Quantum gases of ultracold atoms are well-suited to address fundamental quantum physics questions, using established atomic physics techniques for control, manipulation, and measurement. Through a combination of laser cooling, optical trapping, and magnetic field control, we can engineer systems that mimic other physical systems, especially those found in condensed matter, and use the principles of quantum simulation to study phenomena that might otherwise be difficult or impossible to explore.
The University of Alberta Ultracold Quantum Gases Laboratory focusses on two primary areas of research:
A dual-species Rb-K apparatus is designed to study the many-body states of matter that emerge under the influence of strong interactions, spin-orbit coupling, and unique external potentials. We are especially interested in looking for new types of many-body order, especially at the transitions between different states and through out-of-equilibrium dynamics. Here, we seek to answer questions about the differences between the individual and communal behaviour of quantum particles as complexity increases towards conventional, classical behaviour.
Hybrid quantum systems
Using a reconfigurable ultrahigh vacuum system, we will create ultracold gases of atoms and bring them close to the surfaces of solid state devices, both to study the coupling between the electronic and magnetic degrees of freedom between the two systems, and to use one to probe the other. These experiments will focus on using the advantages of the ultracold atoms systems (long coherence times and low temperatures) with the ability to interface solid state devices with conventional computation and readout.