Quantum Hamiltonian Complexity

Speaker:Prof. Dorit Aharonov
Affiliation:Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Hebrew University
Location:Lidow Rosen Auditorium (323)
Abstract:The title of this talk is the name of the half-year program to be hosted at the new Simon's institute at UC Berkeley next year. It is also the name of an exciting and rapidly growing subarea of quantum information science, on the interplay between condensed matter physics and the theory of computation. The starting point of this area is the curious fact that the major problem in theoretical computer science, called "the constraint satisfaction problem", is a special case of the major problem in condensed matter physics, namely, finding ground states of local Hamiltonians. This intriguing link suggests a computational lens on many-body quantum physics, and has led to a rich set of new questions and techniques. In my talk I will survey ideas, results and open questions from the past few years, related to some of the main questions of the field:

Can ground states of “natural” quantum systems be described succinctly?

Does the exponential complexity of general quantum systems persist at high temperature?

Is the scientific method sufficiently powerful to test and understand general quantum systems?

The talk will be based on joint works of and with many others; no prior background will be assumed.