Universal dynamics across a phase transition: from condensed matter to quantum computing

Speaker: Adolfo del Campo (University of Luxembourg)

Date and time


When a quantum phase transition is crossed in finite time, the breakdown of adiabatic dynamics leads to the formation of topological defects, such as domain walls in spin systems and vortices in superfluids. The average density of defects scales with the quench rate following a universal power-law predicted by the Kibble- Zurek mechanism. Physics beyond the Kibble-Zurek mechanism can be probed by characterizing the full counting statistics of topological defects and provides useful heuristics for adiabatic quantum computation. Its study can be used to benchmark the performance of a quantum processor, as we show by analyzing the experimental data from a D-Wave quantum annealer. 

Prof. del Campo received his PhD from the University of Basque Country in 2008. His first postdoctoral research position was at Imperial College London and Ulm University. In 2011, he was awarded a Distinguished J. Robert Oppenheimer Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was a tenure associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston (2014-2018) and a Ikerbasque full research professor at the Donostia International Physics Center, Spain in 2019-2021. Since 2021, he has been a full professor at the University of Luxembourg, where he leads the Quantum Theory Group. His research in theoretical condensed matter physics focuses on nonequilibrium phenomena and their control, exploring applications in quantum science and technology. He has co-pioneered protocols known as Shortcuts to Adiabaticity, generalized the Kibble-Zurek Mechanism and contributed to the development of Quantum Speed Limits.