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!


We have performed pioneering investigations of a Bose-Einstein condensate in a random potential, produced by shining an optical speckle pattern onto the atoms. We have investigated both static and dynamic properties of the BEC in the presence of disorder. With small levels of disorder, stripes are observed in the expanded density profile and strong damping of dipole and quadrupole oscillations is seen. By studying the propagation of the BEC in a disordered waveguide, we have evidenced a strong suppression of mass transport as the speckle potential is increased. The experimental results are in good agreement with numerical calculations based on the Gross-Pitaevskii equation.

J. E. Lye et al.
Bose-Einstein Condensate in a Random Potential
Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 070401 (2005)

C. Fort et al.
Effect of Optical Disorder and Single Defects on the Expansion of a Bose-Einstein Condensate in a One-Dimensional Waveguide
Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 170410 (2005)

We have experimentally studied the unstable dynamics of a harmonically trapped Bose-Einstein condensate loaded into a 1D moving optical lattice. The lifetime of the condensate in such a potential exhibits a dramatic dependence on the quasimomentum state. This is unambiguously attributed to the onset of dynamical instability, after a comparison with the predictions of the Gross-Pitaevskii theory. Deeply in the unstable region we observe the rapid appearance of complex structures in the atomic density profile, as a consequence of the condensate phase uniformity breakdown.

L. Fallani et al.
Observation of Dynamical Instability for a Bose-Einstein Condensate in a Moving 1D Optical Lattice
Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 140406 (2004)

We report the experimental observation of a lensing effect on a Bose-Einstein condensate expanding in a moving 1D optical lattice. The effect of the periodic potential can be described by an effective mass dependent on the condensate quasimomentum. By changing the velocity of the atoms in the frame of the optical lattice, we induce a focusing of the condensate along the lattice direction. The experimental results are compared with the numerical predictions of an effective 1D theoretical model. In addition, a precise band spectroscopy of the system is carried out by looking at the real-space propagation of the atomic wave packet in the optical lattice.

L. Fallani et al.
Optically Induced Lensing Effect on a Bose-Einstein Condensate Expanding in a Moving Lattice
Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 240405 (2003)

We investigate the properties of a coherent array containing about 200 Bose-Einstein condensates produced in a far detuned 1D optical lattice. The density profile of the gas, imaged after releasing the trap, provides information about the coherence of the ground-state wave function. The measured atomic distribution is characterized by interference peaks. The time evolution of the peaks, their relative population, as well as the radial size of the expanding cloud are in good agreement with the predictions of theory.

P. Pedri et al.
Expansion of a Coherent Array of Bose-Einstein Condensates
Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 220401 (2001)

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Seminars & Events

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.
Seminar by Prof. Nick Proukakis:
Non-Equilibrium Dynamics in Quantum Gases,
h. 11.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
Seminar by Prof. David Clément:
Momentum-resolved investigation of the condensate depletion in interacting Bose gases,
h. 15.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
Seminar by Dr. Carmine Ortix:
Symmetry-protected topological insulators in one-dimension,
h. 12.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
Trento-Florence Joint Meeting on Cold Matter
Polo Scientifico di Povo, Trento.
Seminar by Dr. Franck Pereira Dos Santos:
Cold Atom Interferometry Gravity Sensors,
h.15.15 Querzoli room, LENS.
Seminar by Andrea Morales:
Supersolid formation in a quantum gas breaking a continuous translational symmetry,
h.15.15 Querzoli room, LENS.
Seminar by Prof. Jean-Philippe Brantut:
Mesoscopic transport experiments with cold atoms,
h. 11.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
Seminar by Dr. Guido Pagano:
Observation of a Discrete Time Crystal in a Trapped-Ion Quantum Simulator,
h. 16.30 Querzoli room, LENS.
Seminar by Dr. Francesco Piazza:
Spontaneous Crystallisation of Light and Ultracold Atoms,
h. 15.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
Fermi Colloquim by Prof. Jun Ye:
Optical atomic clock and many-body quantum physics,
h. 11.30 Querzoli room, LENS.