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Ultracold quantum gases:

In recent years significant advances in the field of ultra cold atoms have facilitated the production of dilute quantum degenerate gases and have culminated in engineering quantum many-body systems with tunable interactions and geometries. The vibrant interplay between cold atomic gases and condensed matter physics has triggered a new wave of research in this field both experimentally and theoretically. Generic condensed matter systems are mimicked with atoms optical lattices, which are lattice potentials created from standing wave laser potentials. Quantum degenerate gases in optical lattices realize a 'quantum simulator' of a solid material with adjustable properties and it is anticipated that long-standing questions of quantum many-body physics can be tackled. Our research mainly focus on the challenge of the realization and detection of intruiging quantum phases in cold atoms and the understanding of their quantum dynamics.

Condensed matter physics:

Materials have often very complex structures and the interaction between electrons is of great importance. For example quasi-one dimensional strongly interacting spin structures have been found in different organic compounds and open the way to investigate the strong quantum fluctuations in low dimensions. We investigate the properties of low dimensional materials. One example is the fascinating transition of a Luttinger liquid in weakly coupled spin ladders to a Bose-Einstein condensation.

Methods:

The realization of strongly correlated systems in and out of equilibrium in quantum gases and in nanostructures poses interesting questions which can be tackled theoretically only using state of the art methods. We apply different analytical and numerical methods to get insights into the physics of these systems. One method which has been developed by us is for example the numerical adaptive time-dependent density matrix renormalization group method well suited to investigate the dynamics of low dimensional systems.

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