Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Quantum Simulator for Complex Electronic Materials

Abb./©: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Immanuel Bloch, Institut für Physik, Universität Mainz
impression of a fermiotic Mott Insulator: the two colors indicate the different spin states of the atoms
Abb./©: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Immanuel Bloch, Institut für Physik, Universität Mainz impression of a fermiotic Mott Insulator: the two colors indicate the different spin states of the atoms

Abstract:
Researchers from Mainz, Cologne and Jülich simulate complex electronic insulator with ultracold atoms in artificial crystals of light

Quantum Simulator for Complex Electronic Materials

Germany | Posted on December 5th, 2008

The design of new materials with specific properties is an important but demanding challenge in physics and chemistry. Already in 1982 Nobel Prize winner Richard P. Feynman therefore suggested to build a "quantum simulator" in order to understand and predict the properties of complex materials by simulating them using an artificial, but highly controllable quantum system. In the latest issue of the journal Science researchers from the University of Mainz, the University of Cologne and the Forschungszentrum Jülich show how to simulate the properties of electrons in a real crystal by using ultracold fermionic atoms trapped in an artificial crystal formed by interfering laser beams - a so-called optical lattice.

The researchers succeeded in demonstrating one of the most dramatic effects of the electron-electron repulsion: When the interactions between the electrons get too strong, a metal can suddenly become insulating. The resulting so-called Mott-insulator is probably the most important example of a strongly correlated state in condensed matter physics, and it is a natural starting point for the investigation of quantum magnetism. Furthermore, high temperature superconductivity is found to arise in close proximity to it. "Atoms in an optical lattice are a nearly perfect quantum simulator for electrons in a solid, as they offer a very flexible model-system in a clean and well-controlled environment," explains Ulrich Schneider from the University of Mainz.

A direct investigation of complex materials and high temperature superconductors is difficult because of the presence of disorder and many competing interactions in the real crystalline materials. "This makes it very hard to identify the role of specific interactions and, in particular, to decide whether repulsive interactions between fermions alone can explain high temperature superconductivity." In the experiment, a gas of potassium atoms is first cooled down to temperatures near absolute zero. Subsequently, an optical lattice is formed by overlapping several laser beams. To the atoms, the resulting standing-wave field appears as a regular crystal of hundreds of thousands individual micro-traps, similar to an array of optical tweezers. The ultracold atoms, which play the role of electrons in real solids, will line up at the nodes of this standing-wave field.

By investigating the behavior of the atoms under compression and increasing interaction strength, and thereby measuring their compressibility, the experimentalists led by Prof. Immanuel Bloch of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have been able to controllably switch the system between metallic and insulating states of matter and find evidence for a Mott-insulating phase within the quantum gas of fermionic atoms. In such a Mott-insulating phase, the repulsive interactions between the atoms force them to order one-by-one into the regular lattice structure. The observation of the fermionic Mott-insulator in the context of optical lattices opens up a new possibility to simulate and study strongly correlated states and related phenomena. This is affirmed by the excellent agreement achieved in comparing the experiment with theoretical calculations of modern condensed matter theory performed in Cologne and Jülich, which included extensive simulations on the Jülich based supercomputer system JUGENE.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Professor Dr Immanuel Bloch
Department of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg University
D 55099 Mainz
Tel +49 6131 39-26234
Fax +49 6131 39-25179

Copyright © Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

‘Oxford Instruments Young Nanoscientist India Award 2015’ to Prof. Arindam Ghosh April 20th, 2015

Nondestructive 3-D Imaging of Biological Cells with Sound April 20th, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Yale-NUS, NUS and UT Austin researchers establish theoretical framework for graphene physics: Making strides towards using graphene to create new electronic devices April 20th, 2015

Physics

Quantum model reveals surface structure of water: National Physical Laboratory, IBM and Edinburgh University have used a new quantum model to reveal the molecular structure of water's liquid surface April 20th, 2015

Light in a spin: Researchers demonstrate angular accelerating light April 15th, 2015

Chemistry

Protein Building Blocks for Nanosystems: Scientists develop method for producing bio-based materials with new properties April 17th, 2015

Major advance in artificial photosynthesis poses win/win for the environment: Berkeley Lab researchers perform solar-powered green chemistry with captured CO2 April 16th, 2015

How can you see an atom? (video) April 10th, 2015

Discoveries

Ethylene Nanosorbent, a Novel Product to Decrease Agricultural Waste April 20th, 2015

Quantum model reveals surface structure of water: National Physical Laboratory, IBM and Edinburgh University have used a new quantum model to reveal the molecular structure of water's liquid surface April 20th, 2015

Happily ever after: Scientists arrange protein-nanoparticle marriage: New biotech method could lead to development of HIV vaccine, targeted cancer treatment April 20th, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Announcements

Happily ever after: Scientists arrange protein-nanoparticle marriage: New biotech method could lead to development of HIV vaccine, targeted cancer treatment April 20th, 2015

Nondestructive 3-D Imaging of Biological Cells with Sound April 20th, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Yale-NUS, NUS and UT Austin researchers establish theoretical framework for graphene physics: Making strides towards using graphene to create new electronic devices April 20th, 2015

Quantum nanoscience

Quantum model reveals surface structure of water: National Physical Laboratory, IBM and Edinburgh University have used a new quantum model to reveal the molecular structure of water's liquid surface April 20th, 2015

Quantization of 'surface Dirac states' could lead to exotic applications April 15th, 2015

Electrical control of quantum bits in silicon paves the way to large quantum computers: Breakthrough by Australian-led team should make the construction of large-scale quantum computers more affordable April 11th, 2015

Quantum physics -- hot and cold at the same time: Measurements at the Vienna University of Technology show that a cloud of quantum particles can have several temperatures at once; the experiment provides new insight into the behavior of large quantum systems April 9th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project