Vladan Vuletić is Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics at MIT. Born in Serbia (Yugoslavia), and educated in Germany, he earned the Physics Diploma and a PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. He was postdoc and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Stanford University before joining MIT in 2003. Vuletić’s research in experimental atomic physics focuses on entanglement in many-body systems for uses in precision measurements, quantum simulation, and potentially quantum computing. Major achievements include spin squeezing for overcoming the standard quantum limit in atomic clocks, the development of laser cooling techniques for Bose-Einstein condensation, and the first observation of bound states of photons. Abstract: Recent years have seen a remarkable development in our ability to manipulate matter and light at a quantum level. Quantum simulators with individual trapped atoms are becoming a reality, and quantum computing is on the verge of becoming experimentally viable. Of particular interest are tunable strong interactions between atoms that can be used to experimentally implement and control entangled many-body states. Highly excited, metastable atomic Rydberg states can be used to implement controllable long-distance interactions between individual quanta. I will discuss two applications: By coherently coupling light to Rydberg excitations in a dense atomic medium, we have realized a highly nonlinear optical medium where the interactions between individual photons are so strong that two photons can even form a bound state. I will also discuss the use of Rydberg interactions to realize a many-atom quantum simulator with up to 51 individually trapped atoms, where we have observed a quantum phase transition towards a state with antiferromagnetic order, as well as long-lived many-body oscillations after a sudden quench. The event will be livestreamed from the ICTP website. All are invited to attend. Please note unusual venue and time!
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