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Physics Colloquia: Prof. Francesca Ferlaino (Universität Innsbruck)

November 29, 2021
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

"When the complex nature of atoms can really make a difference: ultracold erbium and dysprosium for quantum simulation"


Since its creation, the field of ultracold atoms has been through fantastic developments. Some of the most recent include the development of quantum-gas microscopes, atom tweezers, and various forms of interaction engineering. Each of these experimental advances has allowed new quantum phenomena to be accessed and observed. A further important development is based on the use of more exotic atomic species, whose peculiar atomic properties have allowed to broaden the horizons of investigation.

This talk aims to retrace the new opportunities that have emerged from the use of quantum gases composed of the strongly magnetic erbium and dysprosium atoms from the perspective of the Innsbruck experiments. Thanks to their large magnetic moment, these species exhibit a large dipolar interaction that has allowed us to observe rotonic excitations, quantum droplets, and supersolid states. Moreover, their dense atomic spectrum has also made possible to implement new optical manipulation schemes, and more recently the observation of an Hz-wide transition in the telecom frequency region promises new possibilities in quantum optics.


Francesca Ferlaino is Professor of Physics at the University of Innsbruck and Scientific and Managing Director at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). Her research activity explores many-body quantum phenomena in ultracold gases of exotic atomic species. In 2012, Ferlaino and her team realized the world's first Bose- Einstein condensate of the strongly magnetic Erbium atoms and, in 2018, the first dipolar quantum mixture of lanthanides. Recently, in 2020, Ferlaino’s team discovered, simultaneously with other two groups, the long-sought supersolid state of matter in dipolar quantum gases.