In our lab, we focus on studying strongly correlated quantum many-body systems realized with ultracold atomic gases. In particular, we are interested in two broad areas of many-body physics: quantum magnetism and the effect of strong interactions on quantum materials. Quantum magnetism explores spin systems where the interplay between competing interactions, geometric frustration and quantum fluctuations leads to novel magnetic phases. We study quantum magnetism in a variety of contexts, including using ultracold molecules, Rydberg atoms, and Hubbard systems. On the other hand, strongly interacting quantum materials include exotic systems such as the cuprate high-temperature superconductors, heavy fermion materials, and fractional quantum Hall states. Theory techniques attempting to understand these systems are stymied by the presence of strong interactions. Instead, we experimentally realize model systems to explore the relevant degrees of freedom behind these novel states of matter. Recent research directions include developing new techniques to explore the dynamical response of these systems and engineering long-range interactions using Rydberg atoms and ultracold molecules.
These topics are at the heart of an emerging area of overlap between condensed matter physics and cold atoms (related experimental work at Princeton in the Yazdani, Hasan, Ong, and Wu condensed matter groups).