Registration Form

To register, please complete this application before 30 November 2014. The number of participants is limited. Shortly after the deadline for registration you will be informed whether your application has been accepted and details of payment of the registration fee (ZAR 2500) will be specified. If you wish, our support staff can send you a list of recommended guest houses in Stellenbosch (costs are approximately ZAR 700 per person per day on a bed and breakfast basis).

  • Mar 09 2015

    Quench dynamics, thermalisation, and cold-atom experiments


    Conference week: 09 -13 March 2015
    Additional workshop week: 16 - 20 March 2015 (limited number of participants)


    National Institute for Theoretical Physics, Wallenberg Research Centre, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

    For more information on the venue see


    Recent progress in manipulating cold atoms and ions has brought the study of non-equilibrium behavior of isolated quantum systems into the focus of research. This workshop aims at bringing together researchers from a variety of fields related to this topic, including quantum information, statistical physics, mathematical physics, cold atoms and condensed matter physics. See further below for a more detailed description of topics covered by this workshop.


    A (1+1)-week workshop. During the first week there will be 6 talks of 45min each per day, with an extended lunch break of 3 hours in between, giving ample opportunities for discussions. All participants are expected to stay at least for the first week of the workshop. The second week is intended for a smaller group of people. Desks will be available for the participants in the second week and, apart from 1 or 2 talks per day, the rest of the time will be available for discussions, collaborations, or individual work as participants see fit.


    Alexander Altland, Köln (Germany)
    Cheng Chin, Chicago (USA)
    Andrew Daley, Strathclyde (UK)
    Sebastian Diehl, Dresden (Germany)
    Jens Eisert, Berlin (Germany)
    Thomas Gasenzer, Heidelberg (Germany)
    Alexey Gorshkov, Maryland (USA)
    Christian Gross, Garching (Germany)
    Kaden Hazzard, Houston (USA)
    Corinna Kollath, Bonn (Germany)
    Igor Lesanovsky, Nottingham (UK)
    Florian Meinert, Innsbruck (Austria)
    Chris Monroe, Maryland (USA)
    Steven Moses, Boulder (USA)
    Anatoli Polkovnikov, Boston (USA)
    Christian Roos, Innsbruck (Austria)
    Alessandro Silva, Trieste (Italy)
    Jörg Schmiedmayer, Wien (Austria)
    Ulrich Schollwöck, München (Germany)
    Dirk Schuricht, Utrecht (Netherlands)
    Izak Snyman, Johannesburg (South Africa)
    Luca Tagliacozzo, Barcelona (Spain)
    Hermann Uys, Pretoria/Stellenbosch (South Africa)

    Financial assistance:

    A few grants for students or young researchers will be available, preferentially (but not exclusively) for applicants from African countries. To apply for financial assistance, please register online on this page and upload supporting information (study record, list of publication, description of research interests).


    The registration fee (including lunch and coffee breaks) is ZAR 2500. A registration form is available on this page. Deadline for registration is 30 November 2014. Note that the number of participants is limited and early registration may therefore be advisable.


    Prof. Michael Kastner (National Institute for Theoretical Physics, South Africa), kastner[at]
    Prof. Hanns-Christoph Nägerl (University of Innsbruck, Austria), Christoph.Naegerl[at]


    SFB FoCuS (Sondeforschungsbereich Foundations and Applications of Quantum Science)

    National Institute for Theoretical Physics, South Africa

    Topics covered by this workshop:

    How do quantum many-body systems equilibrate, once they have been pushed out of equilibrium? In what way do the familiar ensembles of statistical mechanics dynamically emerge? How does temperature appear? How can the old puzzle of the exact relationship between statistical physics and dynamical approaches be precisely resolved? And how is the relationship of these considerations to the study of thermal machines on the quantum level?

    These are by no means new questions: Notably, von Neumann already commented in 1929 on the question of equilibration in a remarkably insightful article. Still, four recent developments seem to have led to an explosive revival of interest in quantum many-body systems out of equilibrium:

    1. Cold atoms, molecules, and ions provide experimental platforms to probe questions of non-equilibrium physics with an unprecedented degree of control. In particular, architectures based on cold atoms in optical lattices and optical super-lattices, together with the appropriate use of Feshbach resonances, allow for the precise quantum simulation of strongly correlated quantum many-body dynamics out of equilibrium. Trapped-ion crystals can be used as a complementary platform for probing lattice systems, or atoms on chips for probing continuous quantum many-body systems in a precise way.

    2. New numerical methods also open up new avenues for study. This is particularly true for techniques based on matrix product states and other variational techniques deriving from tensor product states, which allow for keeping track of intricate dynamics of strongly correlated systems at least for short and intermediate times. Exact diagonalisation techniques pushed to larger system sizes provide complementing information, for example on the extent to which the eigenstate thermalisation hypothesis is valid.

    3. Ideas of condensed matter physics enter the discussion of strongly correlated systems quenched out of equilibrium in a fresh way, with the precise role of integrability in thermalisation, of glassy properties in quantum many-body systems, of quantum phase transitions, or of Landau Zener physics, to name just four of them, being reconsidered.

    4. Finally, ideas of mathematical physics give new impetus to the field, with advanced methods of concentration of measure, non-commutative central limit theorems, and quantum information propagation featuring here. Some of these ideas are inspired by quantum information theory, offering tools to address some of the above questions in a rigorous fashion.

    This workshop aims at bridging the gap between the communities of these four research fields, in order to facilitate a cross-fertilisation between the fields. It is the hope that this workshop can help to overcome language barriers between people working in these very much related and yet in vocabulary sometimes rather different fields of study, ranging from experimental to theoretical work, from mathematical approaches to those of condensed matter physics. Ample time will be scheduled for informal discussions and joint work.

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