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Probing an ultracold-atom crystal using atomic matter maves  
This week, an article by Dominik Schneble's group (Ultracold atoms, Gadway et al.) is prominently featured on the main WEB page of Nature Physics. By "shining" a one-dimensional Bose gas (probe) onto a Mott insulator (target), Domink's group observed Bragg diffraction peaks that reveal the spatial ordering and localization of atoms on individual lattice sites. For weak confinement, they observe inelastic excitations of atoms in the target, which connect to a quantum "Newton's cradle" in the free-atom limit. They also use atomic de Broglie waves to detect forced antiferromagnetic ordering in an atomic spin mixture.

See the group's WEB page or the Nature Physics paper, or read the press release by the University.

Click on the image to see, on left side: Diffraction of a matter wave (red) from an atomic crystal (blue). Right: For a crystal with weak confinement, the Bragg peaks give way to inelastic excitations.

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