Alice:
The remote
lab

Ottó Elíasson

PhD Student in Experimental Physics

Alice is also a framework for opening a modern quantum physics experiment to people who do not work directly in the laboratory. The target group for such a framework could be the public engaging in citizen science, physics students from all over the world gaining hands on experience in a state-of-the-art experiment or theoretical physicists eager to try out their wild ideas about how particular quantum systems behave.

This concept was applied in the Alice Challenge where almost 800 people from all over the world participated in a citizen science experiment to create the biggest Bose-Einstein condensate, the coldest matter in the universe. On the same occasion, we opened our lab for theoretical physicists from Ulm in Germany to remotely control the experiment, trying out optimisation algorithms on the same problem. Here is the video we created to explain the science behind the experiment to the Alice Challenge participants:

 

We are currently building a flexible experiment where we will be able to trap single atoms in an optical lattice, where the atoms will be a bit like eggs in an egg tray created by laser light, or in arbitrarily shaped optical potentials (hills, mountains, valleys) generated with Digital Micromirror Devices, which is like a small projector. We have played a bit with the capabilities of these devices and even managed to trap an atomic cloud in a heart shaped box:

In the future, we want to open this new platform for experimenting with a system of atoms on a grid, in a heart or whatever kind of landscape you can think of, dear user. Like in the Alice challenge and our hit game Quantum Moves, we see the future control interface to our experiment to be game like, where no expert knowledge of quantum physics is necessary to contribute to the science we do.

Next, read about:
Alice: A flexible experimental control system

Alice: The remote lab
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