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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S019669/1
Title: Far From Equilibrium Quantum Simulators
Principal Investigator: Szymanska, Professor MH
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Bar-Ilan University Ben Gurion University of the Negev Paul Drude Institute
University of Paris South (Paris XI) University of Sheffield
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 30 June 2019 Ends: 29 June 2022 Value (£): 850,350
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Light-Matter Interactions Quantum Optics & Information
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
R&D
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 Jan 2019 EPSRC Physical Sciences - January 2019 Announced
04 Jun 2019 EPSRC Physical Sciences Fellowship Interview Panel 5 and 6 June 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This is an extension of the Fellowship "Coherent quantum matter out of equilibrium - from fundamental physics towards applications".

The original project concerned collective phenomena in a wide range of photonic systems to explore the fundamental properties of matter and their use for device applications. The extension will now focus on systems of strongly interacting and massive photons, placed in artificially made lattice potentials mimicking real solids, and their use as quantum simulators.

Ever since the idea of quantum simulations, which involves the creation and control of simpler systems to model the behaviour of more complex and poorly understood systems, have been proposed, the search for suitable physical platforms has been one of the most active branches of Quantum Technologies. Due to their light mass, photons have been shown to exhibit quantum effects at high, up-to-room temperatures and can be easily integrated with other platforms for technological applications. Thus, the idea of creating synthetic quantum matter out of photons to simulate poorly understood lattice systems, such as real solids, has been particularly attractive. However, photons cannot be perfectly trapped and decoupled from their environment, which leads to non-equilibrium dissipative conditions, that are challenging to describe if combined with strong interactions and correlations, but particularly relevant for real life applications.

The main aim of the project is to devise effective new theoretical and computational methods to treat strong correlations and entanglement in driven-dissipative lattice systems of photons in collaboration with experimental groups, and to use these methods to design protocols for experimental exploration of those in the spirit of quantum simulation. We will focus on two particularly promising platforms: polariton lattices i.e. specially engineered semiconductor structures, and superconducting circuits coupled to microwave photons. Our research will address fundamental problems of phase transitions, orders, symmetry and topology when strong interactions combine with strong dissipation and non-equilibrium conditions, as well as practical questions how correlations form and propagate, and how they can be controlled and protected from the destructive influence of the outside world.
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