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CM Seminar: Controlling Emergent Behavior in Quantum Matter from a Theory Perspective

September 16, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Speaker: Prineha Narang, Assistant Professor at Harvard University


My group’s research focuses on how quantum matter behaves, particularly away from equilibrium, and how we can harness emergent effects in these systems. In this context, I will focus on our newly introduced approaches to describe excited-states in quantum matter, including electron-electron and electron-phonon interactions beyond leading order, and predicting emergent states introduced by external drives. Next, I will discuss a class of exotic collective excitations which are unique to time-reversal symmetry breaking (TRSB) superconductors and propose a number of means by which these excitations can be experimentally detected, introducing a notion of “collective mode spectroscopy” of TRSB superconductors1. Building on this, I will present avenues in using electromagnetic cavities and resonators to probe and control quantum matter discussing methods to treat electrons, photons and phonons on the same quantized footing, accessing new observables in strong light-matter coupling 2,3. Understanding the role of such strong light-matter interactions in the regime of strongly-correlated electronic systems is of paramount importance to fields of study across condensed matter physics, quantum optics, and quantum chemistry 4-6. Our theoretical and computational framework7-9 opens new routes by which the important problem of strongly-correlated quantum dynamics may be studied in these fields. Finally, I will give an outlook on driving correlated quantum systems far out-of-equilibrium to control the coupled electronic and lattice degrees-of-freedom and connect these recent predictions with ultrafast THz experiments underway.


  1. Poniatowski, N. R., Curtis, J. B., Yacoby, A. & Narang, P. Spectroscopic signatures of time-reversal symmetry breaking superconductivity. arXiv [cond-mat.supr-con] (2021).
  2. Schäfer, C., Flick, J., Ronca, E., Narang, P. & Rubio, A. Shining Light on the Microscopic Resonant Mechanism Responsible for Cavity-Mediated Chemical Reactivity. arXiv [quant-ph] (2021).
  3. Philbin, J. P. et al. Room temperature single-photon superfluorescence from a single epitaxial cuboid nano-heterostructure. arXiv [physics.optics] (2021).
  4. Juraschek, D. M., Meier, Q. N. & Narang, P. Parametric Excitation of an Optically Silent Goldstone-Like Phonon Mode. Phys. Rev. Lett. vol. 124 (2020).
  5. Juraschek, D. M., Narang, P. & Spaldin, N. A. Phono-magnetic analogs to opto-magnetic effects. Phys. Rev. Research 2, 043035 (2020).
  6. Juraschek, D. M., Neuman, T., Flick, J. & Narang, P. Cavity control of nonlinear phononics. Phys. Rev. Research 3, L032046 (2021)
  7.     Rivera, N., Flick, J. & Narang, P. Variational Theory of Nonrelativistic Quantum Electrodynamics. Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 193603 (2019).
  8. Flick, J., Rivera, N. & Narang, P. Strong light-matter coupling in quantum chemistry and quantum photonics. Nanophotonics 7, 1479–1501 (2018).
  9. Flick, J. & Narang, P. Cavity-Correlated Electron-Nuclear Dynamics from First Principles. Physical Review Letters vol. 121 (2018).


Biosktech: Prineha Narang came to Harvard University from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she worked as a Research Scholar in Condensed Matter Theory in the 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 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a Max Planck Sabbatical Award from the Max Planck Society, and the IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Computational Physics in 2021, an NSF CAREER Award in 2020, being named a Moore Inventor Fellow by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for pioneering innovations in quantum science, CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and a Top Innovator by MIT Tech Review (MIT TR35).


September 16, 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am