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Many-body physics and quantum simulations with strongly interacting photons

Tangpanitanon Jirawat, Angelakis Dimitrios

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Year 2020
Type of Item Book Chapter
Bibliographic Citation J. Tangpanitanon and D. G. Angelakis, "Many-body physics and quantum simulations with strongly interacting photons," in Nanoscale Quantum Optics, vol 204, Proceedings of the International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi", M. Agio, I. D’Amico, R. Zia, C. Toninelli, Eds., Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press, 2020, pp. 169 - 215, doi: 10.3254/ENFI200024.
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Simulating quantum many-body systems on a classical computer generally requires a computational cost that grows exponentially with the number of particles. This computational complexity has been the main obstacle to understanding various fundamental emergent phenomena in condensed matters such as high-Tc superconductivity and the fractional quantum-Hall effect. The difficulty arises because even the simplest models that are proposed to capture those phenomena cannot be simulated on a classical computer. Recognizing this problem in 1981, Richard Feynman envisioned a quantum simulator, an entirely new type of machine that exploits quantum superposition and operates by individually manipulating its constituting quantum particles and their interactions. Recent advances in various experimental platforms from cold atoms in optical lattices, trapped ions, to solid-state systems have brought the idea of Feynman to the realm of reality. Among those, interacting photons in superconducting circuits has been one of the promising platforms thanks to their local controllability and long coherence times. Early theoretical proposals have shown possibilities to realize quantum many-body phenomena of light using coupled cavity arrays such as Mott to superfluid transitions and fractional quantum Hall states. State-of-the-art experiments include realization of interacting chiral edge states and stroboscopic signatures of localization of interacting photons in a three-site and a nine-site superconducting circuit, respectively. Interacting photons also serve as a natural platform to simulate driven-dissipative quantum many-body phenomena. A 72-site superconducting circuit has also recently been fabricated to study a dissipative phase transition of light.