Our Research Interest.
Quantum effects are most prominent on the smallest scale, they dominate the physics of elementary particles, atoms or molecules. Yet when many of those quantum objects form a macroscopic solid, they commonly lose a key characteristic of quantum physics – establishing coherent states. In most metals, for example, the charge carriers behave as independent objects, which is the basis for the success of band structure theory. Some materials, however, are different. In some materials, electrons interact so strongly with each other that they cannot be treated as independent anymore, and collective electronic phenomena such as magnetism or superconductivity arise. Those materials host quantum effects in the macroscopic world, and are called “Quantum matter”.
Our general research interest concerns how these materials behave when their system size is smaller or comparable to the length scale of the microscopic physics of correlated phenomena. In this regime the physical properties can be strikingly different from those of macroscopic samples, which average over the microscopic physics. Studying correlated matter on the microscale does not only allow to investigate the intrinsic features of the physics of quantum matter, it also probes these materials directly on the length scale at which they may be applied in advanced technologies. In the following, we present a few more concise examples of our areas of research.