Unravelling the nature of quantum entanglement

30 June 2015

The entanglement entropy is an important quantitative measure of quantum entanglement. Its properties are crucial to our understanding of the nature of quantum entanglement and different phases of matter.

Dr Hung Ling Yan, 2012 Croucher fellow, works on the anti-de Sitter/conformal field theory correspondence which relates a field theoretic problem to a computation in classical gravity in certain limits. This offers powerful and novel techniques to extract analytically the physical observables and many other properties of a wide class of models, among them the entanglement entropy.

At present, Hung is trying to study properties of a system away from equilibrium. She is hoping to adopt a hybrid approach, through a combination of conventional field theoretic techniques, supplemented by these string theoretic tools to unravel the nature of quantum entanglement and to explore new phases of matter.

Hung’s interest in understanding the universe is rooted in her childhood, and it was during her secondary school years that she was determined to become a theoretical physicist, "I was fascinated by the precision demonstrated by physics; there is a universal law, and there is such beauty."

After completing her secondary education, Hung was awarded a scholarship to study physics at the University of Oxford, and following graduation, Hung moved to University of Cambridge to become a PhD student of Professor Michael Green FRS, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics and one of the pioneers of String Theory.

Having spent several years working in a mathematical field, Hung became interested in the application of theory to specific physical problems and phenomenons. Hung did her first three-year post-doctoral tenure at the Perimeter Institute, Canada and began cross-disciplinary research, working at the intersection of high-energy physics and condensed matter physics.

In 2012, Hung was awarded a two-year Croucher Fellowship, and moved to Harvard University to work with Professor Subir Sachdev, a pioneer in applying methods in string theory to the study of condensed matter systems. In her co-authored paper, “Quantum quenches and competing orders” (Physical Review B, 2014), Hung studied the non-equilibrium dynamics of a quantum generalization of a O(6) non-linear sigma model of competing orders in the under doped curates, and found that the oscillatory responses share various qualitative features with recent optical experiments.

Hung moved to Shanghai in 2014, and joined the faculty of Fudan University as a professor of physics. She was selected as a young scientist of the Thousand Talents Plan, a government-sponsored recruitment programme of global experts.

In her leisure time, Hung enjoys playing the piano and reading historical novels.

To view Dr Hung Ling Yan’s Croucher profile, please click here.

For more information about Croucher Postdoctoral Fellowships, please click here.