Clover leaf by Scott Robinson on Flickr

Quantum mechanics explains efficiency of photosynthesis

Light-gathering macromolecules in plant cells transfer energy by taking advantage of molecular vibrations whose physical descriptions have no equivalents in classical physics, according to the first unambiguous theoretical evidence of quantum effects in photosynthesis published today in the journal Nature Communications. More...

Published: Jan 9, 2014 3:48:33 PM

Free Electron Lasers and Attosecond Light Sources Conference

UCL is hosting a conference on Free Electron Laser and Attosecond-Strong Field Science from June 30 to July 2 2014 at UCL. The preliminary  web-page for the conference is now live at
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/phys/amopp/atto-fel-conference More...

Published: Oct 1, 2013 2:24:13 PM

Macroscopic and microscopic work.

Quantum engines must break down

Our present understanding of thermodynamics is fundamentally incorrect if applied to small systems and needs to be modified, according to new research from University College London (UCL) and the University of Gdańsk. The work establishes new laws in the rapidly emerging field of quantum thermodynamics. More...

Published: Jun 27, 2013 9:40:58 AM

Theory of quantum collective effects in light-matter systems

There has been a tremendous progress in recent years in creating various strongly coupled light-matter systems where quantum collective effects can be explored.  These include, for example, semiconductor microcavities in strong coupling regime, superconducting qubits in microwave resonators, Rydberg states of atoms and ultracold atoms in optical cavities. Due to  their photonic part all those systems are subject to strong losses and so are intrinsically non-equilibrium. At the same time they are highly tunable and can be used to realise model Hamiltonians. To date several  
phase transitions such as BKT, BEC-BCS, superfluid-Mott and Dicke phase transition have been realised in one or more of these experimental settings.

The aim of this project is to study phase transitions and orders in non-equilibrium light-matter systems using analytical Keldysh field theory and/or numerical stochastic-type simulations. We aim to investigate how the non-equilibrium and dissipation affects the nature of these orders and  
to examine the potential of modern light-matter systems for simulating other less well controlled materials. The theoretical work under supervision of Dr Marzena Szymanska will be linked to experiments of Daniele Sanvitto's group (Lecce) on microcavities and David Schuster's group (Chicago) on circuit QED systems.

For further details please contact Dr Marzena Szymanska.