Interactions among large collections of simple components can lead to unexpected collective behavior that covers vastly different scales in the world around us. From the swarming of birds to the formation of galaxies in our universe, we find such emergent phenomena in complex systems that cannot be grasped solely from the properties of their bare constituents.
At the smallest scales, quantum mechanical effects, such as coherence, interference and entanglement, can have even more astounding consequences on collections of many particles. The unimpeded flow of superfluids, the vanishing resistance of electrical superconductors, and the emission of coherent laser light are all examples of emergent quantum phenomena that are as surprising as they are essential for modern technology.
In the CCQ we seek to advance the understanding of such collective quantum phenomena by building complex quantum systems from the single-atom level. When atoms are cooled to temperatures near absolute zero, they can open a window into the quantum nature of matter. The technological breakthroughs that made this possible have revolutionized our ability to study individual quantum systems and offer a basis for future quantum technologies. The CCQ aims to expand these capabilities by designing, exploring and exploiting novel hybrid platforms in which atoms, ions, and photons blend together to form entirely new quantum states and generate emergent behavior beyond their individual functionalities.