Recent news

Thomas Uehlinger successfully defended his PhD thesis on January 30, 2014. View the picture here.

David Stadler successfully defended his PhD thesis on December 16, 2013. View the picture here.

The qstarter awards 2013 went to Tobias Donner & team for Envico and Gregor Jotzu & team for πEOMCongratulations!

Daniel Greif won the 2013 CAP Outstanding Student Paper Award in AMO Physics. Congratulations!

Recently published

Thermodynamics and Magnetic Properties of the Anisotropic 3D Hubbard Model, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 115301 (2014), arXiv 1309.7362

Artificial graphene with tunable interactions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 185307 (2013)arXiv:1308.4401.

A thermoelectric heat engine with ultracold atoms, Science 342, 713 (2013) and arXiv:1306.5754. See also the corresponding Perspective "Cold-Atom Thermoelectrics" in Science.

Short-Range Quantum Magnetism of Ultracold Fermions in an Optical Lattice, Science 340, 1307 (2013). See also the corresponding Perspective "Cold-Atom Magnetism" in Science.

Real-time observation of fluctuations at the driven-dissipative Dicke phase transition, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 110, 11763 (2013)


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. A new tool to interrogate fermionic quantum gases is the microscopic view on local fluctuations of the trapped gas.


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