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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 2854

  Thursday, February 28th, 2013

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Engineering Synthetic Quantum Materials from Cold Atoms: Mott Insulators to Emergent Polariton Crystals
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Jonathan Simon, University of Chicago
Abstract: The tools of atomic physics provide a unique and powerful toolbox for studies of quantum many-body physics. Using such systems it has recently become possible to engineer strongly-correlated materials from the ground up and probe them with single-atom resolution. I will describe experiments in which we have synthesized the first magnetic material composed of ultracold atoms, and watched it undergo a quantum phase transition from a paramagnet to an antiferromagnet. I will then introduce a new algorithmic cooling scheme that we have demonstrated, pointing the way to yet more exotic quantum phases that exist at lower temperatures. Finally, I will describe ongoing efforts to develop materials composed of strongly correlated photons whose long-range anisotropic interactions will open new horizons, permitting studies of quantum soft-matter.
Host: Vavilov & Saffman
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