Dr Karen Kheruntsyan

Associate Professor

Physics
Faculty of Science
karen.kheruntsyan@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 53420

Overview

A/Prof. Kheruntsyan graduated from the Yerevan State University (Armenia, former Soviet Union) in 1988, and received PhD degree in Physics from the Institute for Physical Research of the Armenian Academy of Science in 1993. In 1996, he moved to the University of Queensland to work as a postdoctoral research associate and was subsequently awarded a UQ Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Following this, he held positions of Lecturer, ARC Senior Research Fellow, Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum-Atom Optics (2003-2010), ARC Future Fellow (2010-2014), and is currently Associate Professor in theoretical physics in the School of Mathematics and Physics (SMP).

His primary research interests are in the area of degenerate quantum gases and atom optics, including equilibrium and nonequilibrium properties of Bose-Einstein condensates, ultracold molecules, low-dimensional systems, and fundamental tests of quantum mechanics with massive particles.

Research Interests

  • Emergent physics in quantum transport in ultracold atomic gases
    The project seeks to understand an open fundamental problem in physics: How do complex microscopic interactions in many-particle systems lead to the emergence of a qualitatively new behavior and to the formation of new states of quantum matter? We will investigate this problem in the context of quantum transport in mesoscopic (with mésos meaning “middle” in Greek) systems made of minimally complex, but highly controllable and well-characterised ensembles of ultracold atomic gases. Such gases, when cooled down to temperatures of just a few nanokelvin above absolute zero, form exotic states of quantum matter such as Bose-Einstein condensates and degenerate Fermi gases, enabling the study of a wide range of phenomena in quantum many-body physics. By developing new theories of quantum transport in mesoscopic condensates, we will shed light on the laws of emergence at the mesoscale and help close the gap in our understanding of what lies in between quantum and classical, simple and complex, and isolated and interacting. Apart from being a fundamental problem, understanding quantum transport and the laws of emergence at the mesoscale has potential practical applications such as bottom-up fabrication of novel materials with new functionality.
  • Stochastic quantum hydrodynamics: a new theoretical approach to nonequilibrium dynamics of quantum many-body systems
    The project aims to develop a new theoretical approach – stochastic quantum hydrodynamics – to understand one of the grand challenges of physics: how do complex, many-particle systems evolve in the quantum realm when driven far from equilibrium? Understanding the out-of-equilibrium behaviour of such systems will help shape a new cornerstone of physics, nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, which – unlike its equilibrium counterpart – is a work in progress in modern science. We will uncover the intriguing dynamical properties of superfluid (frictionless) states of ultracold atomic gases, which will help understand how these properties can be used to control quantum matter and develop new quantum technologies.
  • Macroscopic entanglement and Bell inequality tests with ultra-cold atoms
    The project addresses an open fundamental question in physics of how quantum mechanics applies to systems of mesoscopic and macroscopic sizes. The project will provide theoretical guidance to Australia’s research effort to experimentally demonstrate - for the first time - quantum entanglement between large, spatially separated ensembles of ultracold atoms. Apart from being of quintessential importance to validating some of the foundational principles of quantum mechanics in new realms, controlled generation of large-scale entangled systems is important for harnessing such systems for the development of future quantum devices, as well as for enabling new insights into the unification of quantum theory with gravity.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Physics, Institute for Physical Research of the Armenian Academy of S
  • Diploma in Physics, Yerevan State University, Yerevan Armenia

Publications

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Grants

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Supervision

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Publications

Book Chapter

  • Corboz, Philippe, Oegren, Magnus, Kheruntsyan, Karen and Corney, Joel F. (2013). Phase-space methods for fermions. In Nick Proukakis, Simon Gardine, Matthew Davis and Marzena Szymańska (Ed.), Quantum gases: finite temperature and non-equilibrium dynamics (pp. 407-416) London, United Kingdom: Imperial College Press. doi:10.1142/9781848168121_0027

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Krachmalnicoff, Valentina, Jaksula, Jean-Christophe, Partridge, Guthrie, Bonneau, Marie, Boiron, Denis, Westbrook, Chris, Deuar, Piotr and Kheruntsyan, Karen (2009). Collisions of Bose-Einstein condensates of metastable helium: recent results. In: ACOLS ACOFT. ACOLS ACOFT 09, The University of Adelaide, (260-261). 29/11/09 - 3/12/09.

  • Ogren, Magnus, Kheruntsyan, Karen and Corney, Joel (2009). Exact quantum dynamics of the dissociation of molecular BEC into fermionic atoms. In: ACOLS ACOFT. ACOLS ACOFT 09, The University of Adelaide, (350-351). 29/11/09 - 3/12/09.

  • Ogren, Magnus and Kheruntsyan, Karen (2009). Role of spatial inhomogeneity in dissociation of trapped molecular condensates. In: ACOLS ACOFT. ACOLS ACOFT 09, The University of Adelaide, (440-441). 29/11/09 - 3/12/09.

  • Drummond, P. D., Deuar, P. P., Corney, J. F. and Kheruntsyan, K. (2004). Stochastic gauge: A new technique for quantum simulations. In: Peter Hannaford, Andrei Sidorov, Hans Bachor and Ken Baldwin, Laser Spectroscopy Proceedings of the XVI International Conference. XVI International Confererence of Laser Spectroscopy, Palm Cove, Queensland Australia, (161-170). 13-18 July 2003. doi:10.1142/9789812703002_0024

  • Drummond, P. D., Huang, K. and Kheruntsyan, K. (2000). How to mode-lock an atom laser. In: T. Gallagher, Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference: OSA Technical Digest. QELS 2000, The Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, California, (230-230). 7-12 May, 2000.

  • Drummond, P. D., Kheruntsyan, K., Bremner, M. J. and Myers, C. (2000). Quantum and classical solitons with a two-component Bose gas. In: Conference Digest: 2000 International Quantum Electronics Conference. 2000 IQEC, Nice Acropolis, France, (127-127). 10-15 September, 2000.

  • Drummond, P. D. and Kheruntsyan, K. (2000). STIRAP in coupled atomic and molecular superchemistry. In: 14th National Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics. AIP2000, Adelaide University, (16-16). 10-15 Dec, 2000.

  • Drummond, P. D., Kheruntsyan, K. and He, H. (1999). Coherent atomic-molecular simultons in BEC. In: P. Bucksbaum, R. Falcone, G. P. Agraval and Y. Yamamoto, Technical Digest: Summaries of Papers Presented at the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference 1999. Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference 1999, Baltimore, USA, (39-40). 23-28 May, 1999.

  • Heinzen, D. J., Drummond, P. D. and Kheruntsyan, K. (1999). Super-chemistry: Coherent dynamics of atom-molecular Bose condensates. In: P. Bucksbaum, R. Falcone, G. P. Agrawal and Y. Yamamoto, Technical Digest: Summaries of Papers Presented at the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference 1999. Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference 1999, Baltimore, USA, (54). 23-28 May, 1999.

  • Heinzen, D. J., Drummond, P. D. and Kheruntsyan, K. (1999). Superchemistry:Coherent dynamics of coupled atom-molecular bose condensates. In: B.R. Ripin, 1999 Centenial Meeting; Bulletin of the American Physical Society. 1999 Centenial Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, (1007). 20-26 March, 1999.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.