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QUANTATOP Report Summary

Project ID: 267775
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: France

Final Report Summary - QUANTATOP (Quantum Atom Opticsfrom Entangled Pairs to Strongly Correlated Systems)

The project Quantatop had two main goals : 1) revisit with atoms, i.e., massive particles, emblematic phenomena of photonic quantum optics, related to entanglement; 2) simulate with atoms emblematic phenomena of condensed matter physics, such as Anderson localization of electrons in a disordered medium, or interacting Bose Einstein Condensates.
In both lines of research, we have obtained results at the cutting edge of research, and found analogies and differences.

In quantum atom optics, we have developed a source of pairs of atoms correlated in momentum. It has allowed us to observe the atomic Hong-Ou-Mandel phenomenon, a conceptually simple demonstration of the role of two particles interference, closely related to entanglement. This result paves the way to an ultimate test of entanglement of massive particles, by testing Bell's inequalities on atomic momenta. This experiment may shed a new light on the frontier between quantum mechanics and gravitation.

In quantum simulation of condensed matter problems, we have observed and studied weak and strong localization of non interacting atoms in an optical disordered potential, and shown the role of quantum coherence and time reversal symmetry. These experiments have paved the way to similar studies with interacting atoms, now under way. We have also directly observed the depletion in a weakly interacting Bose Einstein Condensate, thanks to the unique sensitivity of our metastable helium detection scheme.

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