Two atoms, initially prepared in different locations, exchange their positions along the blue path, whereas no exchange occurs along the red path. In quantum mechanics, it is possible that the atoms take simultaneously both ways. As a result of such a tricky manipulation, it is fundamentally impossible at the end to determine the origin of the atoms, and their spin orientations (denoted by arrows) become entangled. © Andrea Alberti/Uni Bonn

An international team of researchers led by Christian Roos and Andrea Alberti has proposed a new way to make atoms or ions indistinguishable by swapping their positions. These particles are then expected to exhibit exotic properties.

IQOQI Innsbruck / Harald Ritsch

In quantum computing, dense atomic clouds can efficiently map “flying” photonic qubits onto stationary qubits. The absorbed photons, however, end up encoded in delocalized atomic excitations which impede local processing. A Team of researchers from Innsbruck, Oxford, Singapore and Harvard came up with a new concept – a so-called “Quantum Spin Lens” – which could focus delocalized excitations onto single atoms. This would allow the manipulation and processing of “flying” qubits using the well-developed quantum computing toolbox.

IQOQI Innsbruck/Harald Ritsch

Physicists are developing quantum simulators, to help solve problems that are beyond the reach of conventional computers. However, they first need new tools to ensure that the simulators work properly. Innsbruck researchers around Rainer Blatt and Christian Roos, together with researchers from the Universities of Ulm and Strathclyde, have now implemented a new technique in the laboratory that can be used to efficiently characterize the complex states of quantum simulators.


In an international first, Innsbruck Physicists have directly observed dynamical quantum phase transitions in an interacting many-body system.

IQOQI Innsbruck / Harald Ritsch

Physicists demonstrate how heating up a quantum system can be used as a universal probe for exotic states of matter.