Leader: Dr. Christian Groß
The project "Rydberg Dressed Quantum Many-Body Systems (RyD-QMB)", funded by a Starting Grant of the European Research Council, aims to combine two established research fields in atomic physics – ultracold atomic quantum gases and Rydberg atoms – to experimentally explore new aspects of quantum many-body physics. The distinct feature of the systems we aim to study is their long-range interaction, which will be tunable not only in its strength but also in its shape. This is enabled by the use of precise quantum optical tools, namely low-noise laser coupling, to induce Rydberg mediated interactions between ground state atoms. When combined with optical lattices, this novel control of dipolar interactions will allow for the study of exotic quantum magnets, which can feature interesting topological properties or frustration. Furthermore, Rydberg dressing has been proposed to realize dipolar interacting systems that are coherent on the typical timescale of the atomic motion. Reaching this regime of large laser detuning promises to enable experimental access to a plethora of new exiting many-body phenomena. Among them are extended Hubbard models in optical lattices or supersolid states of matter in the continuum.
To study this physics, we will develop a novel experimental platform that features coupling to Rydberg states with unprecedented strength and combine it with state of the art single atom sensitive detection based on quantum gas microscopy. This will result in a unique and flexible experimental setup, which we will use to characterize and manipulate Rydberg dressed gases paving the way towards experimental quantum simulation of long-range interacting systems.