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New Simons Collaboration on "Ultra-Quantum Matter" spans 12 institutions, including UMD

A team of theoretical physicists will investigate quantum physics on macroscopic scales.

Image credit: Leon Balents

Seventeen theoretical physics faculty across 12 institutions have established a new Simons Collaboration on Ultra-Quantum Matter. The team, which includes Victor Galitski, a Chesapeake Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics in the Department of Physics and Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, will investigate innovative ideas about how quantum physics works on macroscopic scales. This new effort will be led by Professor Ashvin Vishwanath at Harvard University and is supported under the Simons Collaborations in Mathematics and Physical Sciences program, which aims to “stimulate progress on fundamental scientific questions of major importance in mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science."

The Simons Collaboration on Ultra-Quantum Matter aims to explore unusual quantum mechanical behaviors arising in systems comprised of many constituents. This kind of matter is made from quantum particles (e.g. atoms and electrons) that interact strongly and feature robust non-local quantum entanglement, for instance. Such a system defies the conventional expectation that quantum effects tend to dissipate as the number of particles increases. The collaboration will primarily focus on developing theory around ultra-quantum matter and exploring pathways towards future technologies, such as devices that store quantum information non-locally and unconventional quantum materials.

Ultra-Quantum Matter is an $8M four-year award funded by the Simons Foundation and renewable for three additional years. It will support researchers from the following institutions: Caltech, Harvard, the Institute for Advanced Study, MIT, Stanford, University of California Santa Barbara, University of California San Diego, the University of Chicago, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Innsbruck, the University of Maryland and the University of Washington.