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Special Colloquium: Dr. Alex Ruichao Ma
Monday, March 11, 2019, 04:00pm

Dr. Alex Ruichao Ma, University of Chicago

“Exploring Synthetic Quantum Matter in Superconducting Circuits”

Abstract: Understanding strongly correlated materials is an outstanding challenge in modern physics. Synthetic quantum matter, tailor-made in the lab as clean, tunable and easy to probe quantum simulators, can help us gain insights into such strongly correlated matter, and explore new parameter regimes with no natural counterpart. In this talk, I will show how we create and explore quantum materials made of light, specifically microwave photons trapped in superconducting circuits. We develop a new approach for preparing many-body phases, where engineered dissipation is used as a resource to protect the fragile quantum states against intrinsic losses. We apply it to our system, a strongly interacting Bose-Hubbard lattice, and realize a dissipatively stabilized Mott insulator of photons. The dynamics of thermalization towards the Mott phase is probed using lattice-site- and time- resolved microscopy. Our experiments establish superconducting circuits as a powerful platform for studying quantum materials, enabling the exploration of strongly interacting topological phases, quantum thermodynamics in coherent or driven-dissipative settings, and hybrid quantum systems with exotic couplings.

Location: RLM 11.204