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

Welcome to the website of the Ultracold Quantum Gases group at the European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy (LENS), the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Florence (Italy) and the Institute of Optics of the Italian National Research Council (CNR - INO). 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

Carlo Sias has been awarded with an ERC Starting Grant! The title of the project is "PlusOne: An ultracold gas plus one ion: advancing Quantum Simulations of in- and out-of-equilibrium many-body physics”. Congratulations!

Ultracold atoms and trapped ions are among the most powerful tools to study quantum physics. On the one hand, ultracold neutral atoms provide an exceptional resource for studying many-body physics, since a relatively large number of particles, typically from a few tens of thousands to several million, can be brought to quantum degeneracy. Quantum gases have been used extensively in recent years to realize quantum simulations of fundamental models of condensed matter, the solutions of which are often too complex to be computed. On the other hand, trapped ions provide a great resource to explore the physics of small quantum systems. They provide one of the most successful hardwares for a quantum computer, and clocks made of trapped ions are among the most precise. Moreover, trapped ions have been recently used as a quantum simulator, making the path of the two subjects of ultracold atoms and trapped ions even more entangled.

Only recently, though, ultracold atoms and trapped ions have been brought together in a single experimental setup. The progress in this new research field has been extremely fast, and now about ten groups in the world have built or are currently building experimental setups in which different pairs of atoms and ions are used together. piccola sito The reason for this interest is based on the several innovative ingredients that are available – many more than in traditional atomic physics experiments. At the fundamental level, atoms and ions interact through a potential that is much more long-ranged with respect to the interaction between ultracold atoms (scaling with R-4 instead of R-6, where R is the internuclear separation), and one can exploit the different techniques to manipulate atoms and ions to exert more control in the hybrid system. With this control at hand, atom-ion quantum systems have been proposed to advance quantum simulation, quantum computation, and quantum chemistry.

In our project, we plan to realize a new-generation atom-ion machine in order to realize new quantum simulations of a many-body system in the presence of one or more localized impurities. With this setup, we plan to investigate fundamental atom-ion interactions in the ultracold regime, and to use these controlled interactions to realize a platform for investigating out-of-equilibrium quantum systems and quantum thermodynamics.

We report on the first direct observation of fast spin-exchange coherent oscillations between different 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)

Last Tweets

Seminars & Events

19-21.04.2022
Palaiseau-Florence Workshop on Ultracold Atoms:
Experimental and theoretical groups from Palaiseau (France) and Florence (Italy) research areas will present their activities and discuss collaborations. More info at quantumgases.lens.unifi.it/paf
18.02.2020
Seminar by Prof. Carlos Sa de Melo:
Ultra-cold Fermi Gases with Three and Four Internal States: The Evolution from BCS to BEC Superfluidity in Multiband Systems ,
h. 12.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
13.02.2020
Seminar by Dr. Dimitrios Trypogeorgos:
Unconventional topology with a Rashba spin-orbit coupled quantum gas,
h. 14.30 Querzoli room, LENS.
09-10.05.2019
Firenze-Trieste workshop:
Two days of talks and scientific discussions with the theory groups of ICTP and SISSA,
ICTP, Trieste.
17-18.01.2019
Firenze-Trieste workshop:
Two days of talks and scientific discussions with the theory groups of ICTP and SISSA,
Aula Querzoli, LENS.
13.12.2018
Quantumgases retreat:
A full-day group meeting to discuss the activity of the different labs,
h. 9.00 Villa il Gioiello, Arcetri.
24.11.2017
Fermi Colloqium by Prof. Wolfgang Ketterle:
New forms of matter with ultracold atoms: superfluids, supersolids and more,
h. 11.30 Querzoli room, LENS.
27.09.2017
Seminar by Prof. Arno Rauschenbeutel:
Chiral Quantum Optics,
h. 11.00 Querzoli room, LENS.
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.