Tentative Abstract: The last 10-15 years have seen huge advances in the use of ultra-cold atoms techniques to study strongly correlated physics. The combination of laser cooling and optical lattices has allowed experimentalists to create clean, cold, and tunable artificial crystals of atoms and light. These systems provide an excellent platform in which to study fundamental underpinnings of materials physics involving degenerate Bose and Fermi gasses in rigid periodic potentials. I will discuss current experimental work in Lev Lab studying a multimode cavity QED system that gives rise to a novel kind of dynamical optical lattice which will generate a smecticly ordered superfluid state of 87Rb. Finally, I will discuss future work to generate glassy ordered states.
Alicia Kollár, Graduate Student in Applied Physics, Stanford University