Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rene Gerritsma receives a EUR 1.5 million ERC Starting Grant for quantum simulations

11.07.2013
Mainz physicist will develop a quantum simulator that will be used to study the quantum physics of solids

Rene Gerritsma of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has been awarded funding from the European Research Council in support of his work on quantum simulations with ultracold atoms and ions.

His project on "Hybrid Atom-Ion Quantum Systems" will be funded by a prestigious ERC Starting Grant worth EUR 1.5 million. The central goal of the project is to study the properties of solids by using a quantum simulator based on a hybrid system of cold ions interacting with a degenerate Fermi gas.

More than 30 years ago, Richard Feynman proposed that quantum simulators could be used to study large many-body quantum systems. Feynman realized that it is beyond the ability of existing computer technology to calculate many properties of such systems. For example, just storing the quantum state of a comparably small system of only 50 electrons would already require a computer with an inconceivable amount of RAM capacity. In this case, 2 to the power of 50 complex numbers would have to be stored, corresponding to quadrillions of bits. In contrast, Feynman's proposed quantum simulator would be able to cope with the task of investigating the properties of many-body quantum systems such as solids.

Crystalline solids consist of a regular lattice of positively charged atomic cores (ions) surrounded by a Fermi gas of electrons. Important properties of solids, such as their electrical conductivity, are strongly influenced by the interplay between these electrons and the lattice atoms. Lattice vibrations (sound waves) also play a major role including the mediation of the electron-electron interactions thought to be responsible for high-temperature superconductivity. Although some phase transitions that occur in solids, e.g. the transition from a Mott insulator to a superconductor, can be studied using a quantum simulator that employs only ultracold atoms, there is to date no atomic model system that can simulate the effect of real lattice vibrations on electrons.

In his project, Gerritsma plans to use ytterbium ion crystals (simulating the ionic core lattice) and an ultracold gas of lithium atoms (simulating an electronic Fermi gas). By letting the atoms and ions interact in a controlled manner, this model system may provide a deeper insight into the properties of solids and a route towards new quantum simulators of electron-lattice interactions. For the first time, the focus will be on venturing deep into the ultracold regime of atom-ion interactions, where quantum mechanical effects dominate. Tools originally developed for implementing quantum information processing make it possible to employ ions as sensors to probe the properties of the quantum simulator and these tools could even be used to detect individual atoms.

Rene Gerritsma studied Physics at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and received his doctorate from the University of Amsterdam. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Innsbruck, Austria. Since late 2011, he has been a member of the Quantum, Atomic, and Neutron Physics (QUANTUM) group at the Institute of Physics of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. The ERC Starting Grant gives him the opportunity to establish his own research group. Gerritsma's experimental research in the QUANTUM work group is supported by his collaboration with theoretical physicist Professor Walter Hoffstetter of the Goethe University in Frankfurt and the Transregional Collaborative Research Center 49 on "Condensed Matter Systems with Variable Many-Body Interactions."

Image:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/08_physik_quantum_ercgrant_gerritsma_01.jpg

The figure schematically shows a Paul trap with four main electrodes, in which a crystal of Yb+ ions is trapped and overlapped with an optically-trapped cloud of lithium ions. source: Rene Gerritsma

Futher information:
Dr. Rene Gerritsma
Quantum, Atomic, and Neutron Physics (QUANTUM)
Institute of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-20203 or 39-24606
fax +49 6131 39-25179
e-mail: rene.gerritsma@uni-mainz.de
Weitere Informationen:
http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.4972 (scientific proposal)

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.quantum.physik.uni-mainz.de/

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht CRTD receives 1.56 Mill. Euro BMBF-funding for retinal disease research
24.05.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht BMBF funds translational project to improve radiotherapy
10.05.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New Method of Characterizing Graphene

Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene’s properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics reported their findings in the journal Physical Review Applied.

Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is transparent, harder than diamond and stronger than steel, yet flexible, and a significantly better...

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

3D printer inks from the woods

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

How circadian clocks communicate with each other

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible

30.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>