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Group “Statistical Mechanics and Condensed Matter”

The Group “Statistical Mechanics and Condensed Matter” is composed of the teams:

The statistical mechanics and condensed matter group covers two main thematics: statistical physics and complex systems and for the second part, nanophysics.

The first thematics revolve around three broad directions, which cover a large area of statistical physics. The first one deals with rigorous statistical mechanics and in particular with the study of phase transition phenomena.
The second deals with statistical mechanics of open quantum systems out of equilibrium, and the third with the statistical physics of complex systems.
The “frontiers” between these research lines are somehow arbitrary and largely permeable, and many members of the team have activities in at least two of these directions.
The methods range from rigorous mathematical tools to numerical simulations and empirical data analysis, through usual statistical physics approximation tools. Moreover, the team is developing interfaces within and outside physics.

The second theme of the group has focused its research activities on quantum transport in mesoscopic and nanoscale systems: these are systems whose temperature and size are sufficiently small so that carrier propagation occurs in a phase-coherent manner.
The main systems under study are:

  • superconducting and hybrid systems, where the fundamental quantum nature of the Cooper pair (2 entangled electrons) creates a whole range of unique properties (Josephson current, Cooper pair splitter, ...)
  • transport properties of electrons in the quantum Hall effect, where 1D chiral edge states provides the tool to study the electronic quantum optics, with single electrons replacing single photons in interference experiments. Coulomb interaction in such 1dD systems also leads to collective excitations with non-integer charge, described by the Luttinger model.
  • quantum thermoelectric transport, with studies of the Seebeck coefficient in the mesoscopic regime, and of the mixed correlations between charge and heat currents.
  • Statistical Physics and Complex Systems

    The team’s activities cover a broad spectrum of statistical physics, from the rigorous study of phase transitions to open quantum systems and to the study of complex networks and their interdisciplinary applications in epidemiology and webscience.

  • Nanophysics

    The nanophysics team activities are devoted to the theoretical study of quantum electronic transport (electronic or thermal current, and its fluctuations), in nanoscopic and mesoscopic systems: quantum dots, semiconducting nanowires, superconductors.