Making Quantum Matter from Light: Laughlin Puddles, Mott Insulators, and Strongly Interacting Fluids

Monday, April 4, 2022 - 4:15pm
1 Physics North & Zoom
Stanford University
Public Lecture: 

Abstract:  In this talk I will discuss ongoing work in my group exploring matter made of light. I will begin with a broad introduction to the challenges associated with making matter from photons focusing specifically on (1) how to trap photons and imbue them with synthetic mass and charge (2) how to induce photons to collide with one another and (3) how to drive photons to order by cooling or otherwise. I will then provide as examples two state-of-the-art photonic quantum matter platforms: microwave photons coupled to superconducting resonators and transmon qubits and optical photons trapped in multimode optical cavities and made to interact through Rydberg-dressing. In each case I will describe a synthetic material created in that platform: a crystals and fluids of microwave photons created by reservoir engineering and adiabatic tuning, and a Laughlin molecule of optical photons prepared by scattering photons through a topological cavity.