The Rubidium Quantum Gas Microscope

The Rubidium Quantum Gas Microscope

Long-range Rydberg interactions and out-of-equilibrium many-body dynamics

In our Rb87 quantum gas microscope we are able to detect and manipulate Rubidium atoms in optical lattices with single-site resolution and single-atom sensitivity. Our work focuses on exploring long range interacting Rydberg gases and probing non-equilibrium phenomena such as many-body localization in this unique setting.


Long-range Rydberg interactions

Interactions in cold atomic systems are usually short ranged. Rydberg atoms offer the possibility to realize very strong, effectively long range, interactions. We study the resulting long range interacting quantum spin models experimentally using our microscope. One unique feature of our approach is the direct imaging of the Rydberg excitations in the interacting many-body system. Using this technique we were able to study spontaneously ordered quantum states of Rydberg excitations. Among our most recent works, we have studied the Ising-like interactions emerging from Rydberg dressing and observed the photoassociation of giant molecules, so-called Rydberg macrodimers.


Out-of-equilibrium dynamics in clean and disordered systems

The thermalization of an isolated quantum system can fail in the presence of quenched disorder, even with interactions. This phenomenon, known as many-body localization (MBL), has been recently the focus of much theoretical work, though many open questions still remain regarding its existence in higher dimensions or its robustness to a finite bath coupling. Ultracold atoms in optical lattices have emerged as an extremely suitable platform for the study of MBL, and promise to shed light into some of its properties.

In our experiment, we use a quantum-gas microscope with projected disorder to study the dynamics of a quenched state of bosons in two dimensions, where we observe a remaining memory of the initially prepared state by measuring the evolution of its imbalance. By introducing a second bosonic species unaffected by the disorder potential, a thermal component has been added to the system, and we have measured its effect on the disordered component, which in the presence of a big enough thermal component ultimately loses its imbalance.

Group members

Bloch, Immanuel Prof. Dr.
  • +49 89 3 29 05 - 238 (MPQ)
Groß, Christian Dr.
Research Group Leader
  • +49 89 3 29 05 - 713 (Office)
Hollerith, Simon
Doctoral candidate
  • +49 89 3 29 05 - 218 (Office) // -219 (Lab) //
  • -220 (Prep lab)
Rubio Abadal, Antonio
Doctoral candidate
  • +49 89 3 29 05 - 218 (Office) // -219 (Lab) //
  • -220 (Prep lab)
Rui, Jun Dr.
  • +49 89 3 29 05 - 677 (Office) // -219 (Lab) //
  • -220 (Prep lab)
Srakaew, Kritsana
Doctoral candidate
  • +49 89 3 29 05 - 218 (Office) // -219 (Lab) //
  • -220 (Prep lab)
Wei, David
Doctoral candidate
  • +49 89 3 29 05 - 677 (Office) // -219 (Lab) //
  • -220 (Prep lab)

Recent publications


Hollerith, S.; Zeiher, J.; Rui, J.; Rubio Abadal, A.; Walther, V.; Pohl, T.; Stamper-Kum, D. M.; Bloch, I.; Groß, C.: Quantum gas microscopy of Rydberg macrodimers. Science 364 (6441), pp. 664 - 667 (2019)
Choi, J.-Y.; Hild, S.; Zeiher, J.; Schauß, P.; Rubio Abadal, A.; Yefsah, T.; Khemani, V.; Huse, D. A.; Bloch, I.; Groß, C.: Exploring the many-body localization transition in two dimensions. Science 352 (6293), pp. 1547 - 1552 (2016)
Schauß, P.; Zeiher, J.; Fukuhara, T.; Hild, S.; Cheneau, M.; Macri, T.; Pohl, T.; Bloch, I.; Groß, C.: Crystallization in Ising quantum magnets. Science 347 (6229), pp. 1455 - 1458 (2015)
Fukuhara, T.; Schauß, P.; Endres, M.; Hild, S.; Cheneau, M.; Bloch, I.; Groß, C.: Microscopic observation of magnon bound states and their dynamics. Nature 502 (7469), pp. 76 - 79 (2013)
Endres, M.; Fukuhara, T.; Pekker, D.; Cheneau, M.; Schauß, P.; Gross, C.; Demler, E.; Kuhr, S.; Bloch, I.: The 'Higgs' amplitude mode at the two-dimensional superfluid/ Mott insulator transition. Nature 487 (7408), pp. 454 - U64 (2012)
Cheneau, M.; Barmettler, P.; Poletti, D.; Endres, M.; Schauß, P.; Fukuhara, T.; Gross, C.; Bloch, I.; Kollath, C.; Kuhr, S.: Light-cone-like spreading of correlations in a quantum many-body system. Nature 481 (7382), pp. 484 - 487 (2012)
Weitenberg, C.; Endres, M.; Sherson, J. F.; Cheneau, M.; Schauß, P.; Fukuhara, T.; Bloch, I.; Kuhr, S.: Single-spin addressing in an atomic Mott insulator. Nature 471 (7338), pp. 319 - 324 (2011)
Sherson, J. F.; Weitenberg, C.; Endres, M.; Cheneau, M.; Bloch, I.; Kuhr, S.: Single-atom-resolved fluorescence imaging of an atomic Mott insulator. Nature 467 (7311), pp. 68 - 72 (2010)

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