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Physics Colloquium on November 4

Nov 1, 2011


Speaker: Nathaniel Burdick
Date: November 4, 2011 (Friday)
Time: 4 PM
Room: 205 Currens Hall

Exploring quantum matter with ultracold gases of dysprosium

Within the past 20 years, the techniques of laser cooling and trapping have allowed physicists to produce ultracold atomic gases, perhaps most notably with the Bose-Einstein condensation of rubidium and sodium in 1995. Today a wide variety of atomic systems are being used to study the behavior and interactions of particles at the quantum level. After briefly highlighting a number of experiments being done with ultracold gases, I will discuss my work with dysprosium, the most magnetic element. Dysprosium's large magnetic dipole moment and abundance of stable isotopes allows novel quantum states of matter to be explored. In particular, quantum liquid crystal phases--the quantum analogy to classical liquid crystals--should be accessible with ultracold dysprosium due to the long-range and anisotropic dipole-dipole interaction. Such phases are believed to exist in high-Tc superconductors.

About the speaker:
Nathaniel Burdick grew up in Macomb and after completing his schooling, he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for his Ph.D. Currently, he is a graduate student working with Professor Benjamin Lev, who has recently moved from the University of Illinois to the Applied Physics Department at Stanford University. His research focuses on the production of ultracold matter and quantum simulation.

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