Progress Article abstract

Nature Physics 6, 87 - 95 (2010)
Published online: 1 February 2010 | doi:10.1038/nphys1507

Subject Categories: Atomic and molecular physics | Condensed-matter physics

Disordered quantum gases under control

Laurent Sanchez-Palencia1 & Maciej Lewenstein2

When attempting to understand the role of disorder in condensed-matter physics, we face considerable experimental and theoretical difficulties, and many questions are still open. Two of the most challenging ones—debated for decades—concern the effect of disorder on superconductivity and quantum magnetism. We review recent progress in the field of ultracold atomic gases, which should pave the way towards the realization of versatile quantum simulators, which help solve these questions. In addition, ultracold gases offer original practical and conceptual approaches, which open new perspectives to the field of disordered systems.

  1. Laboratoire Charles Fabry de l’Institut d’Optique, CNRS and Univ. Paris-Sud, Campus Polytechnique, RD 128, F-91127 Palaiseau cedex, France
  2. ICREA—Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats and ICFO—Institut de Ciències Fotòniques, Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia, E-08860 Castelldefels, Barcelona

Correspondence to: Laurent Sanchez-Palencia1 e-mail:

Correspondence to: Maciej Lewenstein2 e-mail:


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