Two electrons are better than one... In the Yb lab we produce Bose-Einstein condensates and degenerate Fermi gases of ytterbium atoms. These atoms offer metastable electronic states, ultranarrow clock transitions, multicomponent fermions with SU(N) interactions: a whole range of experimental tools that allow new possibilities for quantum simulation and quantum information processing.

Synthetic dimensions with a clock laser

We demonstrate a novel way of synthesizing spin-orbit interactions in ultracold quantum gases, based on a single-photon optical clock transition coupling two long-lived electronic states of two-electron 173Yb atoms. By mapping the electronic states onto effective sites along a synthetic “electronic” dimension, we have engineered fermionic ladders with synthetic magnetic flux in an experimental configuration that has allowed us to achieve uniform fluxes on a lattice with minimal requirements and unprecedented tunability. We have detected the spin-orbit coupling with fiber-link-enhanced clock spectroscopy and directly measured the emergence of chiral edge currents, probing them as a function of the flux. These results open new directions for the investigation of topological states of matter with ultracold atomic gases.

L. F. Livi et al.,
Synthetic Dimensions and Spin-Orbit Coupling with an Optical Clock Transition
Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 220401 (2016)

Yb people

Lorenzo Franchi
PhD student
Lorenzo Livi
PhD student
Giacomo Cappellini
Postdoc
Jacopo Catani
Scientific staff
Massimo Inguscio
Scientific staff
Leonardo Fallani
Scientific staff
Former members:
Giovanni Giusfredi
Jonathan T. Green
Pietro Lombardi
Marco Mancini
Pablo Cancio Pastor
Guido Pagano
Florian Schäfer
Carlo Sias

Yb contacts

For further information, request of material, job opportunities, please contact:

Leonardo Fallani
(fallani@lens.unifi.it)

Yb funding

ERC CoG TOPSIM
PRIN2012 AQUASIM
EU FP7 SIQS
INFN FISh