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Prof. Lindsay Leblanc

University of Alberta
Date of Live Presentation: Tue, 19-Mar-2019
Location: Univ. of Laval


The quantum playground: an ultracold atoms apparatus and the games we can play


Ultracold atoms provide a fantastic playground for manipulating and making use of the quantum nature of matter. In our lab, we cool atoms down to a few nanokelvin, where they are free from the randomness associated with thermal motion and can fully embrace their quantumness. In one of the games we play, we use the atom’s quantized levels to store information encoded in light, to realize a “quantum memory” -- a key device for future quantum networks. In another, we use various electromagnetic fields to implement a game of “dress-up,” where the atoms take on the character of generalized quantum systems and are free to mimic the behaviour of other many-particle quantum systems, such as magnets or superfluids. In all that we do, we are keen to better understand, from the ground up, what makes these quantum particles behave as they do. We keep pursuing this quantum world to find the techniques and technologies that could bring the wealth of possibility from the quantum realm up to the human scale.

Short bio

Dr. Lindsay LeBlanc is Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Alberta, and Canada Research Chair in Ultracold Gases for Quantum Simulation. Dr. LeBlanc earned her bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta in 2003 and her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Toronto in 2011, after which she headed to Gaithersburg, MD, where she worked with the Joint Quantum Institute at the National Institute for Standards and Technology. Her Ph.D. and postdoctoral work focused on developing the tools and techniques needed to make and measure systems of ultracold atoms that formed a variety of many-body states, to create “communities” of ultracold atoms that acted in ways that were different when they were together than when they were individual particles. Currently, Dr. LeBlanc runs a state-of-the-art ultracold quantum gases laboratory at the University of Alberta, which focuses on both fundamental research and practical applications using these very cold atoms. Outside the lab, Dr. LeBlanc enjoys curling, cycling, and cooking, and is currently trying to teach her toddler to count to three.

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