Research in quantum optics and atomic physics has revolutionized our ability to isolate quantum systems from their environment, engineer their properties and steer their dynamics. Cold atoms, ions, and photons thus play a major role in the so-called second quantum revolution, by offering platforms for future quantum technologies. At the heart of these developments lies the ability to generate and control interactions between different quantum mechanical components and to probe and observe quantum states and their dynamics.
The Center for Complex Quantum Systems (CCQ) aims to expand these capabilities by designing, and exploring hybrid quantum systems in which atoms, ions and photons blend together and acquire new, emergent properties. In particular, we perform experiments with laser-cooled trapped ion crystals and multi-component quantum gases of ultracold atoms, and we develop techniques to couple them to light fields. The theoretical and experimental investigation of these platforms aims to deepen our understanding of emergent interactions at the quantum level and seeks to provide new principles and tools for the probing and steering of complex quantum systems. Thus, these developments will also lay a foundation for the advancement of new quantum technologies.