My name is Bart and I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA working with Rahul Roy and Mike Zaletel on “Genon-enhanced topological quantum computing in graphene”. Previously, I was working with Titus Neupert and Alexey Soluyanov († 2019) at the University of Zurich.
I work in the field of condensed matter theory and am interested in modelling and predicting new phases of matter. For this, I develop a wide range of numerical techniques to study exciting physical phenomena, such as quantum many-body scars and the fractional quantum Hall effect.
I carried out my PhD at the University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Gunnar Möller and Gareth Conduit, on the “Stability of Topological States and Crystalline Solids”. I have also written theses on “Skyrmions” and “Simulating the Expansion of Turbulent Bose-Einstein Condensates”.
My current research, however, is more diverse and not just limited to these fields. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to connect or collaborate.
PhD in Physics, 2019
University of Cambridge
MASt in Applied Mathematics, 2015
University of Cambridge
MSci in Physics with a Year in Europe, 2014
Imperial College London
I perform research in a wide range of areas, and am always keen to diversify my work. Please contact me if you would like to collaborate.
Topological phases of matter is an active and rapidly-growing field of research. So far, my focus has been broadly on the fractional quantum Hall effect and the Hofstadter model. During my PhD, I studied a series of lattice-generalised fractional quantum Hall states called fractional Chern insulators. Specifically, we verified a predicted filling fraction series for higher Chern bands in the Hofstadter model numerically using exact diagonalization. Currently, I am investigating fractional quantum Hall states in the flat bands of moiré superstructures using the infinite cylinder density matrix renormalization group. Motivated by the progress in the field of twisted bilayer graphene, we are finding ways to characterize and engineer exotic fractional states in realistic bilayer materials and beyond.
Quantum Monte Carlo is a leading numerical technique for electronic structure calculations, and unlike competing techniques, such as density functional theory, can potentially compute energies to arbitrary accuracy. Efficiently computing forces with quantum Monte Carlo however, was a great challenge for the community, mainly due to the heavy tails of the force distribution. After several decades work, forces can now be efficiently computed and are routinely used to relax atoms in molecules and crystals. Using the lessons learned from calculating forces, we implemented a method to compute the matrix of force constants in quantum Monte Carlo. We showed that, for simple molecules, this method can relax atoms more quickly and compute the vibrational eigenfrequencies more accurately, compared to existing algorithms.
Much of what we currently understand about crystals today dates back to the Drude theory of solids from 1904. We intuitively think of atoms in a crystal as balls connected by springs, when discussing concepts such as harmonic modes or phonons. However, in this work we show that certain crystals lattices have a zero diagonal matrix of force constants and so cannot be thought of with springs. Instead, these crystal lattices are (de)stabilized at fourth order. We construct simplified models for crystals in the tight-binding and free-electron limits, and derive a phase diagram for the most energetically favorable crystal lattices in these regimes. Finally, we use this to gain insight into the distribution of crystal structures for elemental solids in the periodic table.
Motivated by recent experiments, I studied numerically the anomalous aspect ratio inversion of ellipsoidal Bose-Einstein condensates once they are released from a harmonic trap. Typically, one would expect that the aspect ratio of a released ellipsoidal condensate would invert due to the larger kinetic energy along the minor axis. The experiments showed, however, that if the condensate contains vortices, or is turbulent, then the aspect ratio stays approximately constant as the cloud expands. For my MSci project, I developed a simulation of this expansion based on solutions of the Gross-Pitaevskii equation, and studied the effect of vortices on aspect ratio inversion.
As part of my research, I spend time developing and maintaining a variety of software repositories.
Tensor Network Python (TeNPy) is an open-source Python repository used for density network normalization group calculations. I am developing this code for my current research, together with Johannes Hauschild and Leon Schoonderwoerd. My main contribution has been the addition of examples for characterizing topological phases from the ground states on an infinite cylinder. For more information, please see the github repo or forum.
CASINO is a commercial Fortran repository used for quantum Monte Carlo calculations. Originally designed as an in-house code for the University of Cambridge, CASINO is now used by researchers all over the world. I contributed by adding the capability to directly compute the matrix of force constants in quantum Monte Carlo, together with Yu Yang Liu and Gareth Conduit. For more information, please see our recent paper or the forum.
DiagHam is an open-source C++ repository used for exact diagonalization calculations. I contributed to this code at the start of my PhD and am now developing it further for my current research, together with Gunnar Möller. My main contribution has been the capability to compute density-density correlation functions for the Hofstadter model. For more information, please see the svn repo or wiki.
To aid science communication and help students, I have compiled a repository of undergraduate teaching resources.