Strongly-correlated fermions are ubiquitous in nature, from the quark-gluon plasma of the early universe to neutron stars found in the outer space, they lie as well at the heart of many modern materials such as high-temperature superconductors, colossal magneto-resistance devices or graphene. While being a pressing issue covering a wide fundamental and technological scope, the understanding of strongly-correlated fermions constitutes a serious challenge of modern physics, which is often hindered by the complexity of the host systems themselves.
The contribution of ultracold atom experiments in this outstanding quest resides in the ability to set fermions in a well-characterized environment. In these systems, one can add a single ingredient at a time (interactions, lattice, disorder, etc) with a high degree of control, allowing for an incremental complexity, which represents an ideal playground for a direct comparison to many-body theories. Because they offer the ability to introduce new parameters in the system and control them dynamically, these experiments are often referred to as quantum simulators.
Our group aims at understanding the behavior of strongly-interacting fermionic systems using an atom-based quantum simulator featuring single-atom imaging and manipulation capabilities.