Recent news

Daniel Greif was a finalist for this year's DAMOP thesis prize! Congratulations!

Our football team, the Qombats, finished second in this year's Boltzmann cup ! Congratulations !

Rafael Mottl successfully defended his PhD thesis on June 11, 2014. View the picture here.

Congratulation to the QO team, for finishing in 234th place in this year's SOLA! See the pictures here.

Recently published

Measuring the dynamic structure factor of a quantum gas undergoing a structural phase transition, arXiv:1503.05565


Exploring competing density order in the ionic Hubbard model with ultracold fermions, arXiv:1503.05549

Observation of Quantized Conductance in Neutral Matter, Nature 517, 64-67 (2015) and arXiv:1404.6400

Experimental realization of the topological Haldane model, Nature 515, 237-240 and arXiv:1406:7874. See also the corresponding News and Views in Nature.

Optical transport of ultracold atoms using focus-tunable lenses, New J. Phys. 16 (2014) 093028, arXiv:1406.2336


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.