Ultracold quantum gases offer an unprecedented opportunity for exploring the behaviour of many-body systems using precise control over the atoms’ temperature, interactions, potential energy landscapes, and internal quantum degrees of freedom. In our quantum simulation experiments, we use ultracold gases of rubidium and potassium atoms to study analogies to condensed matter phenomena, with a special focus on using techniques that generate artificial gauge fields. In particular, we can use laser light to mimic “spin-orbit coupling” and create a well-defined relationship between the particles internal (“spin”) and external (\"orbit”) degrees of freedom. One priority in these experiments is to combine this with techniques that tune the interparticle interaction, where it is predicted that competition between magnetic-like and superfluid-like many-body order should exist. This apparatus provides a fruitful ground for exploring the non-equilibrium dynamics of these systems, where studies of thermalization and decoherence of the many-body system can be fully explored.
Coffee and Refreshments will be available in MacN 101.