School on Ultra Quantum Matter

Conference Date: 
Tuesday, August 4, 2020 (All day) to Friday, August 14, 2020 (All day)
Scientific Areas: 
Condensed Matter


Quantum mechanics is well established as the correct and successful theory of the dynamics of electrons, atoms, and photons.  Yet since its inception, its non-intuitive features – superposition, entanglement, and measurement-induced collapse – have perplexed and fascinated physicists.  Usually quantum phenomena are associated with atomic scales, but recent revolutionary developments demonstrate that in the right circumstances, these essential quantum aspects can extend to macroscopic matter. This is ultra-quantum matter (UQM), possessing robust non-local quantum entanglement, a key property and a resource.  It allows for novel quantum effects impossible at the scale of individual atoms, like the distributed storage of information and electrical charges that are a fraction of the electron’s charge. While the field of UQM originated from the study of dense matter at terrestrial temperatures, the theory that describes it unexpectedly emerges with the structure of gauge theory: the framework for describing elementary particles such as quarks in the vacuum at high energies.  This link between gauge theory and UQM has already led to theoretical discoveries on both sides, from Chern-Simons terms to higher form gauge fields, fractons, and dualities amongst apparently different quantum field theories.  In the future, it might be possible to realize a novel quantum gauge theory in a tangible sample of UQM that can be held in one’s hand. Through a combination of pedagogical lecture series and research talks, this summer school will introduce advanced graduate students and postdocs to the forefront of UQM research, with a broad scope ranging from fundamental characterization and classification to the design for realization and testing of UQM in the lab. These goals cut across traditional sub-disciplines of theoretical physics, and the program will feature talks from experts in condensed matter physics, high energy physics, quantum information and atomic physics.  The ramifications range from the discovery of new phases of matter, to revolutionary quantum technologies, to tabletop models for elementary particles and potentially even quantum gravity.

Registration for this event will open shortly.

Funding for this event has been provided by the Simons Foundation.

Scientific Organizers:

  • Xi Chen, California Institute of Technology
  • Yin-Chen He, Perimeter Institute
  • Michael Hermele, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Timothy Hsieh, Perimeter Institute
  • Ashvin Vishwanath, Harvard University 
  • Chong Wang, Perimeter Institute
  • Beni Yoshida, Perimeter Institute