Oberlin College and Conservatory

Physics & Astronomy Lecture Series: Dr. Cedric Wilson

Thursday, October 12, 2023 at 4:35pm

Wright Laboratory of Physics, W201
110 N. Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

Ultracold atom quantum simulators: artificial magnetic fields and matter-wave diffraction from quasicrystalline optical lattices

Quantum many-body systems in condensed matter physics are at the forefront of modern engineering and fundamental science. These systems have interesting regimes that are inaccessible with traditional condensed matter experiments and are too complex to simulate with traditional computational techniques. Quantum simulation is a method of experimentally simulating these regimes with defect-free and controllable systems, such as ultracold atoms under ultra-high vacuum in magnetic and optical traps. I will discuss two quantum simulation experiments in particular: (1) artificial magnetic fields in rotating Bose-Einstein condensates and Fermi gases, and (2) matter-wave diffraction of Bose-Einstein condensates from quasicrystalline optical lattices.

Magnetic fields or, equivalently in the case of a uniform, static field, rotation are especially important parameters for many-body systems. I will discuss two experiments with rapidly-rotating quantum gases, contrasting the behavior of Bose-Einstein condensates and degenerate Fermi gases under technique of geometric squeezing, and the measurement of the Hall response in these systems.

Quasicrystals are aperiodic but still have long-range order, possessing crystallographically forbidden rotational symmetry but not translational symmetry. Electronic band structure and topology, which would typically provide insight into material properties of periodic crystals, are still not well-understood for quasicrystals. Analog quantum simulation of a quasicrystal would open a window into quasicrystal band structure. Diffraction experiments of a condensate from the quasicrystalline lattice potential will facilitate follow-up experiments with dynamical quasicrystal lattices, elucidating properties of quasicrystalline topological quantum materials.

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Academic, Physics and Astronomy


Free and open to the public

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Dr. Cedric Wilson

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Amy Reising Physics W110

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