Physics at Virginia

"Stirring by staring: Induced non-equilibrium states by measurements in quantum systems"

Israel Klich , University of Virginia - Department of Physics
[Host: Despina Louca]

In quantum mechanics, the role of an observer is fundamentally different from that of a classical observer.  The quantum mechanical observer necessarily plays an active role in the dynamics of the system that it is observing.  This apparent difficulty may be turned into a tool to drive an initially trivial system into a complicated quantum many-body state simply by observing it.  I will present two remarkable examples of states induced by measurement. In the first, we examine the role of a moving density measuring device interacting with a system of fermions, and in particular, show that it would leave behind a wake of purely quantum origin. In the second example, inspired by the recent invention of topological Floquet insulators, we will see how a suitably chosen set of density measurements, repeated periodically, will induce robust chiral edge motion on a lattice of free fermions. Our examples show how quantum mechanical observation can be added as a versatile tool to the arsenal of quantum engineering in condensed matter systems.

Friday, September 10, 2021
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special room.

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