Relatore:Oliver Morsch   -Università di Pisa – INO CNR Pisa

Luogo: Aula Newton - Plesso Fisico



In recent years, ultracold atoms have become a workhorse of modern physics. Apart from

technological applications, e.g., in atomic clocks, they are increasingly used in order to simulate both

quantum and classical phenomena under highly controlled conditions. In my talk I will give a brief overview

of the basic principles and recent developments in the field, with a particular emphasis on the prospects for

using ultracold atoms as quantum simulators in the spirit of Richard Feynman’s suggestion made in the

1980’s. In the second part I will present two recent experiments performed in Pisa illustrating these

principles. One of the experiments used cold atoms in optical lattices to investigate the possibility of

perfectly transitionless driving of a two-level quantum system through an avoided crossing (the paradigmatic

Landau-Zener problem). In the second experiment, we used ultracold atoms excited to high-lying Rydberg

states in order to simulate so-called kinetic constraints, which are processes hypothesized to occur in soft

matter systems such as glasses. Finally, I will give an outlook on future research directions, both in Pisa and

in the community in general.

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