Innsbruck Physics Lecture - Tue, 22 Oct 2013, 17:15 lecture hall A

blochImmanuel Bloch - Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching

Immanuel Bloch obtained his PhD degree in 2000 from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich under Nobel Prize winner Prof. T.W. Hänsch for thesis work on atom lasers and their coherence. He then became a senior scientist at the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching and later, in 2002, at the Ludwig-Maximilian University. During this time he led an experiment on the first realization of strongly correlated quantum phases with ultracold atoms, specifically on the quantum phase transition from a superfluid to a Mott insulator state (one of the most cited works overall in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics). This work opened a new research field at the interface of condensed matter physics, atomic and molecular physics as well as quantum information science. In 2003 he became full professor at the University of Mainz. Numerous scientific highlights fall into Professor Bloch's time in Mainz: The direct observation of the dynamical collapse and revival of a macroscopic quantum field induced by interactions, the first experimental realization of collisional quantum gates with neutral atoms, and the first experimental realization of a ‘fermionized’ Tonks-Girardeau gas of neutral atoms, to name a few. In 2008/2009 Professor Bloch became a scientific director at the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and a full professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians University. He moved his group back to Munich and has since then obtained a series of spectacular results in the context of condensed matter physics with ultracold atoms. Professor Bloch has authored more than 100 scientific publications, among which there are more than 23 in the journals Nature/Science and more than 33 in Phys. Rev. Lett./Nature Physics. His work has seen more than 12100 citations according to the ISI WoS.

Controlling and Exploring Quantum Matter at the Single Atom Level

addr_psi3d_hiresMore than 30 years ago, Richard Feynman outlined the visionary concept of a quantum simulator for carrying out complex physics calculations. Today, his dream has become a reality in laboratories around the world. In my talk I will focus on the remarkable opportunities offered by ultracold quantum gases trapped in optical lattices to address fundamental physics questions ranging from condensed matter physics over statistical physics to high energy physcis with table-top experiment. 

For example, I will show how it has now become possible to image and control quantum matter with single atom sensitivity and single site resolution, thereby allowing one to directly image individual quantum fluctuations of a many-body system. Such ultrahigh resolution and sensitivity have also enabled us to detect 'Higgs' type excitations occurring at 24 orders of magnitude lower energy scales than in high energy physics experiments. Finally, I will show how the unique control over ultracold quantum gases has enabled the creation of negative temperature states of matter and thereby the realization of Bose-Einstein condensation at absolute negative temperatures.

Video recording of the lecture

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Previous lectures

Michael Kramer - Nearly 100 years after General Relativity: Was Einstein right? >>
(04 November 2014)

Immanuel Bloch - Controlling and Exploring Quantum Matter at the Single Atom Level >>
(22 October 2013)

Wim Ubachs - Search for a variation of fundamental constants >>
(13 November 2012)

Reinhard Genzel - Massive Black Holes and Galaxies >>
(4 October 2011)

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