Probing and Controlling Quantum Matter at the Single Atom Level
More than 30 years ago, Richard Feynman outlined the visionary concept of a quantum simulator for carrying out complex physics calculations. Today, his dream has become a reality in laboratories around the world. In my talk I will focus on the remarkable opportunities offered by ultracold quantum gases trapped in optical lattices to address fundamental physics questions ranging from condensed matter physics over statistical physics to high energy physics with table-top experiment.
Specifically, I will show how the realization of quantum gas microscopes for bosonic and fermionic quantum matter has revolutionized our way of probing and controlling quantum matter and how it offers outstanding opportunities for future experiments down to the level of revealing individual quantum fluctuations in a many-body systems. I will also show, how recent experiments with cold gases in optical lattices have enabled to realise and probe artificial magnetic fields that lie at the heart of topological energy bands in a solid. Using a novel ‘Aharonov-Bohm’ type interferometer that acts within the momentum space, we are now able to determine experimentally the geometric structure of an energy band. Finally, I will show how the unique control over ultracold quantum gases has enabled the creation of negative temperature states of matter and thereby the realization of Bose-Einstein condensation at absolute negative temperatures.