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  • Optical Lattice Emulator (OLE)

    The Optical Lattice Emulator (OLE) program seeks to devise a means to understand and explore the fully quantum mechanical treatment of materials.  The program  will construct an emulator, an artificial material whose behavior is governed by the same underlying mathematical description as the material of interest.

    Materials used for electronics components in everyday modern devices are governed by quantum physics.  Quantum mechanics has enabled adequate explanations of electron conduction in devices and photon emission from light-emitting diodes.  The ability to understand and explain these properties has led to widespread exploitation of electronic materials.  Fully quantum mechanical treatments—as when electrons entangled with each other remain completely intractable—are largely ignored in our description of electronic devices.  The complexity of fully quantum calculations grows exponentially with the number of particles involved, limiting supercomputer-based calculations to only a handful of atoms.

    The Optical Lattice Emulator (OLE) program seeks to devise a means to understand and explore the fully quantum mechanical treatment of materials.  OLE will construct an emulator, an artificial material whose behavior is governed by the same underlying mathematical description as the material of interest.  The emulator will be built with ultra cold bosonic and fermionic atoms held in an appropriate geometry by an optical lattice formed by laser beams.  Controlling the states of the atoms and the optical lattice will enable careful measurement of the properties of this artificial material, helping to provide an understanding of the properties of a material system of interest. Repetitive control and measurement will enable construction of phase diagrams that relay the behavior of the bulk material under specific conditions.  Such a tool should enable profound changes in fundamental understanding of advanced materials such as high-temperature superconductors.  In addition, the tool developed by this program will permit design and investigation of novel material systems.

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