At a first glance, the material world around you might seem inanimate. If you zoomed in on it, you would not only be faced with potentially malicious bacteria waiting on the surface to make their way into your body but also — magnifying further and further — uncountable molecules formed by atoms, which again consist of a bulk of nucleons surrounded by a cloud of quickly moving electrons. As all these particles are more or less interacting with each other it is obviously highly challenging to understand their mutual interplay. To establish order in that chaos I use laser light. I first make the atoms cool down and, as a next step, separate and align them in a well-defined 2D lattice structure. Having caught the atoms and successfully attracted their attention it is possible to communicate with them, change their individual state and even control how strong they can interact with one another. This setup also reveals that the realm of atoms is a really odd world: As an example, the behavior of the atoms can only be understood through quantum mechanics. I invite you to a journey into the world of tiny quanta with its amazing characteristics and will present you how the lattice setup helps to get a better understanding of that place and make use of its properties.
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