Collège de France
From Hot Superconductors to Cold Atoms: Quantum Matter with Strong Correlations
Materials with strong electronic correlations such as transition-metal oxides, rare-earth compounds or molecular conductors have focused enormous attention over the last three decades. Solid-state chemistry is constantly providing us with examples of novel materials with surprising and remarkable electronic properties. New routes for controlling the functionalities of these materials are actively being explored, such as high-quality heterostructures and selective control of structural modes with ultra-fast light pulses. New frontiers are also opening up, which bring together condensed-matter physics and quantum optics. `Artificial materials' made of ultra-cold atoms trapped by laser beams can be engineered with a remarkable level of controllability, and allow for the study of strong-correlation physics in previously unexplored regimes. After an overview of some aspects of this broad field, I will argue that the `standard model’ of condensed-matter physics, which views electrons in a solid as a gas of wave-like quasiparticles, must be seriously reconsidered for strongly correlated materials. I will also outline some of the theoretical and computational challenges raised by quantum matter with strong correlations.