Inaugural lecture: Creating Dynamic Quantum Materials


Event details

Date 13.03.2024
Hour 18:0018:45
Speaker Prof. Gregor Jotzu
Location Online
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language English

Changing the properties of materials on demand is crucial both for understanding the conditions which allow for the appearance of emergent order and for generating new functionalities. Using laser light for this purpose is a particularly interesting approach: It provides control on femtosecond time scales, and may lead to the creation of non-equilibrium steady states without static equivalents. Strongly driven materials essentially become light-matter hybrids, where photons can determine the the symmetries and the collective modes of the system. 
Progress in this research direction is benefitting from current breakthroughs in experimental techniques for generating long-wavelength laser pulses and extending new observables to the ultrafast regime, but also from theoretical advancements in the simulation of quantum many-body systems. I will introduce some of the key concepts and techniques for creating such "dynamic quantum materials," present recent experiments showing the tremendous changes achievable in laser-driven quantum materials, and look into the future of this emerging field of research.

Bio: Gregor Jotzu is heading the Dynamic Quantum Materials Laboratory (DQML) at EPFL. His research concerns the control of quantum materials using intense low-frequency laser pulses and the dynamics of order formation in strongly correlated quantum systems.
After reading physics at the University of Oxford, he became the 2009/2010 Michael von Clemm Fellow at the Physics and History of Science departments at Harvard University. He received his doctorate from ETH Zurich, where he studied quantum magnetism and driving-induced order using ultracold atoms in optical lattices in the group of Tilman Esslinger. His work on Haldane’s proposal for a topological insulator using Floquet engineering was recognized with the Prize in General Physics by the Swiss Physical Society and was cited by the Nobel Prize committee.
In 2017 he became a researcher in Andrea Cavalleri’s laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany. His work there focused on creating novel states of matter in solids using periodic driving with ultrafast lasers, such as inducing non-trivial topology and high-temperature superconductivity.


Practical information

  • General public
  • Registration required


  • School of Engineering (STI) - Deanship & Institute of Materials


  • Ingrid Fischer & Sylvie Deschamps

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