Controlling Correlations: Linear-, Nonlinear-, and Hydrodynamics in Quantum Matter

Max Planck Lecture on Non-Equilibrium Quantum Phenomena

  • Date: Jan 13, 2021
  • Time: 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Prineha Narang
  • Harvard University
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Host: Andrea Cavalleri, Angel Rubio
Controlling Correlations: Linear-, Nonlinear-, and Hydrodynamics in Quantum Matter


The physics of quantum matter is rich with excited-state and nonequilibrium effects, but many of these phenomena remain poorly understood and, consequently, technologically unexplored. My group’s research, therefore, focuses on how quantum systems behave, particularly away from equilibrium, and how we can harness these effects [1]. By creating predictive theoretical and computational approaches to study dynamics, decoherence and correlations in matter, our work will enable technologies that are inherently more powerful than their classical counterparts ranging from scalable quantum information processing and networks, to ultra-high efficiency optoelectronic and energy conversion systems.
In this talk, I will present work from my research group on describing, from first principles, the microscopic dynamics, decoherence and optically-excited collective phenomena in quantum matter at finite temperature to quantitatively link predictions with 3D atomic-scale imaging, quantum spectroscopy, and macroscopic behavior. Capturing these dynamics poses unique theoretical and computational challenges. The simultaneous contribution of processes that occur on many time and length-scales have remained elusive for state-of-the-art calculations and model Hamiltonian approaches alike, necessitating the development of new methods in computational physics [2].
I will show selected examples of our approach in ab initio design of active defects in quantum materials [3–5], and control of collective phenomena to link these active defects [6,7]. Building on this, in the second part of my seminar, I will show our predictions of linear and nonlinear dynamics and transport in Weyl semimetals [8–11]. I will discuss the anomalous landscape for electron hydrodynamics in systems beyond graphene, highlighting that previously-thought exotic fluid phenomena can exist in both two-dimensional and anisotropic three-dimensional materials [12]. Our work identifies phonon-mediated electron-electron interactions [13,14] as critical in a microscopic understanding of hydrodynamics. Non-diffusive electron flow, and in particular electron hydrodynamics, has far-reaching implications in quantum materials science, as I will show in this talk. Finally, I will present an outlook on driving topological quantum materials far out-of-equilibrium to control the coupled degrees-of-freedom.


[1] Head-Marsden, K. et al., Quantum Information and Algorithms for Correlated Quantum Matter, Chem. Rev. (2020) doi:10.1021/acs.chemrev.0c00620.
[2] Rivera, N. et al., Variational Theory of Nonrelativistic Quantum Electrodynamics, Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 193603 (2019).
[3] Narang, P. et al., Quantum Materials with Atomic Precision: Artificial Atoms in Solids: Ab Initio Design, Control, and Integration of Single Photon Emitters in Artificial Quantum Materials, Adv. Funct. Mater. 29, 1904557 (2019).
[4] Hayee, F. et al., Revealing multiple classes of stable quantum emitters in hexagonal boron nitride with correlated optical and electron microscopy, Nat. Mater. 19, 534–539 (2020).
[5] Ciccarino, C. J. et al., Strong spin–orbit quenching via the product Jahn–Teller effect in neutral group IV qubits in diamond, npj Quantum Materials 5, 75 (2020).
[6] Neuman, T. et al., Nanomagnonic Cavities for Strong Spin-Magnon Coupling and Magnon-Mediated Spin-Spin Interactions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 125, 247702 (2020).
[7] Wang, D. S. et al., P. Dipole-coupled emitters as deterministic entangled photon-pair sources, Phys. Rev. Research 2, 043328 (2020).
[8] Narang, P. et al., The topology of electronic band structures, Nat. Mater. (2020) doi:10.1038/s41563-020-00820-4.
[9] Nenno, D. M. et al., Axion physics in condensed-matter systems, Nature Reviews Physics 2, 682–696 (2020).
[10] Coulter, J. et al, Microscopic origins of hydrodynamic transport in the type-II Weyl semimetal WP2, Phys. Rev. B Condens. Matter 98, (2018).
[11] Coulter, J. et al., Uncovering electron-phonon scattering and phonon dynamics in type-I Weyl semimetals, Phys. Rev. B Condens. Matter 100, 220301 (2019).
[12] Varnavides, G. et al., Electron hydrodynamics in anisotropic materials, Nat. Commun. 11, 1–6 (2020).
[13] Vool, U. et al., Imaging phonon-mediated hydrodynamic flow in WTe2 with cryogenic quantum magnetometry, arXiv [cond-mat.mes-hall] (2020).
[14] Garcia, C. A. C. et al., Anisotropic phonon-mediated electronic transport in chiral Weyl semimetals, arXiv [cond-mat.supr-con] (2020).


Prineha Narang is an Assistant Professor at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Prior to joining the faculty, Prineha came to Harvard as a Ziff Fellow and worked as a Research Scholar in Condensed Matter Theory at the MIT Department of Physics. She received an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Prineha’s work has been recognized by many awards and special designations, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2020, being named a Moore Inventor Fellow by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, a Top Innovator by MIT Tech Review (MIT TR35), and a Young Scientist by the World Economic Forum in 2018. In 2017, she was named by Forbes Magazine on their “30under30” list for her work in quantum science and engineering. Outside of science, she is an avid triathlete and runner.

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