Quantum Optics Group (LMU) - Quantum Many Body Systems Division (MPQ)


Welcome! We are carrying out research in the field of quantum optics and quantum many-body systems using ultracold atomic and molecular quantum gases at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig Maximilians University. Furthermore, our group is part of the Munich Quantum Center.

We are always looking for Master students, PhD students and Postdocs. For more information click here! 

In this work we study ultracold polar molecules with long-range interactions over extended periods of time using a „supermagic“ trapping technique. To obtain the interacting molecular gas we create a superposition of the molecules’ ground and first excited rotational states. In general, these two states react differently to the optical trap holding the molecules. The couplings between nuclear spins, rotation and the trap light lead to a Gordian knot of transitions in the rotation spectra. This masks the observation of the collective molecular spin dynamics. In this work we disentangle the spectra using two tricks: A special, so-called „magic“ polarization of the trap beam and a small static electric field. In this supermagic trap we can then expose the dipolar interactions between the molecules. This paves the way towards the simulation of complex quantum models with long-range interactions, e.g. to explore superconducting materials.

PhysRevLett.121.253401 (2018)




To spread the word about the fascinating physics behind ultracold polar molecules, Frauke loves to travel to Science Slams all over Germany. There the goal is to present own research to a general audience in 10 minutes. Ideally in an understandable and entertaining way, because in the end the audience is also the jury of all performances. Now you can watch her performance from 19th of September 2018 in Ulm on YouTube and learn about her molecular dating agency “alkaLiebe

We experimentally and numerically investigate mass transport of fermions in a one-dimensional optical lattice by releasing an initially trapped gas suddenly into a homogeneous potential landscape. For initial states with an appreciable amount of doublons, we observe a dynamical phase separation between rapidly expanding singlons and slow doublons remaining in the trap center, realizing the key aspect of fermionic quantum distillation in the strongly-interacting limit. For initial states without doublons, we find a reduced interaction dependence of the asymptotic expansion speed compared to bosons, which is explained in terms of the interaction energy produced by dynamically generated doublons in the interaction quench.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 130402 (2018)

Breaking down our research so that 99,999% of the worlds population would understand it, was the goal of Jayadev Vijayan with his article "Zooming into superconducters". With his Leap - a popular science article on quantum research written by scientists and reviewed by teenagers — published in Quantum Views, he explains his research to 13-14 year old High School students who reviewed the article and (hopefully!) understood why cold atoms is a research field worth studying.

See yourself if you understand Jayadevs explanation: HERE
Learn more about Quantum Leaps on the Quantum Journal website.

Professor Dan Stamper-Kurn has won a Humboldt Research Award

The award is conferred on established investigators from abroad to enable them to undertake collaborative projects with designated colleagues in Germany. Moreover, the Board of Directors of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics has honoured Prof. Stamper-Kurn an MPQ Distinguished Scholar, in appreciation of his groundbreaking contributions to the field of Ultracold Quantum Gases and Quantum Optics. Prof. Stamper-Kurn arrived in Munich in January 2018, where he is pleased to be hosted by Prof. Immanuel Bloch. He is Professor at the University of California in Berkeley, he is also affiliated with the Materials Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and heads the Science Definition team of the Bose-Einstein Condensation Cold Atom Laboratory (BECCAL) – a collaborative endeavor of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and NASA that aims to conduct quantum gas experiments aboard the International space Station (ISS).

For more information click here and click here

Professor Immanuel Bloch is elected member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences

The Plenary Assembly of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences has appointed Professor Immanuel Bloch, Chair of Experimental Physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich and Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, an ordinary member.

For more information please click here.

Thomas Kohlert received the Best Poster Prize at the 669. International WE-Heraeus-Seminar on Quantum Gases and Quantum Coherence.

The poster title is “Single-Particle Mobility Edge and Many-Body Localized Phase in a 1D Quasiperiodic Optical Lattice with Ultracold Atoms”.

Click here to view the poster.


On Tuesday, March 6th 2018, Frauke Seeßelberg received the first price for her presentation at the EinsteinSlam.

EinsteinSlam is the competitive art of making complex science accessible to a broad audience. There are just 10 minutes for every attendee to present his/her self-made performance.

More information here: www.einstein-slam.de

A single-particle mobility edge (SPME) marks a critical energy separating extended from localized statesin a quantum system. In one-dimensional systems with uncorrelated disorder, a SPME cannot exist, since all single-particle states localize for arbitrarily weak disorder strengths. However, in a quasiperiodic system, the localization transition can occur at a finite detuning strength and SPMEs become possible. In this work, we find experimental evidence for the existence of such a SPME in a one-dimensional quasi-periodic optical lattice. Specifically, we find a regime where extended and localized single-particle states coexist, in good agreement with theoretical simulations, which predict a SPME in this regime.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 160404 (2018)



Group Seminar at MPQ: Towards a steady-state atom laser

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 at 9:15am, MPQ temporary lecture hall R. Gonzalez Escudero, C.-C....

Group Seminar at MPQ: Building one molecule from a reservoir of two atoms

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 at 9:15am, MPQ temporary lecture hall Lee Liu, Harvard University We...

Group Seminar at MPQ: Ultracold chromium-lithium Fermi mixtures with resonant few-body interactions

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 at 9:15am, MPQ temporary lecture hall Matteo Zaccanti from CNR-INO...

Group Seminar at MPQ: Dipolar Quantum Mixtures of Erbium and Dysprosium

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 at 09:15am, MPQ new lecture hall B 0.32 Maximilian Sohmen, Visiting...


Open Lab Day - 28 June 2018

You are a Master student and considering doing your research thesis in experimental quantum physics?

From Laser Spectroscopy to Quantum Science

Symposium in Honor of the 75th birthday of Ted Hänsch