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Strontium Lab

Welcome to the Strontium Lab.
We study quantum many-body physics with ultracold
strontium atoms trapped in optical lattices.


For the first time, we have demonstrated state-dependent optical lattices for the strontium optical qubit at the tune-out wavelength for its ground state. A trap at this special wavelength tightly traps excited state atoms while leaving ground state atoms free to move. We demonstrate such a trap for excited state atoms and show a suppression of the effect of the lattice on ground state atoms by more than four orders of magnitude. This highly independent control over the qubit states removes inelastic excited state collisions as the main obstacle for quantum simulation and computation schemes based on the strontium optical qubit. Our results also reveal large discrepancies in the atomic data used to calibrate the largest systematic effect of strontium optical lattice clocks.

Have a look at our preprint on the Physics arXiv.


Rudolf Haindl just handed in his Master’s thesis, describing our second-generation clock laser reference cavity system. Congratulations!


Etienne Staub just handed in his Master’s thesis, describing our new high-flux strontium atomic beam source. Congratulations!


Our first paper Fast and dense magneto-optical traps for strontium was just published in Physical Review A.

As usual, the paper is also available on the Physics arXiv.


Neven and Sebastian will be at DAMOP in Milwaukee this week. Find them at Poster Session III of Session S01, at 16:00 on Thursday, May 30th.


Annie has been the face of the Max-Planck Society twitter account for more than three weeks by now. Here are the original twitter, instagram, and facebook posts.

#mymachineandme: Annie Jihyun Park, PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics “See the blue light? That's the laser we use to cool hot atoms to one millionth of a degree above absolute zero. At this temperature, atoms show off their quantum mechanical nature while interacting with each other. By controlling them with several lasers, we can even engineer states of matter which we do not find in nature. For better or for worse, this machine brings us new surprises every day!”


Sebastian will start teaching the Quantum Optics II class at LMU starting Wednesday, April 24th. We meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:15 to 14:00 in room N.020 (kleiner Physikhörsaal) on Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1. Find out more about the class on the group webpage.


Neven Šantić just received a highly-competitive Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant for his postdoctoral work in the strontium lab. Congratulations Neven!


We found a way to cool strontium atoms much more quickly to the micro-Kelvin regime. To do this, we only illuminate one axis of our magneto-optical traps at a time and sweep the lasers across the resonance every 50 microseconds. Although the excited-state atomic lifetime is only 21 microseconds, this method greatly improves the robustness and speed of our magneto-optical traps for both bosonic and fermionic isotopes.

Have a look at our preprint on the Physics arXiv.


Both Annie and Neven will present posters at the DPG Spring meeting in Rostock. Find them at the poster session A 12 at 16:30 on Tuesday, March 12th.


Jan Trautmann just joined our group as a PhD student. Welcome Jan!