The DeMarco group at the University of Illinois

Quantum simulation using ultracold atom gases

The DeMarco Group at the University of Illinois uses ultracold atom gases trapped in optical lattices to simulate models of strongly correlated electronic solids. We cool atom gases to temperatures just billionths of a degree above asbolute zero temperature and trap them in a crystal of light. The atoms play the role of electrons, and the light that of a crystalline matrix. This idea, called quantum simulation, was first proposed by Richard Feynman and was the original motivation for quantum computing.

To learn more about our research, explore our web site and check out a story with video about our research on the NSF Discoveries site. You can also read Physics Today article about our research here. And, check out out Chad Orzel's highlight of our research on Forbes.

The DeMarco group helped to found and regularly attends the Midwestern Cold Atom Workshop.

Data from our article on 3D Anderson localization of Ultracold Matter published in Science 344, 66 (2011) can be found here.

A MATLAB implementation of the MRAF algorithm (with example kinoforms) can be foundĀ here.



Optical Lattices

We use ultracold atoms trapped in an optical lattice—a crystal of light—to study Hubbard models, which are paradigms of strongly correlated materials. Bose-and Fermi-Hubbard models are studied by our group.

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While disorder is ubiquitous in nature, its impact on interacting quantum systems is poorly understood. We apply completely controllable and characterized disorder to quantum gases using optical speckle.

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The transformation of conducting states, such as superconductors and metals, into insulators by disorder is a key problem in condensed matter physics. We study disorder-induced quantum localization.

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Despite the importance to applications, dynamics in strongly correlated systems are beyond our understanding. We study dynamics relevant to energy transfer, thermalization, and conductivity.

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Research accomplishments

The DeMarco group has pioneered techniques for studying the impact of disorder on strongly interacting quantum systems, dynamics and out-of-equilibrium phenomena in Hubbard models, and disorder-induced quantum localization. Our signficant results include:

The first atomic realization of the disordered Bose and Fermi-Hubbard models.
The first demonstration of 3D Anderson localization of quantum matter.
The first observation of the quantum Kibble-Zurek mechanism in a quantum quench.

Fund our research

We work on one of the most exciting frontiers of 21st century physics: strongly interacting, many-particle quantum mechanics. Your financial support can contribute to expanding our understanding of the physics behind the behavior of materials with superlative properties, such as high-temperature superconductors. Enhanced knowledge of this physics may lead to the next generation of materials with primary applications to energy transmission, information processing, and thermal management. By supporting our group you can also help to develop leaders in science and engineering who will position our economy to succeed in the future. Contact Brian if you are interested in supporting our group!