An ultracold gas plus an ion! 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.

Orientational melting of planar ion crystals is now published!

Our work on orientational melting of ion crystals is now published on Physical Review Letter! We studied the peculiar melting of our 2D crystals: the loss of crystallization along the angular direction and its dependence on particle number and impurities reveals the mesoscopic character of the observed transition. Our work paves the way to studies of thermodynamics of small systems and of quantum rotors. Read more on PRL!

L. Duca, et al.
Orientational melting in a mesoscopic system of charged particles
Phys. Rev. Lett. 131, 083602 (2023)

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