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Nonequilibrium dynamics and control of quantum materials

  • Michael Sentef 
  • Dante Kennes
  • Dieter Jaksch

Keywords: Nonequilibrium dynamics, many-body physics, quantum materials

Recent years have seen a surge of experimental discoveries in the field of ultrafast material science [1]. The rich out-of-equilibrium behavior of driven quantum materials reported in experiments ranges from Higgs spectroscopy in superconductors subjected to THz laser pulses [2] via light-induced superconducting-like responses far above the equilibrium critical temperature [3] and coherent Floquet band-structure engineering [4] to dynamical optical switching and unraveling of hidden metastable phases through nonthermal pathways [5].

In turn, these findings have triggered theoretical efforts to understand these experiments but also to inspire novel ideas for future experiments. New ultrafast control paradigms have been suggested for chiral topological superconductors [6], dynamically modulated microscopic interactions have been identified as potential tuning knobs for long-range-ordered driven phases of matter [7], and prethermal driven states [8] or even heating-induced order due to symmetries [9] have been explored.

In this minicolloquium we would like to bring together a broad audience of experimentalists and theorists working on these topics in order to foster the scientific exchange and at the same time provide an opportunity to discuss potential new directions and a focus towards potential technologies that exploit nonequilibrium dynamics and nonthermal states of matter.

Open scientific questions and future challenges guiding this minicolloquium are for instance:

  • how can we create functionality far from equilibrium?
  • how can we integrate materials synthesis and nonequilibrium experiments to design materials tailored to enable precise nonequilibrium control with light?
  • which experimental probes can help us gain further insight into nonthermal states of matter?
  • what are the major challenges to theoretically describe nonequilibrium states of matter relevant to experiments?
  • how do we model heating and dissipation theoretically, and how can we mitigate it experimentally?
  • which ideas and paradigms from adjacent fields (quantum optics, cold atoms) can stimulate new directions?

Figure 1: A quantum material is irradiated with a laser pulse, changing its emergent properties on femtosecond time scales. Figure taken from Ref. [1].


[1] A. De la Torre et al., Colloquium: Nonthermal pathways to ultrafast control in quantum materials, Rev. Mod. Phys. 93, 041002 (2021).

[1] H. Chu et al., Phase-resolved Higgs response in superconducting cuprates, Nature Comm. 11, 1793 (2020).

[3] M. Buzzi et al., Photomolecular High-Temperature Superconductivity, Phys. Rev. X. 10, 031028 (2020).

[4] F. Mahmood et al., Selective scattering between Floquet-Bloch and Volkov states in a topological insulator, Nature Physics 12, 306 (2016).

[5] L. Stojchevska et al., Ultrafast Switching  to  a  Stable  Hidden  Quantum  State  in  an  Electronic Crystal, Science 344, 177 (2014).

[6] M. Claassen et al., Universal optical control of chiral superconductors and Majorana modes, Nature Physics 15, 766 (2019).

[7] J. Tindall et al., Dynamical Order and Superconductivity in a Frustrated Many-Body System, Phys. Rev. Lett. 125, 137001 (2020).

[8] M. Bukov et al., Prethermal Floquet steady states and instabilities in the periodically driven, weakly interacting Bose-Hubbard model, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 205301 (2015).

[9] J. Tindall et al., Heating-induced long-range η pairing in the Hubbard model, Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 030603 (2019).

Key dates

Early registration deadline:

5 June 2022

Registration deadline:

21 July 2022


The programme is complemented by a large physics and physics instrumentation exhibition proposed by the conference’s partners. If you wish to exhibit at this conference, you can find more information here.

Jointly organised by the EPS and IOP