Cooperativity in Highly Excited Rydberg
Ensembles — Control and Entanglement
COHERENCE School 1, Idea Factory 1 and Young Excited Atomix - workshop
Fundamentals of Rydberg Atoms and Molecules
September 16 - 22, 2012
Dipartimento di Fisica, University of Pisa and Hotel Fossabanda, Pisa, Italy

During the three-day COHERENCE school senior researchers gave a series of lectures covering all aspects of Rydberg physics, including interactions between Rydberg atoms and many-body physics as well as more advanced topics such as Rydberg molecules and the use of Rydberg atoms for quantum information.
The lectures were accessible to beginning graduate students but also contained very recent research results, thus enabling the students to appreciate the scope and diversity of current activities in the field. The informal setting of the school made it easy for students to approach the speakers and to talk about their lectures and research.

A key component of the school was The Ideas Factory, designed to help students learn to put a scientific or technological idea into a concrete grant or business proposal.
Groups of three early stage researchers selected from different institutes worked out realistic proposals along the lines of either fundamental research or an applied subject. This included the formulation of the precise goal of research or an innovative product idea, implementation, and a realistic cost assessment.

The school was followed by a two-day Young Excited Atomix meeting entirely organized by the students. This enabled the students to present their own research results, interact with students of different backgrounds and experience, and allowed for valuable bonds to form which will provide the basis for future cooperation between the different groups in COHERENCE.
Four senior researchers, invited by the students, gave one-hour lectures describing their research on Rydberg atoms, which nicely complemented the more general introductions of the workshop. One student from each node of the network then gave a half-hour talk on the work done so far and prospects for the remainder of their fellowship. Even though for many students this was the first time to present their research at a conference, and considering also that many of them had only started their PhDs or postdoctoral positions a few months before, the talks were of very high standard. In many cases the students presented original results that should very soon lead to publications, illustrating the highly dynamic nature of the network and the breadth of topics covered by the different nodes of the network.

Photos from School, IF, YEA