NAQUAS is a scientific european project of the QuantERA ERA-NET Cofund in Quantum Technologies
NAQUAS: Non-equilibrium dynamics in Atomic systems for QUAntum Simulation
Recent progress in various areas of physics has demonstrated our ability to control quantum effects in customized systems and materials, thus paving the way for a promising future for quantum technologies. The emergence of such quantum devices, however, requires one to understand fundamental problems in non-equilibrium statistical physics, which can pave the way towards full control of quantum systems, thus reinforcing new applications and providing innovative perspectives.
This project is dedicated to the study and the control of out-of-equilibrium properties of quantum many-body systems which are driven across phase transitions. Among several approaches, it will mainly focus on slow quenches and draw on the understanding delivered by the Kibble-Zurek (KZ) mechanism. This rather simple paradigm connects equilibrium with out-of-equilibrium properties and constitutes a benchmark for scaling hypothesis. It could pave the way towards tackling relevant open questions, which lie at the heart of our understanding of out-of-equilibrium dynamics and are key issues for operating in a robust way any quantum simulator. Starting from this motivation, we will test the limits of validity of the KZ dynamics by analyzing its predictions, thus clarifying its predictive power, and extend this paradigm to quantum critical systems with long-range interactions and to topological phase transitions. We will combine innovative theoretical ideas of condensed-matter physics, quantum optics, statistical physics and quantum information, with advanced experiments with ultracold atomic quantum gases. Quantum gases are a unique platform for providing model systems with the level of flexibility and control necessary for our ambitious goal. Their cleanness and their robustness to decoherence will greatly enhance the efficient interplay between theory and experiments, and provide a platform of studies whose outcomes are expected to have a strong scientific impact over a wide range of disciplines. On the short time scale we will exploit this knowledge to develop viable protocols for quantum simulators. In general, we expect that the results of this project will lay the ground for the development of the next generation of quantum devices and simulators.