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

Single-Atom-Resolved Fluorescence Imaging of an Atomic Mott Insulator

Measured atom distribution of an ultracold quantum gas held in a two-dimensional crystal of light for the two distinct quantum phases of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) (left) and Mott insulators with increasing particle numbers (middle & right). For the BEC, a random atom distribution in the lattice is observed, whereas for strong repulsive interactions between the atoms, a perfectly ordered insulating state (named after Nobel prize winner Sir Neville Mott, a Mott insulator) is formed.

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Figure: Stefan Kuhr & Immanuel Bloch, MPQ

Measured atom distribution of an ultracold quantum gas held in a two-dimensional crystal of light for the two distinct quantum phases of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) (left) and a Mott insulator (right). For the BEC, a random atom distribution in the lattice is observed, whereas for strong repulsive interactions between the atoms, a perfectly ordered insulating state (Mott insulator) is formed.

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Figure: Stefan Kuhr & Immanuel Bloch, MPQ

Measured atom distribution of an ultracold quantum gas held in a two-dimensional crystal of light in a Mott insulating state. Due to the strong interactions between the atoms, their movement is suppressed and they arrange in a perfect crystalline order on the lattice. The self-ordered array could form the basis of a quantum register of a quantum computer or can serve as a quantum simulator for the investigation of novel condensed matter phases.

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Figure: Stefan Kuhr & Immanuel Bloch, MPQ 

 

 

Measured atom distribution of an ultracold quantum gas (convoluted with the point spread function of our imaging system) held in a two-dimensional crystal of light for the two distinct quantum phases of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) (left) and Mott insulators with increasing particle numbers (middle & right). For the BEC, a random atom distribution in the lattice is observed, whereas for strong repulsive interactions between the atoms, a perfectly ordered insulating state (named after Nobel prize winner Sir Neville Mott, a Mott insulator) is formed.

Download (223 kB)

Figure: Stefan Kuhr & Immanuel Bloch, MPQ

Manuel Endres working on the experimental setup at MPQ.

 

 

 

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Photo: Thorsten Naeser, MPQ

Christof Weitenberg working on the experimental setup at MPQ.

 

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Photo: Thorsten Naeser, MPQ