Recent news

Gregor Jotzu won the "2015 prize in General Physics" by the Swiss Physical Society. Congratulations!

Gregor Jotzu successfully defended his PhD thesis on September 4th, 2015

Sebastian Krinner successfully defended his PhD thesis on July 10, 2015

Our football team, the Qombats, won this year's Boltzmann cup ! Congratulations !

Recently published

Quantum phases emerging from competing short- and long-range interactions in an optical lattice, arXiv:1511.00007


Formation and dynamics of anti-ferromagnetic correlations in tunable optical lattices, arXiv:1509.­00854

Exploring competing density order in the ionic Hubbard model with ultracold fermions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 115303 (2015) and arXiv:1503.05549

Connecting strongly correlated superfluids by a quantum point contact, arXiv:1508.00578

Observation of a Fragmented, Strongly Interacting Fermi Gas, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 045302 (2015) and arXiv:1311.5174

Creating State-Dependent Lattices for Ultracold Fermions by Magnetic Gradient Modulation, PRL 115, 073002 (2015) and arXiv:1504.05573


Welcome to Prof. Tilman Esslinger's Quantum Optics Group

In our research we use ultracold atoms to synthetically create key models in quantum many-body physics. The properties of the trapped quantum gases are governed by the interplay between atomic motion and a well characterized interaction between the particles. This conceptual simplicity is unique in experimental physics and provides a direct link between the experiment and the model describing the system. It enables us to shine new light on a wide range of fundamental phenomena and address open challenges. We explore the physics of quantum phase transitions and crossovers, low-dimensional systems and non-equilibrium dynamics, and thereby establish the basis for quantum simulation of many-body Hamiltonians.

For example, by loading a quantum degenerate gas of potassium atoms into the periodic potential of an optical lattice we realize Hubbard models with atoms and access superfluid, metallic and Mott-insulating phases. A many-body system with infinitely long-range interactions is formed by trapping a Bose-Einstein condensate inside an optical cavity, which has allowed us to observe the Dicke quantum phase transition from a normal to a superradiant phase. We also work on extending the concepts of quantum simulations to device-like structures connected to atomic reservoirs, using a combination of high-resolution microscopy and transport measurements.


We acknowledge funding from SNF and ETH Zurich, NCCR QSIT, NCCR MaNEP and the European Union (ERC advanced grant SQMS, FET Open NAMEQUAM, FET Open TherMIQ) and collaboration with qubig.