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

Info about event


Wednesday 6 September 2017,  at 15:15 - 16:00

Ole Rømer Colloquium



Thomas Pohl, IFA




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




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