Taming, slowing and trapping atoms with light
Cold is quantum, Quantum is cool!
Multicolored lasers for a variety of different atoms
Keeping our eyes on the quantum
High technology for great science
Join our ultracool group!

Welcome to the website of the Ultracold Quantum Gases group at the European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy (LENS) and Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Florence (Italy). In our labs we use lasers and magnetic fields to produce the lowest temperatures of the Universe, just a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero...

At these temperatures, atoms stop moving and we can control them for a variety of different fundamental studies and applications. We can force atoms to arrange according to a periodic structure and simulate the behavior of crystalline solids and new materials. We can use the atoms as ultra-high accurate sensors to probe forces with the power of quantum mechanics. We can study how quantum particles combine together under the action of strong interactions and how superfluidity develops. We can use these ultracold atoms to process information and develop new quantum technologies.

Dress warmly and... follow us for this ultracold journey!

LAST NEWS

Quantum phase slips, i.e., the primary excitations in one-dimensional superfluids at low temperature, have been well characterized in most condensed-matter systems, with the notable exception of ultracold quantum gases. Here we present our experimental investigation of the dissipation in one-dimensional Bose superfluids flowing along a periodic potential, which show signatures of the presence of quantum phase slips. In particular, by controlling the velocity of the superfluid and the interaction between the bosons we are apparently able to drive a crossover from a regime of thermal phase slips into a regime of quantum phase slips. Achieving a good control of quantum phase slips in ultracold quantum gases requires to keep under control other phenomena such as the breaking of superfluidity at the critical velocity or the appearance of a Mott insulator in the strongly correlated regime. Here we show our current results in these directions.

S. Scaffidi Abbate, et al.,
Exploring quantum phase slips in 1D bosonic systems
Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 226, 2815 (2017)

We explore the interplay between tunneling and interatomic interactions in the dynamics of a bosonic Josephson junction. We tune the scattering length of an atomic K39 Bose-Einstein condensate confined in a double-well trap to investigate regimes inaccessible to other superconducting or superfluid systems. In the limit of small-amplitude oscillations, we study the transition from Rabi to plasma oscillations by crossing over from attractive to repulsive interatomic interactions. We observe a critical slowing down in the oscillation frequency by increasing the strength of an attractive interaction up to the point of a quantum phase transition. With sufficiently large initial oscillation amplitude and repulsive interactions, the system enters the macroscopic quantum self-trapping regime, where we observe coherent undamped oscillations with a self-sustained average imbalance of the relative well population. The exquisite agreement between theory and experiments enables the observation of a broad range of many body coherent dynamical regimes driven by tunable tunneling energy, interactions and external forces, with applications spanning from atomtronics to quantum metrology.

G. Spagnolli, et al.,
Crossing Over from Attractive to Repulsive Interactions in a Tunneling Bosonic Josephson Junction
Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 230403 (2017)

We study the collective spin response and spin diffusion of an ultracold lithium Fermi gas artificially engineered in a fully ferromagnetic state, obtained by spatially segregating oppositely-oriented spins into two adjacent reservoirs. In this way, we show that strong repulsive interactions are sufficient to temporarily stabilize ferromagnetic correlations in a Fermi mixture. In particular, we reveal a substantial increase of the magnetic susceptibility of the gas while approaching the critical value of interaction. Correspondingly, we show that above the critical interaction a spin up-down domain wall can persist for a finite time, indicating the metastability of the ferromagnetic state. Such findings point to Stoner-like ferromagnetic instability driven only by short-range repulsion, and are consistent with our recent study of a repulsive Fermi liquid of polarons in strongly polarized Fermi gases.

G. Valtolina, et al.,
Exploring the ferromagnetic behaviour of a repulsive Fermi gas through spin dynamics
Nat. Phys. 13, 704 (2017)

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Seminars & Events

13.06.2017
The LENS QuantumGases group is glad to welcome in Florence Prof. Randall Hulet from Rice University. Prof. Hulet will be our guest for one month until mid July.
20 & 21.04.2017
QUIC Project Meeting
See detailed program
Querzoli room, LENS.
10.04.2017
Seminar by Prof. Nick Proukakis:
Non-Equilibrium Dynamics in Quantum Gases,
h. 11.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
23.02.2017
Seminar by Prof. David Clément:
Momentum-resolved investigation of the condensate depletion in interacting Bose gases,
h. 15.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
22.02.2017
Seminar by Dr. Carmine Ortix:
Symmetry-protected topological insulators in one-dimension,
h. 12.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
08.02.2017
Trento-Florence Joint Meeting on Cold Matter
Polo Scientifico di Povo, Trento.
24.01.2017
Seminar by Dr. Franck Pereira Dos Santos:
Cold Atom Interferometry Gravity Sensors,
h.15.15 Querzoli room, LENS.
20.01.2017
Seminar by Andrea Morales:
Supersolid formation in a quantum gas breaking a continuous translational symmetry,
h.15.15 Querzoli room, LENS.
20.01.2017
Seminar by Prof. Jean-Philippe Brantut:
Mesoscopic transport experiments with cold atoms,
h. 11.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
19.12.2016
Seminar by Dr. Guido Pagano:
Observation of a Discrete Time Crystal in a Trapped-Ion Quantum Simulator,
h. 16.30 Querzoli room, LENS.
10.10.2016
Seminar by Dr. Francesco Piazza:
Spontaneous Crystallisation of Light and Ultracold Atoms,
h. 15.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
16.09.2016
Fermi Colloquim by Prof. Jun Ye:
Optical atomic clock and many-body quantum physics,
h. 11.30 Querzoli room, LENS.