Professor Karen Kheruntsyan

Professor

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

Overview

Professor 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), Associate Professor (2015-2017), and is currently Professor in theoretical physics in the School of Mathematics and Physics (SMP).

Research Interests

  • Quantum thermodynamics of ultracold atomic gases
    The Second Quantum Revolution is currently underway, and represents the merging of thermodynamic concepts of heat and work, born during the Industrial Revolution, with quantum concepts of information processing and entanglement. But how do the classical ideas on the nature of heat and work translate to quantum devices? Do the laws of classical thermodynamics also dictate the behaviour of processes at a quantum level, or whether new laws are needed? The project intends to shed light on these fundamental questions by developing state-of-the-art computational models of quantum-scale machines and heat engines using the platform of ultracold atomic gases. Such gases represent arcehtypical examples of interacting many-body systems, however, characterising their equilibrium and nonequilibrium properties is a chellenging problem. The knowledge arising from the project is expected to underpin experimental breakthroughs in this emerging field and aid the development of new quantum technologies.
  • 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. The project intends to 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • The Second Quantum Revolution is currently underway, and represents the merging of thermodynamic concepts of heat and work, born during the Industrial Revolution, with quantum concepts of information processing and entanglement. But how do the classical ideas on the nature of heat and work translate to quantum devices? Do the laws of classical thermodynamics also dictate the behaviour of processes at a quantum level, or whether new laws are needed? The project intends to shed light on these fundamental questions by developing state-of-the-art computational models of quantum-scale machines and heat engines using the platform of ultracold atomic gases. Such gases represent arcehtypical examples of interacting many-body systems, however, characterising their equilibrium and nonequilibrium properties is a chellenging problem. The knowledge arising from the project is expected to underpin experimental breakthroughs in this emerging field and aid the development of new quantum technologies.

  • 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 of such systems will help to shape a new cornerstone of physics, non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, which - unlike its equilibrium counterpart - is a work in progress in modern science. The project intends to uncover the intriguing dynamical properties of superfluid (frictionless) states of quantum matter formed by ultracold atomic gases, which will help to understand how these properties can be used to control quantum matter and develop new quantum technologies.

  • 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 Bose-Einstein condensates, we will shed light on the laws of emergence at the mesoscale and by doing this we will 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, and perhaps even control of molecular kinetics in cell biology.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

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

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Kheruntsyan, K. V., Jacqmin, T., Armijo, J., Berrada, T. and Bouchoule, I. (2011). Sub-poissonian fluctuations in a 1D bose gas: From quantum quasi-condensate to the strongly interacting regime. International Quantum Electronics Conference, IQEC 2011, Sydney, Australia, 28 August - 1 September 2011. Washington, DC, United States :OSA—The Optical Society.

  • 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. ACOLS ACOFT 09, The University of Adelaide, 29/11/09 - 3/12/09. South Australia :The University of Adelaide.

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

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

  • Perrin, A., Savage, C. M., Krachmalnicoff, V., Boiron, D., Aspect, A., Westbrook, C. I. and Kheruntsyan, K. V. (2007). Atomic four-wave mixing via condensates collisions. Quantum-Atom Optics Downunder, QAO 2007, Wollongong, NSW Australia, 3- 6 December 2007. Optical Society of America.

  • Drummond, P. D., Deuar, P. P., Corney, J. F. and Kheruntsyan, K. (2004). Stochastic gauge: A new technique for quantum simulations. XVI International Confererence of Laser Spectroscopy, Palm Cove, Queensland Australia, 13-18 July 2003. Singapore :World Scientific. doi: 10.1142/9789812703002_0024

  • Drummond, P. D. and Kheruntsyan, K. V. (2001). Stimulated Raman adiabatic passage from an atomic to a molecular Bose-Einstein condensate. Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference, QELS 2001, Baltimore, MD United States, 6- 11 May 2001. Piscataway, NJ United States :Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. doi: 10.1109/QELS.2001.962158

  • Drummond, P. D., Huang, K. and Kheruntsyan, K. (2000). How to mode-lock an atom laser. QELS 2000, The Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, California, 7-12 May, 2000. US :Optical Society of America.

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

  • Drummond, P. D. and Kheruntsyan, K. (2000). STIRAP in coupled atomic and molecular superchemistry. AIP2000, Adelaide University, 10-15 Dec, 2000. Australia :Australian Institute of Physics.

  • Drummond, P. D., Kheruntsyan, K. and He, H. (1999). Coherent atomic-molecular simultons in BEC. Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference 1999, Baltimore, USA, 23-28 May, 1999. USA :Optical Society of America, American Physical Society.

  • Heinzen, D. J., Drummond, P. D. and Kheruntsyan, K. (1999). Super-chemistry: Coherent dynamics of atom-molecular Bose condensates. Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference 1999, Baltimore, USA, 23-28 May, 1999. USA :Optical Society of America, American Physical Society.

  • Heinzen, D. J., Drummond, P. D. and Kheruntsyan, K. (1999). Superchemistry:Coherent dynamics of coupled atom-molecular bose condensates. 1999 Centenial Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, 20-26 March, 1999. USA :American Physical Society.

Edited Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

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.

  • The Second Quantum Revolution is currently underway, and represents the merging of thermodynamic concepts of heat and work, born during the Industrial Revolution, with quantum concepts of information processing and entanglement. But how do the classical ideas on the nature of heat and work translate to quantum devices? Do the laws of classical thermodynamics also dictate the behaviour of processes at a quantum level, or whether new laws are needed? The project intends to shed light on these fundamental questions by developing state-of-the-art computational models of quantum-scale machines and heat engines using the platform of ultracold atomic gases. Such gases represent arcehtypical examples of interacting many-body systems, however, characterising their equilibrium and nonequilibrium properties is a chellenging problem. The knowledge arising from the project is expected to underpin experimental breakthroughs in this emerging field and aid the development of new quantum technologies.

  • 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 of such systems will help to shape a new cornerstone of physics, non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, which - unlike its equilibrium counterpart - is a work in progress in modern science. The project intends to uncover the intriguing dynamical properties of superfluid (frictionless) states of quantum matter formed by ultracold atomic gases, which will help to understand how these properties can be used to control quantum matter and develop new quantum technologies.

  • 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 Bose-Einstein condensates, we will shed light on the laws of emergence at the mesoscale and by doing this we will 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, and perhaps even control of molecular kinetics in cell biology.

  • 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.