Colloquium: Dan Stamper-Kurn, UC Berkeley
Abstract: Ultracold atomic gases are perhaps the coldest matter in the universe, reaching temperatures below one nano-kelvin. At these low temperatures, noise is ironed out and the quantum mechanical properties of atoms, not only of their internal atomic states but also of their center-of-mass motion, become accessible and visible. I will describe applications of this ultracold quantum material in the areas of quantum simulation, sensing, and computation. Specifically, I will show how quantum gases far from equilibrium allow us to probe geometric singularities in band structure, a quantum simulation of condensed matter. I will describe how single atoms, trapped tightly within optical tweezers, can be serve as quantum sensors within a scanning-probe microscope of optical fields. Finally, I will explain how cavity-enhanced detection allows us to make mid-circuit measurements within an atoms-based quantum computing platform, a step toward quantum error correction. And what's next? Feedback control of quantum systems? Electromagnetic vacuum fluctuations serving as a chemical catalyst? Telecom-frequency optical clocks? Simulation of flat-band ferromagnetism? Perhaps all of the above.