School Colloquia Record

Single-site-resolved detection and manipulation of atoms in an optical lattice

Stefan Kuhr


Fri 14th Oct 2011
Physics Th C

Ultracold atoms in optical lattices are a versatile tool to investigate fundamental properties of quantum many body systems. We demonstrate how the control of such systems can be extended down to the most fundamental level of single atomic spins at specific lattice sites. Using a high-resolution optical imaging system, we were able to obtain fluorescence images of strongly interacting bosonic Mott insulators with single-atom and single-site resolution [1] and addressed the atomic spins with sub-diffraction-limited resolution [2]. In addition, we directly monitored the tunneling quantum dynamics of single atoms in the lattice. Most recent experiments involve coherent light scattering from the atoms [3] and the observation of pair correlations and hidden string order [4]. Our results open the path to a wide range of novel applications from quantum dynamics of spin impurities, entropy transport, implementation of novel cooling schemes, and engineering of quantum many-body phases to quantum information processing.
[1] J. F. Sherson et al., Nature 467, 68 (2010).
[2] C. Weitenberg et al., Nature 471, 319 (2011).
[3] C. Weitenberg et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 215301 (2011).
[4] M. Endres et al., arXiv: 1108.3317v1 (2011).