Ignacio Cirac (Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Munich) — November 17, 2016
Many-body quantum systems are very hard to describe and simulate in general, since the dimension of the state space grows exponentially with the number of particles, volume, etc. Cold atoms in optical lattices as well as trapped ions may help us in that task, as one can engineer the interactions among the atoms in order to emulate many-body quantum problems. In this talk I will briefly summarize proposals to simulate condensed matter as well as high energy physics models with those systems. I will also show how photonic crystal structures can be used to design subwavelength optical lattices in two dimensions for ultracold atoms, potentially achieving a better performance than current experimental set-ups.
Ignacio Cirac is one of the pioneers of the field of quantum computing and quantum information theory. His early works on ion trap quantum computation opened up the possibility of experimental quantum computation, and his works on optical lattices contributed to jumpstart the field of quantum simulation. He has also made seminal contributions in the field of degenerated quantum gases, quantum optics and renormalization group methods.
Ignacio graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid in 1988 and moved to Boulder, Colorado, to work with Peter Zoller. In 1996, he became professor in the Institut für Theoretische Physik in Innsbruck and became the Director of the Theoretical Division of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching in 2001. At the same time, he became an Honorary Professor at TU Munich. He is a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Research Advisor at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona. He has been a member of research teams at the Universities of Harvard, TU Munich, Hamburg, UCSB, Hannover, Bristol, CEA-Saclay, ENS and MIT.
Ignacio has been granted multiple awards, notable ones being the medal of the Royal Spanish Physics Society, the Quantum Electronics Prize of the European Physical Society, the Prince of Asturias Award in Scientific and Theoretical Research, the Wolf Prize in Physics, the National Research Award “Blas Cabrera”, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, and the honor medals of the Niels Bohr Institute and the ‘Benjamin Franklin’ medal of the Franklin Institute.