Portrait of Bela Bauer

Bela Bauer

Computational Physics and Condensed Matter Theory


I am theoretical physicist who works at the intersection of quantum computing and quantum matter. My work uses methods inspired by quantum information theory to address problems in strongly correlated electron systems, uses such strongly correlated systems to build scalable quantum computers, and develops ways in which quantum computers can be used to address challenging questions in many-body quantum systems. For more details, see Research Interests. An up-to-date list of publications can be found on the arXiv.



Quantum Algorithms for Quantum Simulation

Simulating quantum systems is one of the obvious applications for a general-purpose programmable quantum computer. However, only recently have the available algorithms been explored with an eye towards practical applicability, and major issues in the scaling have been identified. We have been working on estimating the resource requirements for quantum simulation to go beyond what can be achieved classically, and at the same time made many improvements to the existing algorithms.

Novel phases in non-equilibrium systems

Recent advances in our understanding of interacting quantum systems far from equilibrium have shown that these systems can host a panoply of new phases that are forbidden in equilibrium. Examples include Floquet time crystals – driven quantum systems exhibiting spontaneous breaking of time-translation symmetry – and topological phases at finite temperature, which may be used to protect quantum information from decoherence.

Tensor network states and entanglement

Many recent advances in strongly correlated systems have been inspired by quantum information theory, and in particular the theory of entanglement in ground states of quantum systems. This has led to the development of powerful tensor network approaches to one- and two-dimensional quantum systems, which serve both as numerical tools as well as providing a natural language to describe many exotic phases analytically. Furthermore, tensor networks have emerged as solvable models for holographic dualities, thus establishing new connections between the theory of quantum information and high-energy theory.

Topological phases in quantum systems

Topological phases form the basic building blocks of a topological quantum computer, and as such are the focus of our attention here at Station Q. My work has been exploring topological phases both in mesoscopic superconducting systems, where the most promising experimental platforms are found, as well as in systems of strongly interacting electrons or spins. This includes topological liquid phases in frustrated spin systems, which have for decades formed a playground in the search for exotic phases.