Editors' ChoiceQuantum Simulation

An ultrafast peek into the ultracold

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Science  16 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6318, pp. 1388-1389
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6318.1388-g

Gases of Rydberg atoms—exotic atoms in which one of the electrons is orbiting the nucleus at a large distance—can simulate the effects of long-range interactions in many-body systems. Commonly, such experiments are conducted in a low-density regime where the Rydberg atoms are few and far apart. Takei et al. created a cold, high-density gas of 87Rb Rydberg atoms and studied its ultrafast dynamics. The low-temperature gas was effectively “frozen,” and the dynamics were caused solely by many-body interactions. The researchers found that they had to go beyond the standard mean-field description to account for their data.

Nat. Commun. 10.1038/ncomms13449 (2016).

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