Studying Many-Body Dipolar Spin Systems with Erbium Quantum Gases

Project: Research project

Project Details


Approach:Our herein described research project is focused on studying the emergent properties of strongly interacting dipolar systems of erbium atoms trapped in optical lattices. Specifically, the innate ability of erbium atoms to support long-range magnetic interactions makes theman extremely promising candidate for the direct simulation of theoretically intractable quantum magnetic systems. Quantum magnetism in systems of magnetically dipolar atoms is driven by direct and long-ranged interactions, even in the absence of particle tunneling. This feature makes these systems robust to effects of ?finite motional temperature and entropy,which have been the greatest impediments to progress in alkali systems based on tunneling-mediated superexchange interactions [18]. The direct interactions in dipolar systems make them extremely promising from a quantum simulation and a quantum information stand-point, for the study of strong correlations and the generation of many-particle entanglement. Unlike the case of polar molecules, which also support strong and direct dipolar interactions, many powerful capabilities developed for alkali atoms can straightforwardly be extended to erbium atoms because of the absence of complex molecular structure. Chief among thesecapabilities is quantum gas microscopy [19, 20], which allows for the site-resolved detection of atomic densities in an optical lattice. As one key development, our research will focus on the ability to perform site-resolved detection in a simulator of many-body dipolar spin systems.Objective:Our research aims primarily relate to the harnessing of dipolar interactions for the study of quantum magnetic spin dynamics, as recently observed for the ?first timewith lattice-trapped polar molecules [11, 12] and with lattice-trapped magnetic atoms [13].Naval Relevance:A significant portion of the proposed research program has will be aimed at lowering the barrier to development of cold atom experiments for lanthanoid atomic species (erbium, dysprosium, etc.), through the development of a simplified atomic beam source. The lower cost, complexity, and thermal load of lanthanoid atomic sources could be of future naval relevance for the development of magnetic sensors based on quantum gases of magnetic atoms.

Effective start/end date7/7/16 → …


  • U.S. Navy: $427,869.00


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