Laser to cool atoms

Using laser beams, researchers can cool atoms to temperatures that are very close to absolute zero. At these temperatures, something called a “Bose-Einstein condensate” can form; this is a state in which all the atoms in a gas follow each other and behave in the same way.

This plot shows the numerical simulation of the density of an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate that has evolved in the presence of a so-called spin-orbit coupling. The irregular structure is a result of quantum chaos and the bright regions with an enhanced atomic density is an example of a
This plot shows the numerical simulation of the density of an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate that has evolved in the presence of a so-called spin-orbit coupling. The irregular structure is a result of quantum chaos and the bright regions with an enhanced atomic density is an example of a 'quantum scar'.

Dr Jonas Larson from the Department of Physics, Stockholm University, will use analytical and numerical methods to investigate the quantum phenomena that occur when a cold gas is placed in an optical cavity, created using two highly reflecting mirrors. When the cold atoms interact with light, the material enters different phases in which complex quantum mechanical states occur.

Cold atomic systems

Jonas Larson will also conduct theoretical studies of cold atomic systems that function as models for quantum magnetism. He will collaborate with a research group in Zürich that will evaluate the theoretical results using experiments. The aim of the project is to better understand the quantum world, which is still largely mysterious to us.

What it means to be a Wallenberg fellow

Jonas Larsson
Jonas Larsson

“On a personal level, becoming a Wallenberg fellow gives me the possibility to build my own research group. With this financial support we will be able to establish in Stockholm and Sweden a research group focusing on one of the most rapidly evolving and interdisciplinary areas in physics, namely cold atom theory and quantum simulators. Our goal is to give a deeper understanding of how light and matter interact and which new kind of states that can emerge, as well as exploring exotic states of quantum magnetism which might be found in complex materials possessing novel magnetic properties. While focusing on theory we will work closely together with international experimental experts with the hope that some of our results will also be verified in the lab,” says Jonas Larson.

Read more in Stockholm University Research Database or on the web page of Jonas Larson.