Bust of Max Planck

Highlights

Publication Highlights

Colloquium: Atomic quantum gases in periodically driven optical lattices

André Eckardt, Rev. Mod. Phys. 89, 011004 (2017)

Time-periodic forcing in the form of coherent radiation is a standard tool for the coherent manipulation of small quantum systems like single atoms. In the last years, periodic driving has more and more also been considered as a means for the coherent control of many-body systems. In particular, experiments with ultracold quantum gases in optical lattices subjected to periodic driving in the lower kilohertz regime have attracted much attention. Milestones include the observation of dynamic localization, the dynamic control of the quantum phase transition between a bosonic superfluid and a Mott insulator, as well as the dynamic creation of strong artificial magnetic fields and topological band structures. This Colloquium reviews these recent experiments and their theoretical description. Moreover, fundamental properties of periodically driven many-body systems are discussed within the framework of Floquet theory, including heating, relaxation dynamics, anomalous topological edge states, and the response to slow parameter variations.
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Institute's News

New research group 'Strongly Correlated Light-Matter Systems'

We are glad to announce the arrival of Dr. Francesco Piazza, who heads the research group 'Strongly Correlated Light-Matter Systems'. The group will investigate the many-body properties of peculiar quantum “plasmas” of photons and atoms.
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Publication Highlights

Growth and Division of Active Droplets Provides a Model for Protocells

D. Zwicker, R. Seyboldt, C. A. Weber, A. A. Hyman and F. Jülicher, Nature Physics (2016)

We show that liquid droplets that are driven away from thermodynamic equilibrium by chemical reactions can undergo cycles of growth and division reminiscent of living cells. We propose such active droplets as simple models for prebiotic protocells. Our work shows that protocells could have been able to propagate and divide without having established membranes.

See also coverage in Chemistry World and two articles in Quanta Magazine: article 1 and article 2.
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Awards and Honors

Verleihung "Physik-Preis Dresden“ des MPI-PKS und der TU Dresden

Am 6. Februar 2017, 16.30 Uhr wird am Max-Planck-Institut für Physik komplexer Systeme (MPI-PKS) erstmalig der „Physik-Preis Dresden“ von der TU Dresden und dem MPI-PKS verliehen. Der diesjährige Preisträger ist Professor Daniel P. Arovas von der University of California, San Diego. Zu diesem Anlass hält Professor Arovas einen Preiskolloquiumsvortrag zum Thema "The Amplitude Mode in Condensed Matter: Higgs Hunting on a Budget". Professor Arovas hat bahnbrechende Beiträge zur Festkörperphysik geleistet, insbesondere zur Theorie des Magnetismus und der Physik niedrigdimensionaler Systeme. Nach dem Physikstudium an der Universität Princeton hat Professor Arovas in Santa Barbara an der University of California promoviert, woraufhin er in Chicago Postdoc war. Er war außerdem Visiting Professor in Princeton, Stanford und Haifa. Der Physik-Preis Dresden, welcher von Professor Peter Fulde, dem Gründungsdirektor des MPI-PKS gestiftet wurde, wird dieses Jahr erstmals vergeben. Der/die Preisträger/in wird von einer gemeinsamen Kommission der TU Dresden und des MPI-PKS bestimmt, wobei neben dem zentralen Kriterium der wissenschaftlichen Exzellenz wichtig ist, dass seine/ihre Arbeiten für die Zusammenarbeit zwischen diesen beiden Institutionen von Bedeutung sind. In diesem Sinne verstärkt dieser Preis deren langjährige Kooperation, welche in letzter Zeit auch institutionell erweitert wurde, z.B. mit der Gründung des Dresden concept e.V. im Rahmen der Exzellenzinitiative. Professor Arovas hat bestehende Kollaborationen mit Physikern von der TU Dresden, und sein Forschungsfeld hat großen Überlapp mit dem Sonderforschungsbereich „Korrelierter Magnetismus: Von Frustration zu Topologie", an dem Physiker und Chemiker aus der TU sowie mehreren außeruniversitären Forschungsinstituten in Dresden beteiligt sind.
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Publication Highlights

U(1) Wilson lattice gauge theories in digital quantum simulators

Christine Muschik, Markus Heyl, et al., arXiv:1612.08653

Lattice gauge theories describe fundamental phenomena in nature, but calculating their real-time dynamics on classical computers appears to be notoriously difficult. Digital quantum simulation has been proposed as a general strategy to solve such computationally hard problems on a programmable quantum device instead of using conventional computers. Recently, an experiment has demonstrated for the first time a digital quantum simulation of a lattice gauge theory on a small-scale quantum computer made of trapped ions. This work has been selected by the magazine Physics World as one of the top ten breakthroughs in physics in 2016. Now, a detailed theoretical analysis of the experimentally used scheme has been published which studies in detail the scheme's performance, robustness against various error sources, and scalability.

See also coverage in Physics World and the experimental work .
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Publication Highlights

Superdiffusive Dispersals Impart the Geometry of Underlying Random Walks

V. Zaburdaev, I. Fouxon, S. Denisov, and E. Barkai, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 270601

It is recognized now that a variety of real-life phenomena ranging from diffusion of cold atoms to the motion of humans exhibit dispersal faster than normal diffusion. Lévy walks is a model that excelled in describing such superdiffusive behaviors albeit in one dimension. Here we show that, in contrast to standard random walks, the microscopic geometry of planar superdiffusive Lévy walks is imprinted in the asymptotic distribution of the walkers. The geometry of the underlying walk can be inferred from trajectories of the walkers by calculating the analogue of the Pearson coefficient.
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Institute's News

New research group 'Statistical Physics of Living Systems'

We are glad to announce the arrival of Dr. Steffen Rulands, who heads the research group 'Statistical Physics of Living Systems' since 1 January 2017. The group will investigate mechanisms of collective cellular decision making in tissue development, maintenance and disease.
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Awards and Honors

"To the edge of life, and back again" - 1.3 Mio. Euro VW-grant for joint interdisciplinary proposal

Vasily Zaburdaev (MPI-PKS), Simon Alberti (MPI-CBG), Teymuras Kurzchalia (MPI-CBG) and Jochen Guck (BIOTEC, TU Dresden) receive a 1.3 million Euro grant from the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung). The joint project focuses on the underlying biological, chemical, and physical mechanisms of cell dormancy.
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Publication Highlights

Load Response of the Flagellar Beat

Gary S. Klindt, Christian Ruloff, Christian Wagner, and Benjamin M. Friedrich, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 258101 (2016)

Cilia and flagella exhibit regular bending waves that perform mechanical work on the surrounding fluid, to propel cellular swimmers and pump fluids inside organisms. Here, we quantify a force-velocity relationship of the beating flagellum, by exposing flagellated Chlamydomonas cells to controlled microfluidic flows. A simple theory of flagellar limit-cycle oscillations, calibrated by measurements in the absence of flow, reproduces this relationship quantitatively. We derive a link between the energy efficiency of the flagellar beat and its ability to synchronize to oscillatory flows.
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Awards and Honors

Frank Jülicher erhält den Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis 2017

Frank Jülicher erhält den wichtigsten deutschen Forschungsförderpreis für seine herausragenden Beiträge zur theoretischen Biophysik. Der Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Preis wird von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft verliehen und geht in diesem Jahr an 3 Wissenschaftlerinnen und 7 Wissenschaftler. Der Leibniz-Preis ist mit 2.5 Millionen Euro Forschungsgeldern dotiert.


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