Surface quantum optics
The junior research group "Surface quantum optics" led by Dr. Sebastian Slama experimentally studies the physics of ultracold quantum gases close to surfaces. Of particular interest for us is the interaction of Bose-Einstein condensates with optical near fields bound to plasmonic micro- and nanostructures. This connects atomic physics with topics and techniques usually knwon of nanophotonics. The work group pursues a two-fold objectives:
- Firstly, we are working on the realization of optical atom chips for the tailoring of nano potentials and nano traps for cold atoms. This is done with the perspective of building hybrid quantum systems, consisting of the quantum gas on the one side and of optical near fields on the other side. This system would allow us to strongly couple cold atoms with plasmonic excitations, which is of fundamental interest in quantum optics and has potential applications in quantum sensors and quantum information.
- Secondly, we exploit the highly sensitive properties of cold atoms for measuring minute forces at surfaces. In particular, we are investigating e.g. Casimir forces which are caused by electromagnetic quantum fluctuations. By measuring these forces we aim at testing fundamental physics and developing strategies for the manipulation and control of these forces, which is of great interest for the miniaturization of nano sensors and nano machines.
The group is funded by