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Solid-state physics

Correlated magnets made out of single atoms

München, 09/28/2016

Scientists at LMU and MPQ observe antiferromagnetic correlations in one-dimensional fermionic quantum many-body systems.

In (a) an originally obtained picture of a one-dimensional atomic chain is shown. The thick horizontal lines illustrate the barrier between different chains. In each chain, an atom appearing on the upper side of the thin dashed horizontal line has upward pointing magnetic moment (red) and vice versa as shown in the reconstructed image (b). (Martin Boll, MPQ)

Solid state physics offers a rich variety of intriguing phenomena, several of which are not yet fully understood. Experiments with fermionic atoms in optical lattices get very close to imitating the behaviour of electrons in solid state crystals, thus forming a well-controlled quantum simulator for these systems. Now a team of scientists led by Professor Immanuel Bloch, Chair of Quantum Optics at LMU Munich and Director at MPQ, and Dr. Christian Groß at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have observed the emergence of antiferromagnetic order over a correlation length of several lattice sites in a chain of fermionic atoms.     (MPQ)
(Science 2016)