In the podcast’s last episode in 2023, Chris talks to ML4Q member, Julian Schmitt, leader of the junior research group “Quantum fluids of light” at the University of Bonn. Julian recently received an ERC Starting Grant, the ML4Q Independence Grant. In 2022 he was awarded the ML4Q Young Investigator Award honoring his contribution to the cluster’s program which particularly requires the collaboration between different sites.
Chris and Julian talk about Bose-Einstein condensates and the differences between the atomic and the photonic sort. They recap how Julian got into the atomic molecular and optical physics (AMO) research community where major breakthroughs often seem to be possible already with relatively small teams. They also chat about how optical quantum gases can shed new light on exciting open questions in physics, such as grand canonical condensates or the interplay between quantum physics and thermodynamics.
Listen here to the full podcast episode with Julian here or using your podcatcher.
00:01:20 Welcome Julian
00:02:02 From photons to quantum technology – a brief history
00:11:40 Working with Bose Einstein condensates
00:18:41 BEC: cold atoms versus hot photons
00:27:50 How Julian got into AMO physics
00:30:50 Achieving scientific breakthroughs in a team of four people
00:39:12 Current research goals
00:42:47 Photon BECs in the grand canonical ensemble
00:47:58 How flexible is the photon BEC experiment?
00:51:35 The photon BEC community
00:52:46 Quantum mechanics or statistical physics?
While recording, Alex Jahn – who is not only a talented web designer and a great podcast editor but obviously a gifted illustrator – made this drawing of the one and a half hour talk between Chris and Julian: