Who We Are

Our independent Max Planck Research Group led by Richard Schmidt is located at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany. Our research focus lies at the intersection of theoretical solid state and atomic physics. We are particularly interested in systems that feature a strong interplay of few- and many-body physics and aim to gain a deeper understanding of its significance for the dynamics, spectroscopic and transport properties of quantum matter realized in ultracold atomic gases and semiconducting materials.

Research Interests

Ultracold Quantum Gases

Rydberg Gases

Bose-Fermi Mixtures

Quantum Impurities

Efimov Physics

Functional Methods

Functional Renormalization Group

Functional Determinant Approach

Quantum Field Theory

Variational Methods

Quantum Dynamics

Dephasing and Decoherence

Orthogonality Catastrophe

Polaron Formation

Angulon Dynamics



Two-Dimensional Materials

Transition Metal Dichalcogenides

Exciton-Electron Interactions

Polaronic Properties

Optical Response


Find Out More



  • Observation of Rydberg Polarons: One atom to rule them all
    Our work on the observation and detailed theoretical description of Rydberg polarons has been published in the Physical Review Letters and Physical Review A. The simplest neutral diatomic molecule, H2, is made of two hydrogen atoms. One can imagine trying to add more hydrogen atoms to build larger [read more]
  • New Paper Published: Dynamics of Magnetic Polarons
    Our joined work on the dynamics of magnetic polarons with Yuto Ashida (Tokyo University), Leticia Tarruell (ICFO Barcelona) and Eugene Demler (Harvard University) is now published in Phys. Rev. B as a Rapid Communication. Here the link to the [read more]
  • Paper accepted on Efimov physics
    Our work on three-body bound Efimov states close to Feshbach resonances with finite background scattering lengths has been accepted in Phys. Rev. A. The work was done in collaboration with Wilhelm Zwerger and Christian Langmack (TU Munich). You can find the preprint [read more]
  • Reports on Progress in Physics published
    Our work on the dynamics of heavy impurities interacting with a Fermi gas at zero and finite temperature is now published in the review journal “Reports on Progress in Physics”. You find our article here: Rep. Prog. Phys. 81, 024401 (2018) In this work we study the dynamical response of [read more]

Selected Publications and Preprints

  • F. Camargo, R. Schmidt, J. D. Whalen, R. Ding, G. Woehl Junior, S. Yoshida, J. Burgdörfer, F. B. Dunning, H. R. Sadeghpour, E. Demler, and T.C. Killian, Creation of Rydberg Polarons in a Bose Gas, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 083401 (2018).
  • R. Schmidt, M. Knap, D. A. Ivanov, J.-S. You, M. Cetina and E. Demler, Universal many-body response of heavy impurities coupled to a Fermi sea: a review of recent progress, Rep. Prog. Phys. 81, 024401 (2018).
  • A. Mazurenko, C. S. Chiu, G. J. Ji, M. F. Parsons, M. Kanasz-Nagy, R. Schmidt, F. Grusdt, E. Demler, D. Greif, and M. Greiner, A cold-atom Fermi–Hubbard antiferromagnet, Nature 545, 462 (2017).
  • M. Cetina, M. Jag, R. S. Lous, I. Fritsche, J. T. M. Walraven, R. Grimm, J. Levinsen, M. M. Parish, R. Schmidt, M. Knap, and E. Demler, Ultrafast many-body interferometry of impurities coupled to a Fermi sea, Science 354, 96 (2016).
  • R. Schmidt, H. Sadeghpour, and E. Demler, A mesoscopic Rydberg impurity in an atomic quantum gas, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 105302 (2016).
  • R. Schmidt, and M. Lemeshko, Rotation of Quantum Impurities in the Presence of a Many-Body Environment, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 203001 (2015).
Read More