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Research Van Swinderen Institute

VSI Seminar: Eite Tiesinga - Applications for cold atomic gasses

When:Tu 29-09-2015 11:00 - 12:00
Where:VSI @ KVI-CART, conference room

Applications for cold atomic gasses

Eite Tiesinga

Joint Quantum Institute

Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.

I have long-term interests in the physics of laser-cooled, ultra-cold atoms. So far the most important application of atoms at micro- and nano-kelvin temperatures is in time and frequency standards, that is atomic clocks. Here, the goal to isolate just one atom, not affected by its environment or other atoms. On the other hand their collisions or interactions are crucial in collective or many-body systems in which, for example, we can simulate (quantum) phase transitions, such as interaction-induced transitions to and from superfluidity.

In this presentation I will describe our latest research to understand atomic interactions and explain the role of quantum- or wave-mechanics in these collisions. In particular, I will focus on our ability to control resonant scattering by applying modest magnetic fields. In other words the effective cross section (or diameter) of an atom is tuneable and variable over orders of magnitude. I will describe applications for these resonances that are on the boundary between few- and many-body physics as well as between many-body physics and quantum optics.