Understanding interacting quantum many body system and engineering and exploiting such quantum systems for quantum simulation or quantum information purposes pose some of the most outstanding challenges in quantum physics.
Our research focuses on realizing and controlling such systems using ultracold atomic or molecular quantum gases. Starting with ultracold gases of degenerate quantum matter of bosons or fermions held in optical and magnetic traps, we e.g. impose crystals of light on top of the atoms in order to trap them in controlled periodic potentials. Recent advances by our Munich research team have enabled us to probe and control such quantum many-body systems at the single-atom level and with single-site resolution, thereby extending the control over quantum many-body systems to a qualitatively new level.
Furthermore, our group investigates novel means to realize and probe topological features that can exist within quantum matter. For example, using laser induced hopping one may create lattices including effective artificial magnetic fields a thousand times stronger than the magnetic fields of the most powerful magnets on earth. Using completely novel interferometric probes, our experiments have in addition been able to gain unprecedented access to the topological structure of the underlying system. All this enables one to probe topological quantum matter in novel, previously unexplored parameter regimes.
Ultracold quantum gases in optical lattices overall offer remarkable opportunities to address fundamental questions in diverse fields of physics ranging from condensed matter physics to statistical and high-energy physics with table-top experiment.