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Quantum simulation
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Quantum simulation

Playing with laws of nature

Thanks to very recent technical advances, gas condensates offer unique advantages as far as experiments are concerned. On the one hand, it is possible to artificially create any environment for the atoms. For instance, a light crystal enables to recreate for atoms the solid structure seen by an electron. On the other hand, we can change the force of the interactions between two atoms.

This enables to create atom pairs in the same state as Cooper pairs, for instance. It then becomes possible to study complex phenomena such as superconductors thanks to an atom gas! The aim of this new approach is to reproduce with a gas a situation that is hard to describe, in order to understand it better: this approach is commonly called “quantum simulation”.

 Immanuel Bloch, Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics, GarchingImages of a gas during the metal-insulator phase transition. On the left (with peaks), the state is conducting as in a metal. On the right, the state is insulating. This experimental example proves the possibility of reproducing what happens in a solid when it changes from a conducting state to an insulating state.

 

CNRSSociété Française de PhysiqueTriangle de la physique
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CNRSSociété Française de PhysiqueTriangle de la physique