Abstract: It seems paradoxical that quantum mechanics rules the world at small scales, while most familiar forms of matter show little evidence of their underlying quantum degrees of freedom. The discovery of superfluidity and superconductivity provided our first glimpse of a vast range of quantum materials we now know (or suspect) exist. I'll review some of the successful efforts to find and predict the properties of interesting and potentially useful quantum materials, with a focus on how ultracold quantum gases are now being used to explore physical regimes that were once experimentally inaccessible. I'll explain a little bit about the design of the apparatus in my lab, and the aspects of physics one has to master to create and study dilute quantum gases. Finally, I will describe upcoming tests of important theoretical predictions about fermionic superfluids that are intended to guide ongoing efforts to stitch our current patchwork of theories into a more general framework capable of fully explaining the properties of known quantum phases of matter, and guide us as we press into territory that is currently inaccessible to theory and/or experiments.
Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.