Recent news

Philip Zupancic won the IOP poster price at ICAP 2018. Congratulations!

Dominik Husmann and Andrea Morales defended their PhD thesis on July 13th. Congratulations to both!

Lorenz Hruby defended his PhD thesis on June 22nd. Congratulations!

Alexander Baumgärtner joined the Impact team. Welcome!

Michael Messer defended his PhD thesis on February 2nd. Congratulations!

Recently published

Coupling two order parameters in a quantum gas. Nature materials, 17, 686690 (2018  and arxiv:1711.07988. See also the press release.

Formation of a spin texture in a quantum gas coupled to a cavity, arXiv:1803.01803 (2018)

Breakdown of the Wiedemann-Franz law in a unitary Fermi gas, PNAS 115, no. 34 8563-8568 (2018).

Metastability and avalanche dynamics in strongly-correlated gases with long-range interactions, arXiv:1708.00229v3 (2017)

Enhancement and sign change of magnetic correlations in a driven quantum many-body system. arXiv:1708.06751 (2017) and Nature 553, 481-485 (2018). See also the press release.

Assembling a mesoscopic lattice in a quantum wire for ultracold fermions, arXiv:1708.01250 (2017)

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.