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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W005484/2
Title: Collective Behaviour in Open Quantum Systems
Principal Investigator: Scarlatella, Dr O
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University of Liege University of Strathclyde
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 October 2022 Ends: 30 June 2025 Value (£): 265,854
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Condensed Matter Physics Quantum Optics & Information
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
27 Jul 2021 Stephen Hawking Fellowship - R2 Interviews Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Quantum correlations are at the root of the counter-intuitive, spectacular properties of quantum matter. Understanding and classifying those properties is far from being accomplished. While in thermal equilibrium a well-established theoretical framework exists, less is known in out-of-equilibrium conditions, providing an excellent playground for new discoveries. Discovering collective phenomena out-of-equilibrium is in fact recognized as one of the "physics grand challenges" by EPSRC. The results of this programme might also have an impact on the development of future quantum technologies, in which UK plays a leading role through its "National Quantum Technologies Programme".

A new avenue for realizing novel out-of-equilibrium states and dynamics is opened by the possibility of engineering the coupling to external environments in platforms such as superconducting circuits, ultracold atoms or trapped ions. These are open quantum many-body systems which are characterized by the interplay between coherent and dissipative dynamics. Collective phenomena driven by quantum correlations in these systems are still largely unexplored, as capturing them is a notoriously hard problem, requiring the sophisticated and diversified theoretical approaches of quantum many-body physics.

The main goals of this theoretical programme are to identify the emergence of collective behaviour in the stationary states and in the dynamics of open quantum many-body systems and to develop new theoretical methods to investigate these systems.

A first objective of this programme is to investigate emergent dynamics of dissipative quantum many-body systems, including new instances of non-equilibrium universality going beyond the specific models considered, whose knowledge is currently very limited. Specifically, it will investigate the relaxation dynamics of fermionic models subject to dissipation, which is largely unexplored and it is expected to show interesting new behaviour. Understanding decoherence in correlated systems is also fundamental for their possible technological applications.

Secondly, this proposal will introduce a new, interdisciplinary method able to capture beyond mean-field correlations in closed and open bosonic quantum many-body problems by combining the well- established Dynamical Mean Field Theory (DMFT) approach of Condensed Matter physics with the technique of non-Markovian quantum trajectories, recently developed in Quantum Optics. These developments, will have an immediate impact in fundamental research, and might find applications in the development of future correlated materials, for which the DMFT technique is also used.

As a third objective, the programme will investigate the phenomenon of bistability in many-body systems, predicted across a wide variety of driven-dissipative many-body systems. It is known that this phenomenon does not take place in one dimension, while its existence in two and three dimensions is controversial. In particular, the programme will investigate a Bose-Hubbard model subject to a coherent electromagnetic field and dissipation, beyond the limit of infinite dimensions in which bistability is predicted.

Finally, this Fellowship will contribute to making modern results of quantum physics, including the research outcomes of this programme, accessible to the public and to schools. This objective will be reached through a series of outreach videos, interviews and lectures, exploiting the established outreach platforms and programmes of Oxford Physics and the wider University. This activity will help non-specialists reach a better understanding of quantum mechanics, very necessary given the prominent role this will play in forthcoming technologies, affecting everyone's lives at a deeper level than it has ever done before.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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