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

We report the realization of a Bose-Einstein condensate of 39K atoms without the aid of an additional atomic coolant. Our route to Bose-Einstein condensation comprises sub-Doppler laser cooling of large atomic clouds and evaporative cooling in an optical dipole trap where the collisional cross section can be increased using magnetic Feshbach resonances. Large condensates with almost 106 atoms can be produced in less than 15 s. Our achievements eliminate the need for sympathetic cooling with Rb atoms, which was the usual route implemented until now due to the unfavorable collisional property of 39K.

M. Landini et al.,
Direct evaporative cooling of 39K atoms to Bose-Einstein condensation
Phys. Rev. A 86, 033421 (2012)

Driving the complex dynamics of physical systems to perform a specific task is extremely useful but challenging in several fields of science, and especially for fragile quantum mechanical systems. Even harder, and often unfeasible, is to invert the time arrow of the dynamics, undoing some physical process. We theoretically and experimentally drive forth and back through several paths in the five-level Hilbert space of a Rubidium atom in the ground state. We achieve such an objective applying optimal control strategies to a Bose-Einstein condensate on an Atom chip via a frequency modulated RF field. We further prove that backward dynamical evolution does not correspond to simply inverting the time arrow of the driving field neglecting the only-system part of the dynamics. Apart from the relevance for the foundations of quantum mechanics, these results are important steps forward in the manipulation of quantum dynamics that is crucial for several physical implementations and very promisingly powerful quantum technologies.

C. Lovecchio et al.,
Optimal preparation of quantum states on an atom chip device
Phys. Rev. A 93, 010304(R) (2016)

Chiral edge states are a hallmark of quantum Hall physics. In electronic systems, they appear as a macroscopic consequence of the cyclotron orbits induced by a magnetic field, which are naturally truncated at the physical boundary of the sample. Here we report on the experimental realization of chiral edge states in a ribbon geometry with an ultracold gas of neutral fermions subjected to an artificial gauge field. By imaging individual sites along a synthetic dimension, we detect the existence of the edge states, investigate the onset of chirality as a function of the bulk-edge coupling, and observe the edge-cyclotron orbits induced during a quench dynamics. The realization of fermionic chiral edge states is a fundamental achievement, which opens the door towards experiments including edge state interferometry and the study of non-Abelian anyons in atomic systems.

M. Mancini et al.,
Observation of chiral edge states with neutral fermions in synthetic Hall ribbons
Science 349, 1510 (2015)

See also the Science Perspective by A. Celi and L. Tarruell:

A. Celi and L. Tarruell
Probing the edge with cold atoms
Science 349, 1450 (2015)

It is generally impossible to probe a quantum system without disturbing it. However, it is possible to exploit the back-action of quantum measurements and strong couplings to tailor and protect the coherent evolution of a quantum system. This is a profound and counterintuitive phenomenon known as quantum Zeno dynamics (QZD). Here we demonstrate QZD with a rubidium Bose-Einstein condensate in a five-level Hilbert space. We harness measurements and strong couplings to dynamically disconnect different groups of quantum states and constrain the atoms to coherently evolve inside a two-level subregion. In parallel to the foundational importance due to the realization of a dynamical superselection rule and the theory of quantum measurements, this is an important step forward in protecting and controlling quantum dynamics and, broadly speaking, quantum information processing.

F. Schӓfer et al.,
Experimental realization of quantum zeno dynamics
Nat. Commun. 5, 3194 (2014)

S. Gherardini et al.,
Ergodicity in randomly perturbed quantum systems
arXiv:1604.08518 (2016)

Last Tweets

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.