Winter Project
Dr Ian McCulloch

Suitable for:  Requires a background in:  intermediate-level quantum mechanics (bra and ket notation, basic notions of 2nd quantization); statistical mechanics; condensed matter physics.\

Project description:  Tensor Networks provide a representation of a quantum many-body wave-function (or a classical partition function) that is suitable for computational methods, mainly for low dimensional problems (1D or 2D).  At The University of Queensland, we have developed a comprehensive computational toolbox for one-dimensional chains and ladders known as the Matrix Product Toolkit.  In this project, you will use the Toolkit to explore quantum phase transitions (that is, a phase transition that is driven by quantum fluctuations, in contrast to the normal case where the transition is driven by thermal fluctations), for some simple many-body systems involving chains of bosons or fermions.

Expected outcomes:  Scholars will learn about the basic mechanisms underlying quantum phase transitions, and the notions of entanglement, correlations, fluctuations, order parameters, and energy gaps.   By the end of the project, scholars will be able to perform their own numerical simulations and understand some of the physics behind quantum many-body states of matter.

Project duration:  6 weeks

Primary Supervisor:  Dr Ian McCulloch     Further information:  For further information see background.   Students must contact the supervisor Dr Ian McCulloch at ianmcc@physics.uq.edu.au prior to submitting an application.