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Lattice Gases



Open positions

A post-doctoral position will be opened in 2019, if your are interested in our line of research and in joining our team, please contact D. Clément.




We have built an apparatus to manipulate metastable Helium atoms (He*) loaded in optical lattices and to measure atom-atom correlations in many-body quantum states. The special properties of He*, its light mass and its large internal energy, enable an original and innovative detection method which can reconstruct the three dimensional positions of and correlations between individual atoms after a long time of free fall, providing direct access to momentum-space correlations.

Current status


April 2019: we have measured momentum-space correlations between individual atoms in a Mott insulator, finding that 2-body and 3-body correlation functions (see picture) are those of a ground-state with a Gaussian density operator. Our preprint can be found in here.

November 2018: our theory paper about the contact in 1D Bose gases appears in Physical Review Letters (here)

November 2018: Hugo has defended successfully his PhD thesis, congratulations !

June 2018: Antoine has obtained a PhD grant from the Doctoral school of Paris Saclay to start his PhD next september !

April 2018: Cécile receives a Best Poster prize at the WE-Heraeus seminar: Quantum Gases and Quantum Coherence in Bad Honnef. Congratulations!

Mars 2018: observation of the bosonic Mott transition in a 3D optical lattice with metastable Helium atoms.


October 2017: We demonstrated to reconstruct, accurately and atom by atom, the three-dimensional momentum distributions of lattice bosons. Our apparatus is benchmarked with ab-initio Quantum Monte-Carlo calculations. See our work published as a Rapid Communication in Physical Review A here.


August 2017: D. Clément has received a junior grant from the Agence Nationale de la Recherche to add the fermions Helium-3 to the apparatus ! (ANR JCJC QUORUM)


May 2017: we have adiabatically loaded Helium atoms into the lowest band of a 3D optical lattice, shaken the lattice to fill up the Brillouin zone, and perform a band-mapping measurement with our 3D single-atom-resolved detector. Next is a movie of the cube corresponding to the 3D Brillouin zone of the lowest lattice band !! (in black and white colors beneath the 3D cube is a 2D projection

Mars 2017: Hugo is not only talented for physics and he has realized nice short videos presenting the optics workshop of our Institut d'Optique ! See video#1 and video#2.

December 2016: our paper on the observation of large momentum tails in expanding 3D BECs is published in Physical Review Letters (here) !

May 2016: the electronic detector of metastable Helium allows us to reconstruct, at the single atom level, the 3D density of Bose-Einstein condensates after a long time-of-flight.


November 2015: our paper on the single-atom He* detector has been published in Review of Scientific Instruments (here) ! Reproducing the work of Schellekens et al., Science (2005), we have developed our codes to calculate second-order correlations with success !

17 Feb. 2015: we have observed Bose-Einstein condensation of Helium 4 atoms in our crossed optical dipole trap ! We produce robust Helium-4 BECs with 5e5 atoms every 6 seconds ! Published as Rapid Communication in Physical Review A (here).


Oct. 2014: Observation of sub-Doppler laser cooling (down to 10 uK) in grey molasses of metastable Helium atoms.


March 2014: Observation of three-dimensional laser cooling at the Doppler limit. See our paper Phys. Rev. A 90 063407 (2014) [selected as Editors's suggestion]




Momentum-space atom correlations in a Mott insulator, C. Carcy, H. Cayla, A. Tenart, A. Aspect, M. Mancini, D. Clément, arXiv:1904.10995 (2019).

Contact and sum-rules in a near-uniform Fermi gas at unitarity, C. Carcy, S. Hoinka, M. G. Lingham, P. Dyke, C. C. N. Kuhn, H. Hu, C. Vale, arXiv:1902.07853 (2019).


Tan's Contact for Trapped Lieb-Liniger Bosons at Finite Temperature, H. Yao, D. Clément, A. Minguzzi, P. Vignolo, L. Sanchez-Palencia Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 220402 (2018).

Single-atom-resolved probing of lattice gases in momentum space, H. Cayla, C.Carcy, Q. Bouton, R. Chang, G. Carleo, M. Mancini, D. Clément, Phys. Rev. A 97 061609(R) (2018)


Quantum depletion of a homogeneous Bose-Einstein condensate , R. Lopes, C. Eigen, N. Navon, D. Clément, R. P. Smith, Z. Hadzibabic, Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 190404 (2017).


Momentum-resolved observation of thermal and quantum depletion in an interacting Bose gas, R. Chang, Q. Bouton, H. Cayla, C. Qu, A. Aspect, C. I. Westbrook, D. Clément, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 235303 (2016).


Characterization of a detector chain using a FPGA-based Time-to-Digital Converter to reconstruct the three-dimensional coordinates of single particles at high flux, F. Nogrette, D. Heurteau, R. Chang, Q. Bouton, C. I. Westbrook, R. Sellem, D. Clément, Rev. Scient. Intrum. 86, 113105 (2015)

Fast production of Bose-Einstein condensates of metastable Helium, Q. Bouton, R. Chang, L. Hoendervanger, F. Nogrette, A. Aspect, C. I. Westbrook, D. Clément Phys. Rev. A 91 061402(R) (2015)

Dynamical structure factor of one-dimensional Bose gases: experimental signatures of beyond-Luttinger liquid physics, N. Fabbri, M. Panfil, D. Clément, L. Fallani, M. Inguscio, C. Fort and J.-S. Caux, Phys. Rev. A 91, 043617 (2015)


Three-dimensional laser cooling at the Doppler limit, R. Chang, A.L. Hoendervanger, Q. Bouton, Y. Fang, T. Klafka, K. Audo, A. Aspect, C. I .Westbrook and D. Clément Phys. Rev. A 90 063407 (2014) [selected as Editors's suggestion]


Influence of Gold Coating and Interplate Voltage on the Performance of Chevron Micro-Channel Plates for the Temporally and Spatially Resolved Single Particle Detection, A.L. Hoendervanger, D. Clément, A. Aspect, C.I. Westbrook, D. Dowek, Y. Picard and D. Boiron Rev. Scient. Instrum. 84 023307 (2013)


An oscillator circuit to produce a radio-frequency discharge and application to metastable helium saturated absorption spectroscopy, F. Moron, A.L. Hoendervanger, M. Bonneau, Q. Bouton, A. Aspect, D. Boiron, D. Clément and C.I. Westbrook, Rev. Scient. Instrum. 83 044705 (2012)


We have received funding from the Institut Francilien des Atomes Froids - IFRAF (DIM Daisy), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (Chair of excellence), the Réseau Triangle de la physique (Junior chair), the Balzan foundation (Balzan Prize awarded to A. Aspect), the Agence Nationale de la Recherche - ANR (JCJC Quorum), the Labex PALM and the Institut Universitaire de France - IUF (Junior chair).


Former members

Hugo CAYLA (PhD, 2015-2018) [link to PhD thesis]

Marco MANCINI (Post-doc, 2016-2018)

Quentin BOUTON (PhD, 2013-2016) [link to PhD thesis (in french)]

Rockson CHANG (Post-doc, 2013-2016)

Yami FANG (visiting PhD, 2012-2014)

Lynn HOENDERVANGER (PhD, 2011-2014) [link to PhD thesis]