Strongly Correlated Phases in Condensed Matter and Degenerate Atomic Systems

Coordinators: Immanuel Bloch, Victor Gurarie, Deborah S. Jin, Yong Baek Kim, Leo Radzihovsky

The last two decades have seen an explosion of theoretical proposals for novel quantum states of condensed matter and transitions between them, involving spin, orbital, charge and ionic degrees of freedom, in part stimulated by an ever-growing class of materials that lie outside of the conventional weakly-interacting solid-state paradigm. The stimulus notwithstanding, there have been relatively few clear solid-state experimental realizations of these theoretical ideas.

Over the past decade, breathtaking experimental progress in creating and manipulating trapped degenerate atomic gases has paralleled these theoretical developments. The most striking property of these atomic systems is their designability and tunability with respect to atomic interactions (controlled by magnetic-field tunable Feshbach resonances) and lattice structure (imposed by an optical periodic potential), that can be controlled in real time. Hence these atomic systems allow access to ultra-pure, highly coherent and strongly interacting, nonequilibrium quantum systems, that can be subjected to external perturbations and probed in new versatile ways unimaginable in their solid-state analogs.

The goal of this program is to explore these theoretical ideas and concrete models in the context of realistic degenerate atomic systems, that, because of their unparalleled designability, coherence and purity, are promising experimental candidates.

There will be a conference associated with this program the week of April 23-27. Further details will be posted here as they become available.