Quantum simulation with engineered dissipation

In recent years, there has been significant progress in implementing strong, novel interactions (such as Rydberg) with ultracold atoms to realize exotic phases of strongly correlated matter and to perform quantum operations. However, there is still a frontier that largely remains unexplored, associated with achieving strong interactions of long-range character. Although it is well-known that in principle, photon-mediated interactions provide an enabling route, in practice, large and uncontrolled dissipation in the form of atomic spontaneous emission greatly limits what is actually achievable. Our targeted breakthrough is to overcome this barrier by constructing a new platform consisting of a many-atom Ytterbium optical tweezer array integrated with a cavity QED setup. While spontaneous emission typically limits the interaction fidelities of light-matter coupled systems, our setup will instead harness spontaneous emission as a correlated form of dissipation, which can be suppressed and even utilized for dissipation engineering given the ability to controllably position atoms at sub-wavelength distances. The anticipated increases in interaction fidelities (to the ~99% level), along with the capabilities for long-range interactions, engineered dissipation and single-atom control and read-out, will make such a platform a leading candidate for future applications in quantum simulation and metrology to produce novel exotic dissipative phases of matter and to investigate entanglement and non-equilibrium dynamics of strongly correlated systems. Achieving this vision will require combining new experimental capabilities, a new conceptual paradigm of light-matter interactions, and novel theoretical advances, through the synergistic efforts and diverse expertise of the QuSiED partners.

Specific scientific breakthroughs targeted by QuSiED include:
i) construction of an ambitious many-atom tweezer-cavity platform, through the shared expertise of the experimental PI’s in the separate fields of ultracold atomic physics and cavity QED,
ii) realization of emergent dissipative non-equilibrium phenomena showing spontaneous breaking of time translation symmetry, such as time-crystals and limit cycles,
iii) generating metrologically useful states in a way that is protected from undesired dissipation,
iv) exotic entanglement evolution in long-range dissipative settings,
v) new theoretical tools for this hybrid platform at the interface of quantum optics, quantum information, and theoretical and computational many-body physics.

The realization of the unique tweezer-cavity platform will establish a significant advantage for the EU in the international race for quantum supremacy. We expect the project to generate a significant impact in terms of the new applications and physics that can be realized with long-range photon-mediated interactions, engineered dissipation, and single-atom control. The platform will attract a broad community of academic and industrial end-users, which QuSiED will efficiently engage through intense communication efforts. Furthermore, QuSiED empowers diverse new actors for future scientific leadership, including significant involvement from female scientists and young PIs, engaging researchers from a wide range of countries, and newcomers to QUANTERA, while pushing all researchers involved into new collaborative directions.




  • Coordinator: Zala Lenarčič (Jožef Stefan Institute, SI)
  • Andreas Hemmerich (Universität Hamburg, DE)
  • Jamir Marino (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, DE)
  • Hanns-Christoph Nägerl (University of Innsbruck, AT)
  • Darrick Chang (The Institute of Photonic Sciences, ES)
  • Gergely Zaránd (Budapest University of Technology and Economics, HU)


Call year

Call 2021

Call topic

Quantum Phenomena and Resources

Area of research

Quantum simulation

Start date

April 2022


36 months

Funding support

€ 959 943

Project status

In Progress