Observation of spatially ordered structures in a two-dimensional Rydberg gas

Peter Schauß, Marc Cheneau, Manuel Endres, Takeshi Fukuhara, Sebastian Hild, Ahmed Omran, Thomas Pohl, Christian Gross, Stefan Kuhr, Immanuel Bloch

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

311 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ability to control and tune interactions in ultracold atomic gases has paved the way for the realization of new phases of matter. So far, experiments have achieved a high degree of control over short-range interactions, but the realization of long-range interactions has become a central focus of research because it would open up a new realm of many-body physics. Rydberg atoms are highly suited to this goal because the van der Waals forces between them are many orders of magnitude larger than those between ground-state atoms. Consequently, mere laser excitation of ultracold gases can cause strongly correlated many-body states to emerge directly when atoms are transferred to Rydberg states. A key example is a quantum crystal composed of coherent superpositions of different, spatially ordered configurations of collective excitations. Here we use high-resolution, in situ Rydberg atom imaging to measure directly strong correlations in a laser-excited, two-dimensional atomic Mott insulator. The observations reveal the emergence of spatially ordered excitation patterns with random orientation, but well-defined geometry, in the high-density components of the prepared many-body state. Together with a time-resolved analysis, this supports the description of the system in terms of a correlated quantum state of collective excitations delocalized throughout the gas. Our experiment demonstrates the potential of Rydberg gases to realize exotic phases of matter, thereby laying the basis for quantum simulations of quantum magnets with long-range interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume491
Issue number7422
Early online date31 Oct 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012

Fingerprint

gases
excitation
atoms
interactions
monatomic gases
Van der Waals forces
lasers
magnets
insulators
physics
ground state
causes
high resolution
geometry
configurations
crystals
simulation

Keywords

  • atomic gases
  • quantum simulations
  • Rydberg gases
  • Rydberg atoms

Cite this

Schauß, P., Cheneau, M., Endres, M., Fukuhara, T., Hild, S., Omran, A., ... Bloch, I. (2012). Observation of spatially ordered structures in a two-dimensional Rydberg gas. Nature, 491(7422), 87-91. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11596
Schauß, Peter ; Cheneau, Marc ; Endres, Manuel ; Fukuhara, Takeshi ; Hild, Sebastian ; Omran, Ahmed ; Pohl, Thomas ; Gross, Christian ; Kuhr, Stefan ; Bloch, Immanuel. / Observation of spatially ordered structures in a two-dimensional Rydberg gas. In: Nature. 2012 ; Vol. 491, No. 7422. pp. 87-91.
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Schauß, P, Cheneau, M, Endres, M, Fukuhara, T, Hild, S, Omran, A, Pohl, T, Gross, C, Kuhr, S & Bloch, I 2012, 'Observation of spatially ordered structures in a two-dimensional Rydberg gas', Nature, vol. 491, no. 7422, pp. 87-91. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11596

Observation of spatially ordered structures in a two-dimensional Rydberg gas. / Schauß, Peter; Cheneau, Marc; Endres, Manuel; Fukuhara, Takeshi; Hild, Sebastian; Omran, Ahmed; Pohl, Thomas; Gross, Christian; Kuhr, Stefan; Bloch, Immanuel.

In: Nature, Vol. 491, No. 7422, 01.11.2012, p. 87-91.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

TY - JOUR

T1 - Observation of spatially ordered structures in a two-dimensional Rydberg gas

AU - Schauß, Peter

AU - Cheneau, Marc

AU - Endres, Manuel

AU - Fukuhara, Takeshi

AU - Hild, Sebastian

AU - Omran, Ahmed

AU - Pohl, Thomas

AU - Gross, Christian

AU - Kuhr, Stefan

AU - Bloch, Immanuel

PY - 2012/11/1

Y1 - 2012/11/1

N2 - The ability to control and tune interactions in ultracold atomic gases has paved the way for the realization of new phases of matter. So far, experiments have achieved a high degree of control over short-range interactions, but the realization of long-range interactions has become a central focus of research because it would open up a new realm of many-body physics. Rydberg atoms are highly suited to this goal because the van der Waals forces between them are many orders of magnitude larger than those between ground-state atoms. Consequently, mere laser excitation of ultracold gases can cause strongly correlated many-body states to emerge directly when atoms are transferred to Rydberg states. A key example is a quantum crystal composed of coherent superpositions of different, spatially ordered configurations of collective excitations. Here we use high-resolution, in situ Rydberg atom imaging to measure directly strong correlations in a laser-excited, two-dimensional atomic Mott insulator. The observations reveal the emergence of spatially ordered excitation patterns with random orientation, but well-defined geometry, in the high-density components of the prepared many-body state. Together with a time-resolved analysis, this supports the description of the system in terms of a correlated quantum state of collective excitations delocalized throughout the gas. Our experiment demonstrates the potential of Rydberg gases to realize exotic phases of matter, thereby laying the basis for quantum simulations of quantum magnets with long-range interactions.

AB - The ability to control and tune interactions in ultracold atomic gases has paved the way for the realization of new phases of matter. So far, experiments have achieved a high degree of control over short-range interactions, but the realization of long-range interactions has become a central focus of research because it would open up a new realm of many-body physics. Rydberg atoms are highly suited to this goal because the van der Waals forces between them are many orders of magnitude larger than those between ground-state atoms. Consequently, mere laser excitation of ultracold gases can cause strongly correlated many-body states to emerge directly when atoms are transferred to Rydberg states. A key example is a quantum crystal composed of coherent superpositions of different, spatially ordered configurations of collective excitations. Here we use high-resolution, in situ Rydberg atom imaging to measure directly strong correlations in a laser-excited, two-dimensional atomic Mott insulator. The observations reveal the emergence of spatially ordered excitation patterns with random orientation, but well-defined geometry, in the high-density components of the prepared many-body state. Together with a time-resolved analysis, this supports the description of the system in terms of a correlated quantum state of collective excitations delocalized throughout the gas. Our experiment demonstrates the potential of Rydberg gases to realize exotic phases of matter, thereby laying the basis for quantum simulations of quantum magnets with long-range interactions.

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KW - quantum simulations

KW - Rydberg gases

KW - Rydberg atoms

U2 - 10.1038/nature11596

DO - 10.1038/nature11596

M3 - Letter

VL - 491

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EP - 91

JO - Nature

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SN - 0028-0836

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ER -

Schauß P, Cheneau M, Endres M, Fukuhara T, Hild S, Omran A et al. Observation of spatially ordered structures in a two-dimensional Rydberg gas. Nature. 2012 Nov 1;491(7422):87-91. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11596