The quantum playground: an ultracold atoms apparatus and the games we can play - Lindsay LeBlanc (Alberta)
Ultracold atoms provide a fantastic playground for manipulating and making use of the quantum nature of matter. In our lab, we cool atoms down to a few nanokelvin, where they are free from the randomness associated with thermal motion and can fully embrace their quantumness. In one of the games we play, we use the atom’s quantized levels to store information encoded in light, to realize a “quantum memory” -- a key device for future quantum networks. In another, we use various electromagnetic fields to implement a game of “dress-up,” where the atoms take on the character of generalized quantum systems and are free to mimic the behaviour of other many-particle quantum systems, such as magnets or superfluids. In all that we do, we are keen to better understand, from the ground up, what makes these quantum particles behave as they do. We keep pursuing this quantum world to find the techniques and technologies that could bring the wealth of possibility from the quantum realm up to the human scale.
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