Condensed Matter Theory
Our group’s research effort focuses on collective effects in quantum and classical many-body systems. Individual research lines in this area are interwoven in many ways.
Our studies of Quantum Matter are concentrated on electronic properties, quantum magnetism, cold atomic matter, and quantum optics. We pursue analytic analysis, based on integrability, many-body theory and quantum field theory methods, as well as modern numerical approaches such as tensor network methods. Important targets in our research are phase diagrams and (competing) orders for strongly correlated electron systems and frustrated magnets, dynamical response functions, and novel out-of-equilibrium states of matter.
The use of integrability has played a major role in the past, and will do so in the future. Increasingly it is used in combination with other methods in order to make predictions that are experimentally accessible (examples including quantum magnets, quantum optical systems and the one-dimensional Bose gas). Our main focus has shifted from equilibrium properties to far-from-equilibrium dynamics, for example following adiabatic dynamics, quantum quenches and periodic (Floquet) drives.
Topological phases and applications thereof in the area of quantum information are another focus of our research. We study the characterization and classification of topological materials as well as topological features in cold atomic and photonic systems – both in collaboration with experimental programs in Amsterdam and abroad.
Our group is a prominent player in the UvA Research Priority Area Quantum Matter and Quantum Information (QM&QI) and in QuSoft – the Amsterdam research center for quantum software. In this context we study quantum control and quantum simulation as well as symmetry breaking and error correction in multi-qubit systems.
Related studies concern the study of the dynamics of quantum measurements. Since measurements are the only touchstone between reality in the laboratory and the quantum formalism, results in this area allow the formulation of a minimalist interpretation of quantum mechanics. Other research topics include establishing the physical meaning of Bell inequality violations and quantum thermodynamics.
In the area of Soft Condensed Matter, the group collaborates closely with researchers from local experimental groups in the study of mechanical meta-materials, colloidal physics and active systems. Other focal points are aging phenomena in supercooled liquids, and statistical descriptions of the mechanics and rheology of various classes of disordered media ranging from structural glasses to bio-materials.