Many systems in nature are composed of strongly interacting components. In the quantum regime, examples include atomic nuclei, ultracold atoms, quantum liquids, and new exotic states of matter, such as the quarkgluon plasma and hightemperature superconductors. Very few quantum systems can be solved exactly, however, and these usually correspond to weakly interacting particles or excitation modes. Over the past decade, novel mathematical and experimental techniques have been developed to prepare, probe, and theoretically describe the intriguing features of strongly interacting systems. Among the amazing results is the insight that two of the coldest and hottest systems created under laboratory conditions share the property of being nearly perfect fluids with minimal viscosity. Another surprising discovery is the close connection between strongly coupled quantum systems and Einstein’s classical theory of gravity. Fascinating connections with both quantum information and graph theory have brought novel algorithms and insights into old methods.
Duke physicists study many variants of strongly coupled quantum systems by experimental and theoretical techniques. The experimental activities include the investigation of ultracold atoms trapped in laser fields, the study of electrons in nanosystems and in materials containing strongly correlated electrons, as well as the exploration of the threedimensional structure of nuclei and the nucleon using highenergy electron microscopes and intense gammarays. Theorists investigate transport properties of the quarkgluon plasma, use effective field theories to describe hadrons, nuclei, and atomic systems, develop novel algorithms for the simulation of strongly coupled systems of fermions, and apply methods derived from network theory and quantum information theory to model ground states of strongly coupled quantum systems.
Physics Faculty:

Experimental Nuclear Physics Group (TUNL and HIγS)

Nuclear Theory Group (QCD and L/EFT)
Steffen Bass, Shailesh Chandrasekharan, Thomas Mehen, Berndt Mueller, Roxanne Springer

Condensed Matter Theory

Condensed Matter Experiment

Quantum Optics

Adjunct Faculty
Dipangkar Dutta, Henry Everitt