Physics Colloquium - Dr. Bihui Zhu

Physics Colloquium - Dr. Bihui Zhu

Controlling and exploring nonequilibrium quantum matter with ultracold atoms


March 5, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:00pm


Howey School of Physics


Lecture Hall 5



Harvard University

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Quantum physics has revolutionized our understanding of nature and led to significant technological advances in the last century. While much focus has been placed on the equilibrium properties, in the far-from-equilibrium regime, many-body systems host diverse and important quantum phenomena to be exploited towards developing next-generation technologies. These range from generating desired quantum entangled states to engineering novel dynamical phases of matter, which yet remain poorly understood. Recent experimental progresses in preparing and probing ensembles of ultracold atoms have opened up unique opportunities for investigating complex dynamical behaviors in quantum many-body systems. In this talk, I will present recent developments both in theory and experiment towards understanding and controlling nonequilibrium quantum matter, focusing on two platforms, magnetic atomic dipoles, and atoms coupled via photon mediated interactions. Both of them feature strong and long-range atomic interactions, which pose challenges for theoretical treatment. I will introduce a new theoretical approach for tackling such challenges and demonstrate its application for benchmarking a high-spin Heisenberg XXZ quantum simulator as well as exploring quantum thermalization. In particular, I will show how the interplay between long-range interactions and quantum fluctuations can result in rich and useful many-body behaviors. I will further discuss prospects offered by these studies for pushing the frontiers of fundamental physics and to generate quantum correlated many-body states for applications in both quantum computation and metrology.