Our research group at the Physikalisches Institut of Heidelberg University performs fundamental research in the fields of quantum and atomic physics. In our experiments, we use ultracold atom clouds to understand how complex quantum systems behave. In particular, we are interested in questions related to how strong interactions, reduced dimensionality (1D and 2D) and finite system size affects the physical properties of a quantum system. More information on current research projects and the experimental setups can be found here.


Nov 2020   -   Paper published in Nature

Our paper about a few-body precursor of a quantum phase transition from a normal to a superfluid phase was published in Nature. The transition is signalled by the softening of the mode associated with amplitude vibrations of the order parameter, usually referred as the Higgs mode. Used were mesoscopic systems of up to 12 atoms in closed shell configurations of an harmonic potential. Read the paper here

Oct 2020   -   Paper published in PRL

The relationship between symmetrization and entanglement was explored through measurements on few-particle systems in a multiwell potential. We measure and distinguish correlations arising from two different physical origins: antisymmetrization of the fermionic wave function and interaction between particles. We quantify this through the entanglementnegativity of states, and the introduction of an antisymmetric negativity, which allows us to understand the role that symmetrization plays in the measured entanglement properties. Read the paper here

Sept 2020   -   ERC Grant for Philipp Preiss

Philipp Preiss has been awarded an ERC starting grant with the title UniRand - Random Unitaries in a Rapid Optical Lattice Simulator. Philipp will start a new project to look at many-body physics and random measurements in random bases in optical lattices. Please contact him ( Preiss) directly if you are interested in joining the project as a PhD or Masters student.

Aug 2020   -   Paper published in NJP

In this theory paper, we study fractional quantum Hall states that form in few-fermion systems in rotating traps. We find ground states that are very similar to magnetic skyrmions in condensed matter systems. The work was led by Master’s student Lukas Palm (now U Chicago) and in collaboration with Fabian Grusdt (TU München). Read the paper here.

Jul 2020   -   PhD thesis finished

Luca finished his PhD. Luca investigated the emergence of many body physics in two dimensional few fermion systems. He found few body precursors of the Higgs mode in closed-shell configurations of 2, 6 and 12 atoms. By measuring the momentum distribution of up to 6 non-interacting fermions in the groundstate of the 2D trap he showed that the group can access the momentum distribution with single particle resolution. Read the thesis here.

May 2020   -   PhD thesis finished

Jan Hendrik finished his PhD thesis. He did experimental studies on large ensembles of Erbium atoms and on few fermion Lithium systems in optical tweezers. Using momentum correlation measurements he investigated entanglement and antisymmetrization. Read the thesis here.

Jul 2019   -   Paper published in Science

Our paper on the Quantum Scale Anomaly has been published in Science. In this paper we study momentum-space profiles of 2D superfluids and show that the quantum anomaly modifies their dynamics in the regime of strong interactions. Read the paper here.

Jul 2019   -   Paper published in Nature Physics

Our paper on characterizing a Fermi-Hubbard dimer in position and momentum space was published in Nature Physics. Detecting individual particles after time-of-flight reveals coherence of few-body systems. Read the paper here. Paper freely available here.

Apr 2019   -   Two papers published in PRL

We recently published two papers in PRL. In the first paper we studied the dynamics of two atoms released from an optical tweezer into a large optical dipole trap with inverted aspect ratio. The project was done in collaboration with Qingze Guan and Doerte Blume from the university of Oklahoma. Read the paper here.
In the second paper we study momentum correlations between independently prepared identical fermions and characterize a source of three independent particles by measuring and analyzing the third-order momentum correlator. Read the paper here.

Jun 2018   -   Imaging paper published in PRA

Our recent paper about our new imaging scheme has been published in PRA and has been selected for a PRA editors suggestion. Read the paper here. In the paper we presend a method to image single Lithium atoms in free space in a spin-resolved way. This will enable us to measure single-atoms resolved momentum correlation functions of mesoscopic fermi systems.

Jan 2018   -   High-temperature pairing paper published in Science

Our recent measurements from the 2D experiment on pairing in the normal phase of a 2D Fermi gas have been published in Science. Read the paper here.

Jan 2018   -   PhD thesis finished

Vincent recently finished his PhD thesis. His thesis describes recent measurements of momentum correlation functions and entanglement in fermionic few-particle systems. The measurements were performed with our new spatially and spin-resolved, single-atom sensitive imaging method. In particular, Vincent studied the expansion dynamics of strongly interacting Fermi gases and the growth of correlations in the ground state of a double-well potential. The thesis can be found here.

Upcoming Conference: Beyond Digital Computing


Please check out the upcoming conference Beyond Digital Computing: The Power of Quantum and Neural Networks, which will be held at the International Academic Forum (IWH) Heidelberg from 19 to 21 March 2018. This collaboration between the STRUCTURES initiative, the Physics and the Kirchhoff Institute will bring together experts on quantum simulation, neuromorphic computing and machine learning.

Jul 2017   -   PhD theses finished

Mathias and Andrea recently finished their PhD theses. Mathias' thesis describes the observation of many-body pairing in the normal phase of a strongly interacting 2D Fermi gas in the BEC-BCS crossover using a spatially resolved RF spectroscopy method. Andrea's thesis investigates the preparation of strongly correlated few-particle fermi systems and the measurement of their momentum correlations with spin-resolved single-atom imaging.