Research Agenda

Research Agenda

The Physics Department at Harvard University and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) are leading research centers in the field of Quantum Science. In the past years, individual collaborations among the members of both institutions have resulted in ground-breaking research in several areas, including ultracold quantum gases, quantum information processing and communication, and quantum simulation. The creation of a Max Planck Harvard Research Center for Quantum Optics will strengthen and expand those collaborations, develop new synergies to address most challenging problems, as well as to promote and exchange excellent young scientists. The complementary expertise of Harvard and MPQ enables the development of new research directions, well beyond the current activities.

Quantum Simulation

The field of quantum simulations aims at gaining a deeper understanding of complex physical quantum systems that are numerically hard or intractable to solve on classical computers by using highly controllable artificial quantum systems. [more]

Quantum Phases of Matter

One of the most ambitious challenges in quantum physics is the classification of all possible phases of matter. That is, the establishment of a kind of “periodic table” indicating the different behavior that many-body quantum systems can have at zero temperature. [more]


The development of quantum algorithms and communication protocols, as well as the possibility of implementing them with different systems has established the field of quantum information as one of the most promising onesfor the present century. [more]

Quantum Sensing and Metrology

This fields aims at harnessing new approaches that use the principles of quantum physics in order to overcome the noise produced by quantum fluctuations. The applications range from the improvement and synchronization of atomic clocks, the detection of the magnitude and direction of tiny magnetic fields, and interferometric measurements of phase shifts [more]

Quantum Networks

Quantum physics offers new possibilities to transmit information, and has led to both, secure and efficient ways of communication. Current efforts aim at extending the range of communication either using satellites or quantum repeaters, as well as at building networks for multi-partite communication. [more]

Quantum Dynamics

Understanding the quantum dynamics of a complex quantum many-body system is one of the biggest challenges in the field of quantum science. Most previous research has focused on the properties of ground or low temperature states in quantum many-body systems. [more]

Ultracold Quantum Chemistry

Transferring the high degree of control achieved for atomic systems to more complex molecular systems offers many new and exciting research perspectives ranging from precision experiments to the control of chemical reactions. Molecular systems exhibit many degrees of freedom associated with rotation and vibration. [more]
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