Recent news

Renate Landig received the ETH medal for her doctoral work! Congratulations!

Renate Landig defended her PhD thesis on April 12th. Congratulations !

Jean-Philippe Brantut is appointed as Assistant Professor at EPFL, where he will start his own group

Sebastian Krinner received the Chorafas prize for his PhD thesis! 

Recently published

Controlling the Floquet state population and observing micromotion in a periodically driven two-body quantum system, arXiv:1703.07767 (2017)

Supersolid formation in a quantum gas breaking continuous translational symmetry, arXiv:1609.09053 and Nature 543, 87-90 (2017)

Creating topological interfaces and detecting chiral edge modes in a 2D optical lattice, Phy. Rev. A 94, 043611 (2016) and arXiv:1606.00015

Mapping out spin and particle conductances in a quantum point contact, PNAS 113, 8144--8149 (2016) and arXiv:1511.05961

Quantum phases emerging from competing short- and long-range interactions in an optical lattice, Nature 532, 476-479 (2016) and arXiv:1511.00007


Formation and dynamics of anti-ferromagnetic correlations in tunable optical lattices, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 260401 (2015) and arXiv:1509.­00854

Welcome to Prof. Tilman Esslinger's Quantum Optics Group

In our research we use ultracold atoms to synthetically create key models in quantum many-body physics. The properties of the trapped quantum gases are governed by the interplay between atomic motion and a well characterized interaction between the particles. This conceptual simplicity is unique in experimental physics and provides a direct link between the experiment and the model describing the system. It enables us to shine new light on a wide range of fundamental phenomena and address open challenges. We explore the physics of quantum phase transitions and crossovers, low-dimensional systems and non-equilibrium dynamics, and thereby establish the basis for quantum simulation of many-body Hamiltonians.

For example, by loading a quantum degenerate gas of potassium atoms into the periodic potential of an optical lattice we realize Hubbard models with atoms and access superfluid, metallic and Mott-insulating phases. A many-body system with infinitely long-range interactions is formed by trapping a Bose-Einstein condensate inside an optical cavity, which has allowed us to observe the Dicke quantum phase transition from a normal to a superradiant phase. We also work on extending the concepts of quantum simulations to device-like structures connected to atomic reservoirs, using a combination of high-resolution microscopy and transport measurements.


We acknowledge funding from SNF and ETH Zurich, NCCR QSIT, NCCR MaNEP and the European Union (ERC advanced grant SQMS, FET Open NAMEQUAM, FET Open TherMIQ) and collaboration with qubig.