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"Quantum phase transition from a superfluid to a Mott insulator in a gas of ultracold atoms.
Markus Greiner was raised in Munich, Germany. During high school he became interested in lasers and holography, and won a German youth science competition. He studied Physics at the Ludwig Maximilians Universitaet in Minuch and designed and built a new type of apparatus for creating Bose-Einstein condesates in his master thesis (Diplom) in the group of Theodor Haensch. This allowed him to load a Bose-Einstein condesate (BEC) into a three-dimensional optical lattice potential in his PhD work. Together with Immanuel Bloch and his colleagues, he realized a quantum phase transititon from a superfluid to a Mott insulator, observed a periodic collapse and revival of a macroscopic matte wave, and created highly entangled states of atoms in a lattice. These experiments opened the intriguing possibility to study questions of modern condensed matter physics, quantum optics and quantum information with an atomic physics experiment. He received the 2004 Mc Millen Award for outstanding contributions to condensed matter physics. After this work, he slighty changed his field to fermionic atoms and is currently working as a research associate in the group of Deborah Jin at JILA in Boulder. Together with his colleague Cindy Regal he observed a Fermi condensate of generalized Cooper pairs in the BCS-BEC crossover regime.
George Gibson (Chair), Deborah Jin, Doug Schumacher, Cass Sacket, Brett Esry