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Ezequiel Rodriguez Chiacchio
My research interests lie within out-of-equilibrium phenomena in strongly correlated many-body systems.
In particular, my current work is focused on ultracold atomic gases coupled to optical cavities. These set-ups are very interesting experimentally as cavity photon losses provide a window for in-situ monitoring of the system. The global nature of the light-matter coupling results in the cavity field mediating long-ranged interactions between the atoms. In combination with optical lattices, we obtain a system whose dynamics are ultimately given by the interplay between competing kinetic energy, short- and long-ranged interactions and dissipation. At short time-scales, this leads to a phase diagram featuring different phases, which are determined by the presence/absence of atomic coherence, atomic density modulation and coherent emission of the cavity field. Our aim is to characterise the imprints of the dissipative effects into the dynamics of the system and its steady-state phase diagram.
In the future, we are interested in applying these notions to more complicated set-ups such as atoms coupled to multiple cavities, multi-mode cavities, or considering incommensurate light-matter couplings. Further interests include synchronization phenomena in cavity arrays and the analysis of solvable open interacting models.
In Plain English
In general, any realistic physical system is intrinsically open and thus, out of equilibrium, with the only exception of the universe as a whole. The interactions between a system and its environment can have dramatic effects in its dynamical evolution and final steady-state. Moreover, out-of-equilibrium systems remain far less studied than their equilibrium counterparts and there is no universal approach to study these type of problems. Nevertheless, they are a subject of active research as the engineering of specific dissipation channels in certain classes of systems has shown promising results for technological advances in material science and quantum computing.
Cold atom experiments are characterised by having an exquisite control over all the parameters that define the system, allowing for the exploration of strongly correlated regimes. In combination with optical resonators, these become an ideal arena for the quantum simulation of out-of-equilibirum systems. We are thus interested in providing a formal description and characterisation for the phenomena that is observed in these experiments, and proposing further experiments to test the predictive power of the theoretical models that we develop.