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Quantum Optics of Ultracold Quantum Gases

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Although the ultracold quantum gases trapped by light represent a broad direction of modern research, the quantum properties of light are usually completely neglected in this field. We address the phenomena, where the quantum natures of both light and ultracold matter play equally important roles. First, the quantized light serves as a quantum nondemolition (QND) probe sensitive to the quantum states of ultracold particles. The applications for ultracold atomic and molecular gases are demonstrated. Second, due to the light-matter entanglement, the quantum measurement-based preparation of many-body atomic states is possible. The class of emerging atomic states can be chosen via optical geometry, thus, the light scattering constitutes a quantum measurement with a controllable form of the measurement back-action. For example, the atom number squeezed and Schrödinger cat states can be prepared. Third, trapping atoms inside an optical cavity one creates the light potential, which is a quantized and dynamical variable itself, rather than a prescribed classical function as it is usual in the quantum gas problems. In the cavity QED with quantum gases, the self-consistent solution for light and particles is required, which enriches the picture of quantum many-body states of atoms trapped in quantum potentials.

This talk is part of the Cold Atoms series.

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