What could the preparation of a coffee and epidemic spreading of a disease have in common? These two very different situations are examples of the phenomenon known as percolation. The mechanism of percolation consists in the evolution of clusters of sites that can be bound with certain probability. At a specific threshold probability, the system experiences a phase transition that separates the regime in which only small clusters of connected sites form to that in which single clusters that cross the entire system appear, and thus percolation happens. If the propagation in the network has a preferred direction, it is called directed percolation. The model of percolation is theoretically appealing and it has been widely studied due to its simplicity and large applicability to several systems in nature. In my brief presentation I will also explain how we can implement the mechanism of percolation with ultracold Rydberg atoms and how we investigate experimentally its phase transition.
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