A perennial mystery of nature is how order can exist amidst chaos. Familiar systems such as the clock pendulum exhibit regular periodic motion. This ordered behaviour, however, is fragile. For example, interactions between particles rapidly lead to chaos, forcing the system to thermalise and forget its initial state. This can be visualised as an ice cream that melts away and never finds its way back to the frozen state. Quantum scars refer to the surprising behaviour that defies such common intuition: for special initial states, the ice cream periodically melts away and then freezes up again. Recent experiments on ultracold Rydberg atoms have found evidence of similar behaviour where the atoms were able to return to their initial state many times during the measurement. At this point, the origins of quantum many-body scars largely remain a mystery. Your project will develop computer simulations of quantum many-body scars in systems of ultra cold atoms in optical lattices, with the goal of predicting future experiments on these systems that may unlock a range of applications in the emerging quantum technologies.
Further information regarding the project and how to apply can be found on our website.