quantum physics manifest in the laboratory. Many properties of these systems can be understood in the intellectual context of many-body physics which describes systems from the commonplace such as crystals, fluids, and semiconductors, to the extreme such as superconductors, quantum Hall systems, and neutron stars.  Many-body physics asks how the properties of individual components — atoms, electrons, nucleons — give rise to the observed macroscopic phenomena.

Ultracold atoms are a very different sort of system than conventional materials, composed of a few hundred to a few hundred million atoms, with densities ranging from 1012 cm-3 to 1015 cm-3, and at temperatures from below 1 nK to a couple uK.  These atomic systems are unique in the simplicity of their underlying Hamiltonian along with a singular capacity for controlling and engineering their quantum degrees of freedom.

Our experiments — inspired by the on-going theory efforts of our collaborators world-wide — take place on three distinct apparatuses: RbK, focusing on artificial gauge fields for atomic Bose and Fermi gases; RbChip, creating spin-dependent forces without light; and RbLi, designing long range interactions mediated by particle exchange.

ErNa Photo-op!

Pictured is the ErNa team: from left to right: Hector Sosa Martinez (Postdoc), Ian B. Spielman (collaborator), Gretchen K. Campbell (PI),  Avinash Kumar (pre-h. D), Madison Anderson (graduate student), Monica Gutierrez Galan (graduate student), and Swarnav Banik (graduate student).

Synthetic clock transitions via continuous dynamical decoupling

Decoherence of quantum systems due to uncontrolled fluctuations of the environment presents fundamental obstacles in quantum science. Clock transitions which are insensitive to such fluctuations are used to improve coherence, however, they are not present in all systems or for

Russell Anderson returns to his native land

After a very productive two month visit to the RbL lab at JQI, Russell Anderson of Monash University has returned home.  Thanks for a great time Russ!

Quantum phases of two-component bosons with spin-orbit coupling in optical lattices

Ultracold bosons in optical lattices are one of the few systems where bosonic matter is known to exhibit strong correlations. Here we push the frontier of our understanding of interacting bosons in optical lattices by adding synthetic spin-orbit coupling, and

Andkia Putra Ph.D. defends his thesis

On this the 17th of November, 2017, Andika Putra defended his thesis to be elevated to the status of Doctor of Philosophy. Congratulations Dr. Putra!

Strong-coupling phases of the spin-orbit-coupled spin-1 Bose-Hubbard chain: Odd-integer Mott lobes and helical magnetic phases

We study the odd-integer filled Mott phases of a spin-1 Bose-Hubbard chain and determine their fate in the presence of a Raman induced spin-orbit coupling which has been achieved in ultracold atomic gases; this system is described by a quantum

Kinetic theory of dark solitons with tunable friction

We study controllable friction in a system consisting of a dark soliton in a one-dimensional Bose-Einstein condensate coupled to a noninteracting Fermi gas. The fermions act as impurity atoms, not part of the original condensate, that scatter off of the

Lindsay and Ian’s book chapter published: Universal Themes of Bose-Einstein Condensation

The book’s focuses on: Following an explosion of research on Bose–Einstein condensation (BEC) ignited by demonstration of the effect by 2001 Nobel prize winners Cornell, Wieman and Ketterle, this book surveys the field of BEC studies. Written by experts in

Dr. Lauren M. Aycock awarded the APS Congressional Science Fellowship for 2017-2018

Newly minted Ph.D.,  Dr. Lauren M. Aycock has been award the 2017-2018 APS Congressional Science Fellowship! She will be spending a year working with members of Congress on issues where her experience can support the legislative and political process! Way

Fourier transform spectroscopy of a spin–orbit coupled Bose gas

We describe a Fourier transform spectroscopy technique for directly measuring band structures, and apply it to a spin-1 spin–orbit coupled Bose–Einstein condensate. In our technique, we suddenly change the Hamiltonian of the system by adding a spin–orbit coupling interaction and