Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quantum Simulation 2.0: Atoms Chat Long Distance

08.04.2016

In an international first, a research team of experimental physicists led by Francesca Ferlaino and theoretical physicists led by Peter Zoller has measured long-range magnetic interactions between ultracold particles confined in an optical lattice. Their work, published in Science, introduces a new control knob to quantum simulation.

Simulations are a popular tool to study physical processes that cannot be investigated experimentally in detail. For example, scientists are challenged to investigate physical processes in materials since their properties are determined by the interactions of single particles, which are hardly measurable directly.


By using a magnetic field physicists are able to directly change the direction of the mini magnets and precisely control how the particles interact – attracting or repelling each other.

Erbium team/Simon Baier

Conventional computers quickly reach their limits when dealing with these complex simulations. At the beginning of the 1980s, Richard Feynman proposed to simulate these processes in a quantum system to overcome this obstacle.

Two decades later, Ignacio Cirac and Peter Zoller presented concrete concepts of how quantum processes could be studied by using ultracold atoms confined in optical lattices. In the last few years, this approach has proven itself in practice and is now broadly applied in experiments.

“We are able to control ultracold particles well in experiments and this has provided us with new insights into physical properties,” says Francesca Ferlaino from the Institute for Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

In collaboration with Peter Zoller’s team of theoretical physicists, her research team has now extended this approach for quantum simulations and laid the groundwork for future new research: For the first time, the physicists were able to quantitatively measure long-range interactions between magnetic atoms in optical lattices.

Experimental tool box for matter

Many studies have focused on the investigation of the interaction of short-range particles. “In contrast, we are working with strongly magnetic atoms, which can also interact over long distances,” says co-author Manfred Mark. For their experiment the physicists prepared an ultracold gas of erbium atoms – a Bose-Einstein condensate – in a three dimensional optical lattice of laser beams.

In this simulated solid-body crystal, the particles were arranged similar to eggs in a carton. The distance between the particles was seven times their wave function in the Innsbruck experiment. “By using a magnetic field we are able to directly change the direction of the mini magnets and precisely control how the particles interact – attracting or repelling each other,” explains first author Simon Baier.

A search for exotic quantum phases

“Our collaboration with Zoller, Cai Zi and Mikhail Baranov was indispensable for understanding our measurement results comprehensively,” underlines Francesca Ferlaino. “Our work is another important step towards a better understanding of quantum matter of dipolar atoms because their nature is a lot more complex than the atoms used for ultracold quantum gases in other experiments.”

The research results also lay the groundwork for future studies of novel exotic many-body quantum phases such as checkerboard and stripe phases, which may be created by long-range interactions. “Our study opens the door to finally being able to measure these type of phases,” says Simon Baier, who is already looking into the future. “In principle, we should be able to do this in our experiments as well but we will need to cool the atoms even further from currently 70nK to approximately 2nK.”

The research is supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the European Research Council (ERC) among others.

Publication: Extended Bose-Hubbard models with ultracold magnetic atoms. S. Baier, M. J. Mark, D. Petter, K. Aikawa, L. Chomaz, Z. Cai, M. Baranov, P. Zoller, F. Ferlaino. Science 2016
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac9812

Contact:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Francesca Ferlaino
Institute for Experimental Physics
University of Innsbruck
Phone: +43 676 872552440
Email: francesca.ferlaino@uibk.ac.at
Web: http://www.erbium.at

Dr. Christian Flatz
Public Relations Office
University of Innsbruck
Phone: +43 512 507 32022
Cell: +43 676 872532022
Email: christian.flatz@uibk.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.erbium.at - Dipolar Quantum Gas Group
http://iqoqi.at - Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
http://www.uibk.ac.at/exphys/ - Department of Experimental Physics, University of Innsbruck

Dr. Christian Flatz | Universität Innsbruck

Further reports about: Experimental Physics QUANTUM Simulation magnetic atoms

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object
23.05.2017 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence
23.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>