Skip to main content

Cold Atoms in Optical Lattices

rendered image of a lattice of neutral atoms

Optically trapped, ultra-cold atoms provide a natural platform for quantum simulation and quantum computing.  In this project, we use cold 87Rb atoms trapped in dynamic optical lattices to study many-body physics and to explore experimental quantum control of atom states. An optical lattice, produced by interfering two or more laser beams in free space, traps atoms into arrays of individual sites, reminiscent of condensed matter crystals or atomic registers. Unlike traditional condensed matter systems, the lattice properties (such as the trapping depth and the unit cell structure) can be changed in real time during an experiment. This control allows us to perform range of experiments with applications to quantum computing and quantum emulation of condensed matter systems.

This research is being carried out in the Physical Sciences Complex on the University of Maryland campus.