Research Interests

My main line of research centres around theoretical and computational many-body physics. This is a remarkably diverse field, with tendrils extending into condensed-matter, solid-state, statistical physics, quantum field theory, fluid mechanics, and many other exciting disciplines. My interest in all these subjects centres around building up our understanding of material properties (such as electrical and thermal conductivity, viscosity, optical depth, and critical phenomena) from a microscopic model of interacting constituents (such as atoms, photons, or electrons). As Nobel laureate Philip Anderson so famously stated in 1972; “More is Different”. Understanding the role of interactions in many-body systems reveals a plethora of unique and unusual physical phenomena, not just at extreme corners of the energy/length-scale spectrum, but highly relevant to our understanding of the natural world as well. Understanding the remarkable properties which emerge from complex correlations of atomic or electronic constituents currently stands as a grand challenge within the physical sciences.
Several decades of research in atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics has culminated in an extremely versatile tool-kit for experimentalists to completely-isolate, and precisely-manipulate mesoscopic, and macroscopic collections of atoms and molecules. This provides an unprecedented opportunity in many-body physics to study systems with a very complete understanding of the exact microscopic details. This kind of scenario is less common in traditional condensed-matter or solid-state systems, where precise details of impurities, disorder, stray field gradients, and other effects, often remain somewhat nebular. From this point-of-view, AMO physics is of particular relevance to my own research. There currently exists a major push in AMO experimental communities to realise paradigmatic models of many-body physics, for instance the Hubbard model, and spin-chain Hamiltonians. These models, and this work, hold relevance far beyond the community of AMO physicists. For instance, there exists a long and controversial history of work and speculation regarding the connection between the Hubbard model and high-temperature superconductivity in cuprate materials.

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