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 report on the first direct observation of fast spin-exchange coherent oscillations between di fferent long-lived electronic orbitals of ultracold 173Yb fermions. We measure, in a model-independent way, the strength of the exchange interaction driving this coherent process. This observation allows us to retrieve important information on the inter-orbital collisional properties of 173Yb atoms and paves the way to novel quantum simulations of paradigmatic models of two-orbital quantum magnetism.

G. Cappellini et al.,
Direct Observation of Coherent Interorbital Spin-Exchange Dynamics
Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 120402 (2014)

See also the Physics Viewpoint by A. M. Rey:

A. M. Rey
Observing the Great Spin and Orbital Swap
Physics 7, 95 (2014)

In an array of one-dimensional traps, we create impurities of K atoms immersed in reservoir of Rb atoms. The impurities are first localized by an external species-selective potential and then suddenly freed: their subsequent dynamics exhibits "breathing" oscillations, due to a weaker confining potential. We find that the amplitude of these oscillations is reduced when increasing the strength of the impurity-reservoir interaction, irrespective of its sign. We interpret our data with a polaric mass shift model derived following Feynman variational approach.

J. Catani et al.
Quantum dynamics of impurities in a one-dimensional Bose gas
Phys. Rev. A 85, 023623 (2012)

Correlations in systems with spin degree of freedom are at the heart of fundamental phenomena, ranging from magnetism to superconductivity. The effects of correlations depend strongly on dimensionality, a striking example being one-dimensional (1D) electronic systems, extensively studied theoretically over the past fifty years. However, the experimental investigation of the role of spin multiplicity in 1D fermions — and especially for more than two spin components — is still lacking. Here we report on the realization of 1D, strongly correlated liquids of ultracold fermions interacting repulsively within SU(N) symmetry, with a tunable number N of spin components. We observe that static and dynamic properties of the system deviate from those of ideal fermions and, for N > 2, from those of a spin-1/2 Luttinger liquid. In the large-N limit, the system exhibits properties of a bosonic spinless liquid. Our results provide a testing ground for many-body theories and may lead to the observation of fundamental 1D effects.

G. Pagano et al.,
A One-Dimensional Liquid of Fermions with Tunable Spin
Nature Phys. 10, 198 (2014)

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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.