Quantum Lego: Building and exploring quantum matter atom by atom
We study ultracold gases that are put into artificial crystals of light called optical lattices. The atoms in the optical lattice behave like electrons in a solid. That means we can use these atoms to simulate models from condensed matter physics, and to build up quantum materials atom by atom. We developed Quantum gas microscopy, which allows us to image each individual atom, creating a perfect quantum snapshot. We program a wide range of models, and can now perform quantum simulations of the iconic Hubbard model in regimes on the border of where a quantum advantage emerges. I will report on work in which we observed antiferromagnetism in the Hubbard model and signatures of geometric strings upon doping; now we are starting to "zoom in" on the low-temperature phases of this model, which may hold the key to understanding quantum materials such as high temperature superconductors and beyond.