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Dynamical phase transitions provide new insights into quantum many-body dynamics

Published on 9.11.2021
Tampere University
Kvanttifysiikka, kuvituskuva.Illustration: Pixabay.
Researchers from Tampere University and Aalto University have developed a new theoretical method to study dynamical phase transitions in strongly correlated quantum systems. Far-from-equilibrium dynamics of quantum many-body systems is one of the most active research areas in physics, with important connections to emerging quantum computers. The breakthrough work was recently published in Physical Review X, the leading journal in physics.

The microscopic constituents of matter, as well as nanostructures enabled by the modern technology, are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. Today, quantum mechanics provides the necessary framework in the development of new materials and technologies.

“The quantum dynamics of strongly-correlated systems is one of the most active frontiers of contemporary physics, which exhibits many challenging problems that resist direct attacks of traditional approaches and the state-of-the-art computational methods,” says Teemu Ojanen, Professor of computational physics at Tamper University. 

The researchers from Tampere University and Aalto University have developed a new theoretical method to predict dynamical phase transitions in strongly correlated quantum systems. Phase transitions, including melting of solids to liquids, is the basic phenomena of equilibrium statistical physics.

“In the last decade it has been understood that very similar phenomena take place in far-from-equilirium quantum amny-body systems. The study of these dynamical quantum phase transitions provides new understanding of the basic properties of non-equilibrium quantum systems,” Ojanen explains.

Simulation is efficient with quantum computers

Besides the long-standing fundamental interest, quantum dynamics of correlated systems is highly topical for the emerging quantum computers. The first likely breakthrough application for the new technology is in the realm of quantum many-body simulations that are notoriously difficult for traditional computers.

On the other hand, the first-generation quantum computers are still limited and quantum dynamics can be employed in benchmarking their performance.

”Thus, comparing their predictions to those obtained by other means offers insights into their ability to simulate quantum systems. The new method to predict dynamical quantum phase transitions could be employed this way to study the performance of quantum computers,” Ojanen states.  

In the next stages, the researchers are employing the new method to solve a number of open problems in the complex many-body quantum systems.

The original research article, which was published 26.10. 2021 in Physical Review X, can be accessed here: Determination of Dynamical Quantum Phase Transitions In Strongly Correlated Many-Body Systems Using Loschmidt Cumulants.

Further information

Teemu Ojanen
tel. +358 40 510 5406
teemu.ojanen [at]