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Solid State/Cold Atom Hybrid Quantum Devices (Socathes)
Start date: 01 Jan 2009, End date: 31 Dec 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Solid state physics and atomic physics have developed in a way that the combination of the two fields will produce massive synergetic effects and new physics. Thin film structures can be patterned and controlled down to the atomic level. Mesoscopic structures are used to create well defined two level systems and are presently explored in terms of their capability of being the basis of a quantum computer. The quantum dynamics of single electrons on a quantum dot or single Cooper pairs or flux quanta in case of superconductors can be controlled very well at temperatures in the Millikelvin range. Complementary, atomic physics has learned to control atoms and molecules almost perfectly and has turned to large ensembles of cold atoms forming e. g. Bose Einstein Condensates at low temperatures. In the present proposal we aim on the realization of such coupled solid state - atomic objects, starting with superconducting structures on the solid state side and with Rubidium atoms on the quantum optics side. We plan to investigate their fundamental properties and explore possible applications. In a second stage we consider including mechanical systems - nanoresonators - into our investigations. The heart of the experiments will be a ultra high vacuum millikelvin environment realized by a properly designed 3He-4He dilution refrigerator combined with a cold atom/BEC system. In terms of fundamental physics we will investigate the quantum nature of systems consisting of a macroscopic object like a flux quantum coherently coupled to a microscopic object like an atom. Combining solid state devices with atoms could lead to novel architectures in the field of quantum devices. In a similar spirit, ultrasensitive solid state detectors could be combined with atomic detection schemes, allowing for novel high precision measurement systems. We thus envision enormous potential for precision measurements and quantum engineered devices.
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