Yichen Huang

Yichen Huang 2017-04-05T12:28:38+00:00

Project Description

Yichen Huang

“I work at the intersection of quantum information and condensed matter, and my research interests span a wide range. The systems that I typically study are quantum many-body systems—consisting of many particles or degrees of freedom—and I try to understand their properties using simple models that aim to capture the interactions between different particles.”

  • IQIM Postdoctoral Scholar in Quantum Matter
  • PhD, 2015
  • University of California, Berkeley
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Interview

What is your current research?

I work at the intersection of quantum information and condensed matter, and my research interests span a wide range. The systems that I typically study are quantum many-body systems—consisting of many particles or degrees of freedom—and I try to understand their properties using simple models that aim to capture the interactions between different particles. For a pure theorist like me, the simplest case is just spin systems; for instance, in a one-dimensional system, you would have just a series of spins in a line. We also consider other systems, such as bosonic systems or fermionic systems, which are made up of fundamental particles. In many cases, I use ideas from quantum information theory at different levels, sometimes taking a particular concept that is useful in quantum information, like entanglement, and other times importing insights from quantum information theorists. I also use a range of different methodologies, sometimes relying on very rigorous proofs, and other times use heuristic arguments or numerical methods.

What drew you to this work?

My work is purely theoretical, and I have always been interested in that side of things, ever since I was very young. I don’t know that I had a very specific reason for choosing quantum information or condensed matter at the beginning, but after I came into the field, I have discovered a great many remarkable and beautiful works, and I really appreciate the progress made by those researchers who have opened up the field. Because my research areas are in some sense very diverse, I also find it exciting to work in a place like IQIM, where it’s easy to find collaborators on different projects and topics. My interests go very well with the name of the institute, since I work on both quantum information and condensed matter, so it’s a good fit for me.

What do you do when you’re not doing physics?

Usually after work, I like to relax at home and read, especially history. I’m from China originally, and Chinese history fascinates me. When I’m not reading, I also enjoy watching sports and shows on TV.