Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


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Ultracold Atoms in Optical Lattices

PD Dr. Alejandro Saenz

(AG Moderne Optik, Institut für Physik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)


Originally driven by the quest for the experimental verification
of Bose-Einstein condensation, ultracold atoms have now become
an exciting research topic by themself. An important step into
exploring completely new questions has been the loading of ultracold
atoms into optical lattices. The optical lattice provides a perfect,
defect-free periodic potential that resembles the one well known in
solid-state physics. However, both the lattice parameters as well as
the interatomic interactions can easily be tuned experimentally in
the case of ultracold atoms. Furthermore, the atoms can be
distinguishable particles or indistinguishable Bosons or Fermions.
As a consequence, many predictions from solid-state theory can be
tested on a large parameter space. In the spirit of Feynman's
prediction that nothing can simulate a many-body quantum system better than a quantum system, the ultracold atoms in optical  lattices may serve as quantum simulators. In fact, not only  solid-state Hamiltonians, but also lattice gauge-field problems  can possibly be studied with these systems. In this talk the  physics of ultracold atoms in optical lattices will be discussed with an emphasis on the microscopic theory.

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