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Spectrum of hot methane

Spectrum of hot methane in astronomical objects using a comprehensive computed line list

A powerful new model to detect life on planets outside of our solar system, more accurately than ever before, has been developed by researchers from UCL Physics & Astronomy and the University of New South Wales. More...

Published: Jun 18, 2014 4:54:56 PM

Quantum Phase Transitions

"Like melting an entire iceberg with a hot poker" – UCL scientists explore the strange world of quantum phase transitions

“What a curious feeling,” says Alice in Lewis Carroll’s tale, as she shrinks to a fraction of her size, and everything around her suddenly looks totally unfamiliar. Scientists too have to get used to these curious feelings when they examine matter on tiny scales and at low temperatures: all the behaviour we are used to seeing around us is turned on its head. More...

Published: May 13, 2014 4:06:57 PM

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

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.