START Fellows at MCQST: Fabian Grusdt & Jasmin Meinecke

31 October 2019

Starting 1.November 2019, Dr. Fabian Grusdt and Dr. Jasmin Meinecke are officially the first MCQST START Fellows.

The START Fellowship is an initiative of the Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology, which aims to identify and support highly talented junior researchers. We are extremely excited to have not one, but two talented and skilled young researchers as MCQST’s first START Fellows: Fabian Grusdt and Jasmin Meinecke.

Both are set to start their fellowship soon. We have invited them to offer a short interview, where we asked about their research projects and plans about the START Fellowship, as well as about their passions outside of the lab.


Fabian Grusdt: "The exchange with students and colleagues is the most inspiring part of my work, and I am looking forward to the new ideas this will generate in the future."

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Could you summarize your proposed research project for the START Fellowship? Is this a continuation of the research you have done so far, or a completely new topic?

As START fellow, I will make full use of the MCQST network and pursue theoretical projects, which are closely connected to on-going experiments. For example, we will optimize trial states for describing quantum magnets at elevated temperatures, as already realized in the laboratories. Especially in the context of strong frustration, this approach will become important because it enables theoretical interpretations of the experiments. In another part of my work, we will develop new cooling schemes for quantum spin systems in optical lattices.

The problems I will address are related to my previous work, but they also contain significant new elements. While some aspects may appear technical at first, they have the potential to make all the difference in coming up with appealing physical explanations of the upcoming experimental observations. This is why I am excitedly looking forward to the planned collaborations within the MCQST, which will shift the frontiers of quantum simulation to new regimes.


What are you most looking forward to as a START Fellow? What are your main research goals?

I am most excited about starting my own research group, as part of the Schollwöck group at LMU and the entire MCQST. The START fellowship really made this possible for me. The exchange with students and colleagues is the most inspiring part of my work, and I am looking forward to the new ideas this will generate in the future.

My long-term research goals right now are to reveal the microscopic constituents of strongly correlated quantum matter. The new capabilities of quantum simulators and ultracold atoms in particular, provide an entirely new perspective — somewhat comparable to the times when Rutherford used new techniques to resolve the microscopic structure of atomic nuclei. Even more than back in the days of Rutherford, the new capabilities of today’s experiments with quantum matter are so powerful that we need detailed theoretical analysis to ask the right questions and find the universal features of strongly correlated quantum materials. That is essentially, what I am setting out to do in my research now.


Tell us a bit about yourself: what do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?

My passion outside of work is biking, and spending time outside. I also love playing a round of soccer with friends.


What excites you most when coming to work every day?

I am most excited when I stumble upon inspiring questions or seemingly contradictory predictions. Usually I learn most about a system once I identified the right problems, so I’m constantly looking for them. So I am really most excited about the new questions my students will bring up, which I might not even have thought of at this point.


Visit Fabian's website to discover more about his research: Quantum Effects in Many-Body Systems



Jasmin Meinecke: "This is what excites me most about research, the prospect that something unexpected might happen."

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Tell us a bit about your background and research interests. What do you enjoy doing when you are not in the lab?

Generally, I am interested in understanding the emergence of quantum correlations and their implications for applications such as quantum simulations and computation. Since my PhD studies at the University of Bristol I am investigating the interference of single photons for example in quantum walk structures, because they are simple and well controllable systems, yet they show complex correlations with still not well understood implications. I am interested in developing entanglement detection schemes and implementing different quantum measurement schemes. As a technological platform, I use integrated photonic devices, in particular femtosecond laser written waveguides in silica and silicon-based photonics as these allow very compact and stable experimental setups.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, for example, we love bike tours along the Isar. Besides this, I have a passion for conserving and restoring old things from classic cars and bikes to garden sheds.

Could you offer us a summary of your proposed research project for the START Fellowship? Is this a continuation of the research you have done so far, or a completely new topic?

Part of the research project I proposed is a continuation of my previous work, part of it is a new topic for me. The main objective of the project is to develop integrated waveguides as a tool for simulations of open quantum systems. I have been working with integrated photonics for many years, however, open quantum systems are a new topic and thus I am quite excited to learn more about this field and make it accessible to the integrated photonics platform.

What are you most looking forward to as a START Fellow? What are your main research goals?

The START Fellowship provides flexible funding which will give me the freedom to plan my research independently. The main research goal of the proposed research is the design of an integrated waveguide setup able to simulate different open quantum systems, which will then be used to investigate for example how quantum correlations evolve in these systems. Implementing the proposed research will broaden the capabilities of directly laser written waveguides and thus opening this platform to a new field of research.

What excites you most when coming to work every day?

When coming to work in the morning I never quite know what will happen during the day, a new problem nobody has foreseen so far could arise or a new idea could pop up. This is what excites me most about research, the prospect that something unexpected might happen.


Visit the LMU Experimental Quantum Physics website to discover more about Jasmins's research.


We wish Jasmin and Fabian good luck with their research goals and a fellowship filled with unexpected and inspiring questions!

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