Our first machine is dedicated to the study of optical lattice gases, the interplay between coherent quantum dynamics and measurement, and the use of continuous quantum measurement to coax a quantum system into novel forms of correlated behavior. To perform these studies, we have developed a novel Bose condensate apparatus capable of generating Rubidium BECs at rapid duty cycles and developed techniques to perform continuous nondestructive measurement of ultracold atoms in optical lattices. Using these techniques, we have recently demonstrated the quantum Zeno effect in an ultracold lattice gas and observed the gradual transition of an ultracold gas from quantum coherent to classical behavior due to the act of measurement. We are currently studying such measurement-induced transitions and methods to create strong quantum correlations through measurements.
In addition, we are also performing experiments to understand the nonequilibrium properties of Rubidium spinor condensates. In collaboration with theorists, we have shown that Rubidium spinors exhibit robust, long-lived prethermalized states due to the disparate energy scales between the phonon and magnon excitations. Current experiments seek to further understand the concept of prethermalization and possible universal laws that govern the behavior of such out-of-equilibrium many-body states.