Karen Kheruntsyan


PhD, Masters, and Honours Projects



Research Projects



PhD, Masters, and Honours research projects are available in the following areas of quantum physics:


1. Quantum thermodynamics of ultracold atomic gases


The Second Quantum Revolution is currently underway, and represents the merging of thermodynamic concepts of heat and work, born during the Industrial Revolution, with quantum concepts of information processing and
entanglement. But how do the classical ideas on the nature of heat and work translate to quantum devices? Do the laws of classical thermodynamics also dictate the behaviour of processes at a quantum level, or whether new laws are needed? The project intends to shed light on these fundamental questions by developing state-of-the-art computational models of quantum-scale machines and heat engines using the platform of ultracold atomic gases. Such gases represent arcehtypical examples of interacting many-body systems, however, characterising their equilibrium and nonequilibrium properties is a chellenging problem. The knowledge arising from the project is expected to underpin experimental breakthroughs in this emerging field and aid the development of new quantum technologies.

From "Conduction of Ultracold Fermions
Through a Mesoscopic Channel"
J-P. Brantut et al., Science 337, 1069 (2012).

2. Nonequilibrium dynamics of quantum many-body systems


The project aims to develop a new theoretical approach – stochastic quantum hydrodynamics – to understand one of the grand challenges of physics: how do complex, many-particle systems evolve in the quantum realm when driven far from equilibrium? Understanding the out-of-equilibrium behaviour of such systems will help shape a new cornerstone of physics, nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, which – unlike its equilibrium counterpart – is a work in progress in modern science. The project intends to uncover the intriguing dynamical properties of superfluid (frictionless) states of ultracold atomic gases, which will help understand how these properties can be used to control out-of-equilibrium quantum matter and develop new quantum technologies.

2D twin beams

3. Macroscopic entanglement and Bell inequality tests with ultracold atoms


The project addresses an open fundamental question in physics of how quantum mechanics applies to systems of mesoscopic and macroscopic sizes. The project will provide theoretical guidance to Australia’s research effort to experimentally demonstrate - for the first time - quantum entanglement between large, spatially separated ensembles of ultracold atoms. Apart from being of quintessential importance to validating some of the foundational principles of quantum mechanics in new realms, controlled generation of large-scale entangled systems is important for harnessing such systems for the development of future quantum devices, as well as for enabling new insights into the unification of quantum theory with gravity.

2D twin beams
See a related work "Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen correlations via dissociation of a molecular Bose-Einstein condensate" by K. V. Kheruntsyan et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 150405 (2005).




Information resources for prospective students

*) You should approach your prospective supervisor at least a month ahead of any advertised internal UQ School of Maths/Physics deadlines which may be earlier than the advertised UQ Graduate Office/UQ Research Office deadlines.




Five good reasons for doing a PhD project under my supervision

Finally, once your PhD has been confirmed, you will receive a hand-made doctoral cap, personalised to the topic of your project, just like the one that Dr Bob (Robert Lewis-Swan) is wearing here:


Dr. Bob