Vito Scarola

Vito Scarola (Virginia Tech) has kindly made some time to visit the Physics of Quantum Materials research group during a brief UK tour.

27 November 2019 – Associate Professor Vito Scarola, Virginia Tech

Title: Quantum Analogue Simulation with Ultracold Atoms in Optical Lattices: Opportunities and Challenges

Please note that this talk will take place at 1:00pm and not the usual time of 2:00pm in the Stacey Lecture Theatre 2 (SLT2).


Quantum analogue simulation offers promise in effectively solving intractable quantum many-body problems. One class of problems in particular, Hubbard models, provide simple reduced models of strongly correlated materials, such as copper oxide-based compounds. These and related compounds are particularly important because they exhibit high temperature superconductivity.

Yet unbiased computational methods have not settled debates regarding the essential physics captured by Hubbard models. Progress in another seemingly unrelated area can help with this mathematical problem. Cooling neutral atoms to quantum degeneracy has enabled the precise construction and manipulation of large multi-particle quantum states. Lasers defining optical lattices constrain the atoms so that their motion is very accurately captured by Hubbard models. As a result, these experiments are being used to effectively perform quantum analogue simulation of Hubbard models.

Work in my theory group seeks to guide experimental setups in these simulations. I will review experimental setups and discuss recent progress in using optical lattices to probe the controversial phase diagrams of Hubbard models.

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