Annie Park builds a new quantum simulator that will substantially improve future simulations
Annie Park, doctoral student of the Quantum Many Body Systems division, successfully completed her PhD in December 2021.
For her dissertation project, she built a quantum simulator that will help significantly improve the quality of future quantum simulations as well as expand them to new areas. We congratulate Annie on her success and wish her all the best for her new position as postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University.
Annie’s PhD project is titled “Towards Quantum Simulations with Strontium in Cavity-enhanced Optical Lattices.” In practice, she built a new analogue quantum simulator based on ultracold strontium atoms. The simulator combines several technologies for the first time and will therefore have a big impact on the quality of future quantum simulations. More specifically, the experiment features special optical lattices where the ground state of strontium is free to move while the long-lived excited state of the same atom is tightly trapped (or vice versa). This state-dependent trap makes use of the unique property of strontium atoms and is furthermore the main resource for expanding lattice-based quantum simulations to new areas such as nano photonics and quantum chemistry.
Furthermore, by using a new cavity-based architecture, Annie and her team succeeded in capturing the atoms in exceptionally large two-dimensional optical lattices. A large optical lattice can not only trap more atoms, thus scaling the quantum simulators to larger system sizes, but it also reduces inhomogeneous trapping effects. At Harvard University, Annie hopes to have the opportunity to further develop her research on quantum information sciences using atoms and molecules in optical traps.
Annie’s time at MPQ
Her five years at MPQ have been memorable and there are many special moments to treasure, she says: “For example when we completed the vacuum chamber, made our first magneto-optical traps, finished our first paper, placed the cavity, took data late at night, and many others.” She also fondly remembers moments of recreation spent with her roommates at home.
Dear Annie, congratulations and all the best for your new adventures ahead!