PQI faculty Andrew Daley and his colleagues have proposed a scheme for the measurement of entanglement in a system of cold atoms in an optical lattice. Entanglement is an important theoretical concept, but was previously thought to be difficult to measure in microscopic many-particle systems. They tackle the problem by asking how one might track the changes in entanglement in a nonequilibrium many-body system.
Their proposal involves an optical lattice created by lasers and filled with bosons: identical copies of a boson chain stored in the lattice are coupled as a potential barrier between them is reduced. After tunneling has occurred, a measurement of how the lattice wells are populated would give the entanglement entropy.