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PhD position in Ultracold Quantum Gases and Hydrodynamics of Quantum Fluids, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

12 dic 2023 - 13:28 CET

Theoretical PhD position in the group of Prof Karen Kheruntsyan to work on the Australian Research Council-funded Discovery Project project "Hydrodynamics of Quantum Fluids” at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

The project is motivated by the so-called "unreasonable effectiveness of hydrodynamics" when it is applied to characterise the out-of-equilibrium behaviour of quantum fluids. Examples here include electron currents in graphene, formation of quark-gluon plasma, and dynamics of ultraciold quantum gases. The reasons behind the unexpected effectiveness of hydrodynamics in describing these profoundly quantum and physically disparate systems are not well understood. This project intends to develop a systematic understanding of this open question by developing new effective hydrodynamic theories of quantum fluids formed by ultracold atomic gases. More specifically, the aims of the project are:
• Aim 1: Formulate new hydrodynamic theories of strongly interacting quantum gases and apply them to understand the out-of-equilibrium behaviour of such gases in quantum shock-wave and related scenarios.
• Aim 2: Establish the range of validity of these theories by benchmarking them against other many-body methods, including exact numerical techniques where applicable.
• Aim 3: Evaluate the thermal conductivity of interacting one-dimensional Bose and Fermi gases and determine the ensuing heat transport in various out-of-equilibrium scenarios.

Classical hydrodynamics or fluid mechanics is one of the oldest phenomenological theories of classical physics that describes liquids and gases in their complex out-of-equilibrium behaviour. When coupled to the thermal conductivity of the fluid, hydrodynamic equations also describe energy transport in the form of heat. The role that hydrodynamics played in understanding, characterising, and controlling the behaviour of classical fluids in the macroscopic world around us has been truly transformative: modern industrial-scale applications of classical hydrodynamics span medicine, aeronautics, meteorology, and climate science—to name just a few.

Unlike the fluid mechanics of classical fluids, developing similarly transformative hydrodynamic theories of quantum fluids remains an outstanding problem in modern quantum science. Such theories could lead to potentially revolutionary applications in emerging quantum technologies. For example, just like in conventional engineering, the understanding of quantum fluid flows and heat transfer is expected to play a crucial role in quantum engineering applications, such as the design of quantum thermal machines, the control of heat conduction in quantum nanowires, and the fabrication of new energy-efficient materials.

The PhD position is for 3 years and will remain open until filled. Applicants should contact Karen Kheruntsyan <karen.kheruntsyan[at]uq.edu.au> for further details and include their CV for initial assessment.

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