Our current research focus on strongly correlated quantum systems where interactions are comparable to kinetic energy. Such situations often lead to novel macroscopic quantum phenomena such as high-temperature superconductivity or the fractional quantum Hall effect. These systems are interesting from a fundamental point of view (phases, type of excitations …) and could find applications such as lossless energy transport or quantum information processing.
The study of quantum many-body systems remains however very challenging for numerics and one needs to develop new approaches both from theory and experiments. One possible experimental route, called quantum simulation, aims to use a well controlled device whose constitutents behave quantum-mechanically to study problems intractable for classical computers. In our laboratory we use ultracold neutral atoms trapped in optical potentials to perform quantum simulations of strongly correlated systems. We probe such systems both in and out of equilibrium with a resolution down to the single particle and spin, allowing to directly measure local and non-local correlations.