Synthesizing, controlling, and probing quantum states through microscopy

Speaker: Adam Kaufman, Harvard University

When: February 2, 2017 (Thu), 03:30PM to 04:30PM (add to my calendar)
Location: SCI 352

This event is part of the Biophysics/Condensed Matter Seminar Series.

I will describe two experimental platforms --- optical tweezer trapping of single atoms and quantum gas microscopy --- and how we have used them to realize experiments with low-entropy systems of neutral atoms. While these platforms share a common goal of creating and microscopically manipulating quantum states of neutral atoms, they employ opposite strategies. The optical tweezer approach aims to assemble quantum systems from single atoms in a bottom-up fashion; quantum gas microscopes employ a top-down strategy, where smaller many-body systems are distilled from larger samples. In describing these ideas, I will focus on two experiments we performed that utilize the capabilities of these platforms. In one experiment with optical tweezers, we realized atomic Hong-Ou-Mandel interference with independently prepared atoms. In a second experiment with a quantum gas microscope, we performed studies of quantum thermalization, which leverage this atomic Hong-Ou-Mandel interference to probe the role of entanglement in thermalization of closed systems. Lastly, I will discuss future avenues that draw on the capabilities of these platforms and build on these experimental studies.