Ultracold Disordered Quantum Gases

Prof. Brian DeMarco (UIUC)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2016-10-20 16:00 - 17:00
Hennings 201
Intended Audience: 

​Disorder is the rule, rather than the exception, in nature.  Despite this, we understand little about how disorder
affects interacting quantum matter.  I will give an overview of our experiments using ultracold atom gases to probe
paradigms of interacting disordered quantum particles.  We introduce disorder to naturally clean atomic gases cooled
to billionths of a degree above absolute zero using focused optical speckle.  I will explain how we observe Anderson
localization---a spectacular phenomenon in which interference prevents waves from propagating in a disordered medium---
of quantum matter in three dimensions.  I will also show how we combine speckle with an optical crystal to emulate a
completely tunable and precisely characterized disordered quantum solid.  In these optical lattice experiments, we realize
disordered Hubbard models that we use to answer critical questions regarding how disorder impacts the properties of
electronic solids, such as superconductors and metals.


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