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Self-organisation in Bose-Einstein condensates

Atomic Bose-Einstein condensates are highly controllable matter waves that allow to study complex many-body physics. In this presentation I will first discuss an example of a BEC interacting with an optical cavity field and show how a composite light-matter magnetometer can be constructed.  Above a critical pump strength, the change of the population imbalance of the condensate caused by an external magnetic field is mapped onto the change of the relative photon number of two cavity modes and monitoring the cavity output fields allows for nondestructive measurement of the magnetic field in real time. The sensitivity of the proposed magnetometer exhibits Heisenberg-like scaling with respect to the atom number.

As the second example I will consider a strongly interacting gas that is immersed in a Bose-Einstein condensate and show that it can undergo a transition to the crystal-like Mott state with regular spacing between the atoms without any externally imposed lattice potential. This phase transition happens as a function of a critical interaction strength, but also as a function of the temperature of the immersed atoms

Cavity-enhanced magnetometer with a spinor Bose–Einstein condensate
K. Gietka, F. Mivehvar, and Th. Busch
New J. Phys. 23 043020 (2021)

Self-pinning transition of a Tonks-Girardeau gas in a Bose-Einstein condensate
T. Keller, T. Fogarty, and Th. Busch

Quantum Kate explains what a Rydberg atom is about:


  • Prof. Jose D'Incao (University of Boulder, Colorado) is from 2021-06-14 on and from 2021-09-13 at a time of two months in our Institute. Welcome to our guest!
  • Huiting Liu from the University of Chicago joins our research team for three months as a College Summer Research Fellow. Welcome, Huiting!
  • The research results of a collaboration of the Institut für Quantenmaterie and groups from Hamburg and Stuttgart were published in Phys. Rev. Research 2, 013047 (2020). It was possible to directly observe spin-orbit interaction of an electron as it scatters from a neutral atom. For this, a long-range Rydberg molecule was used as a model system. Read more.


  • Our postdoc Shinsuke Haze awarded the prize "Young Scientist Award" from the 'Atomic Collision Society of Japan'. Congratulations!
  • Prof. Jose D'Incao is 2019-02-04 and from 2019-06-17  for two months in our Institute as a assistent professor. Welcome to our guest!
  • We are proud that Mr. Hecker Denschlag has been nominated as a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). Congratulations!
  • Markus Deiß received a "Forschungsbonus of the University of Ulm and the Ulmer Universitätsgesellschaft (UUG)" for the year 2017. Congratulations, Markus!
  • Our results on ultracold chemistry are published in  Science 358, 921 (2017). Using a novel method we have quantum state-selectively probed the molecular products of a chemical reaction with unprecedented resolution and in a quantitative fashion. As model system we have investigated three-body recombination of neutral Rb atoms. From our measurements it was possible to derive propensity rules for the population of the product states.
  • Using an optical lattice we have performed collision experiments with Rb2 molecules. For different well-defined quantum states (e.g. the triplet rovibrational ground state) we have measured reaction rates. We have observed that these reaction rates depend on the confinement of the molecules and the collision energy. This might be exploited in future to control chemical reactions. The results are published in Nat. Commun. 8, 14854 (2017).
  • We offer a PhD position at the rubidium experiment: In the new project, ultracold chemical reactions will be controlled and detected using an optical microcavity for the first time.
    More information: Ultracold Chemistry in optical cavities
  • On January 28, 2014, we were able to observe the first molecular Bose-Einstein condensate made out of fermionic lithium atoms in our LiLaLab.
  • The 557. Wilhelm und Else Heraeus-Seminar Cold Ions Meet Cold Atoms will be held in the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, March 27 - 29, 2014. Organizers are the Institute for Quantum Information Processing and the Institute of Quantum Matter. Application deadline: February 1, 2014
  • Prof. Dr. Cheng Chin (University of Chicago) is guest scientist in our group as a Humboldt fellow for the months of January and February 2014.
  • In the framework of COMIQ and starting with November 1/2013 we have a PhD position available for applicants from abroad. The application deadline is October 15/2013.
  • 30.07.2013: Arne Härter was awarded the Co.Co.Mat Award 2013 of the SFB/ TRR21 for his dissertation on atom-ion interaction. Congratulations, Arne!
  • Experiments in our BaRbIE project provide new insight into the quantum mechanical binding states of atoms immediately after a three-particle collision.|more
    Link to the original article in Nature Physics.
    A concise summary of the results is given in the nicely written article of Stefan Willitsch (University of Basel) in Nature Physics News & Views.
  • Our work on Three-Body Recombination in an Ultracold Atomic Gas has been accepted with Nature Physics.
  • Since June 2013, our PhD student Artjom Krükow is supported by a grant of the Carl Zeiss Foundation.
  • On 15 Mai 2013 Arne Härter has defended his PhD thesis in the field of Ultracold Quantum Gases.
  • Since May 2012, our PhD student Manfred Madel is supported by a one-year grant of the Carl Zeiss Foundation.
  • In February 2012, two doctoral candidates have successfully completed their PhD:
    Stefan Schmid in the field of Ultracold Quantum Gases and
    Michael Glunk in the field of Magnetic Semiconductors.
  • On 19 October 2011, Christoph Strauss has successfully completed his PhD in the field of Ultracold Quantum Gases.
  • Since May 2011, two members of our institute, Dr. Benjamin Deissler and Benjamin Neuschl, are supported by a two-year grant of the Carl Zeiss Foundation.
  • Prof. Leif Veseth (University of Oslo) was our guest from May 19 to 27 2011. He gave a series of lectures within the SFB/Transregio 21 entitled "Introduction into molecular physics".
  • For new experiments with ultracold fermions in a two-dimensional optical lattice we have an open PhD position available.
  • Since December 2010, Bose-Einstein condensates of ultracold Rubidium atoms can be realized and loaded into a three-dimensional optical lattice within our Rubidium project.
  • Photo gallery: Move from Innsbruck to Ulm in September 2009 and February 2010

Universität Ulm
Institut für Quantenmaterie
D-89069 Ulm

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Universität Ulm
Institut für Quantenmaterie
Albert-Einstein-Allee 45
D-89081 Ulm

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