Ole Rømer Colloquium - Thomas Pohl: 'Atomic giants in a new light: Quantum many-body physics with Rydberg atoms and photons'

2017.08.24 | Karin Vittrup

Date Wed 06 Sep
Time 15:15 16:00
Location Fys. Aud.

Ole Rømer Colloquium

 

Speaker:

Thomas Pohl, IFA

 

Title:

 

Atomic giants in a new light: Quantum many-body physics with Rydberg atoms and photons

 

Abstract:

 

Since their discovery more than a century ago, excited Rydberg atoms have played a central role in the development of quantum theory and atomic physics. Lately, the advent of cold gases has ushered in a renaissance of Rydberg atom physics, permitting to create, probe, manipulate and utilise extreme atomic states with unprecedented precision. In particular, the combination of ultra-low temperatures, high densities and strong atomic interactions leads to rich physical behaviour with promising applications in optical and information science.

 

In this talk, I will outline different ideas to turn laser-driven Rydberg gases into a versatile platform for quantum simulations of synthetic many-body systems and for engineering quantum states of light. In particular, we will see how the intricate interplay of light-matter and atom-atom interactions gives rise to unrivalled optical nonlinearities that open the door to manipulating light at the ultimate level of single quanta. I will present the current progress towards understanding photon propagation in this new regime of quantum optics, and describe new functionalities that follow from these ideas as well as recent related experiments.

 

Coffee and cake will be available at 15:05

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