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Quantum Engineering at Nanokelvin Temperatures: Quantum Phase Transitions, Strong Correlations and Novel Many-body Systems

Professor Hanns-Christoph Nägerl

University of Innsbruck, Austria

11:00 am Tuesday, 20 July 2010, EN101 (Ground Floor, EN Building), Hawthorn.

I will review recent experiments with atomic and molecular quantum gases in the regime of quantum degeneracy, Bose-Einstein condensation, and strong correlations. Ultracold atomic and molecular gases are versatile tunable laboratory systems for the study of complex many-body quantum phenomena as essentially all parameters such as geometry and strength of confinement and the strength of interactions can be controlled with near-perfect isolation from external perturbations. For atoms with 1D geometry, I will discuss the strongly-interacting limits of so-called Tonks-Girardeau and super-Tonks-Girardeau phases [1]. We observe the “pinning” quantum phase transition in the presence of an arbitrarily weak lattice potential [2]. I will briefly outline our efforts to achieve quantum degeneracy of molecules in optical lattice potentials [3] with the aim to generate dipolar quantum gas phases. [1] Realization of an excited, strongly correlated quantum gas phase, E. Haller et al., Science 325, 1224 (2009). [2] Pinning quantum phase transition for a Luttinger liquid of strongly interacting bosons, E. Haller et al., Nature in print, preprint at arXiv:1004.3168 (2010). [3] An ultracold high-density sample of rovibronic ground-state molecules in an optical lattice, J.G. Danzl et al., Nature Physics 6, 265 (2010).

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