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Workshop on "Macroscopic Limits of Quantum Systems"

March 30th–April 1st, 2017
70th Birthday of Herbert Spohn

The main subject of the workshop is the mathematical investigation of equations describing the behaviour of quantum systems at macroscopic scales, and their rigorous emergence from microscopic dynamics. The workshop also serves as an occasion to celebrate the 70th birthday of Herbert Spohn and to congratulate Herbert on the reception of the Max Planck Medal 2017.

The workshop will begin on Thursday around 2pm and it will end on Saturday at approximately 2pm. It will take place at the lecture hall E.126 of the IMETUM building at the Garching Campus (Thursday and Friday) and on Saturday we will be at the Mathematical Institute LMU, lecture hall A027 Pfeil (near Munich city centre) .

We welcome any researchers and students interested to attend the workshop. If you would like to participate, please register by sending an email to or to one of the organizers listed below. Unfortunately, we can provide financial support only for invited speakers.

We thank Technische Universität München and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for financial support.


Thursday, 30.3. Friday, 31.3. Saturday, 1.4.
Location: IMETUM Lecture Hall E.126 LMU Math. A027
Bose Gas Boltzmann Equation
and Tight Binding
Benjamin Schlein Juan Velázquez 9:30-10:15
Marcin Napiórkowski Jani Lukkarinen 10:20-11:05
Fermi Gas
Christian Hainzl Stefan Teufel 11:35-12:20
14:00 Welcome Address
14:00-14:45 Jürg Fröhlich Mathieu Lewin
14:50-15:35 Peter Pickl Chiara Saffirio
Strong Coupling Adiabatic Limits
16:05-16:50 Marcel Griesemer Wojciech De Roeck
16:55-17:40 Alessandro Pizzo
Conference Dinner
19:00–, city centre


Jürg Fröhlich
Quantum Dynamics of Systems Under Repeated Observation - Reconstruction of Structure from Unstructured Perception
We start by presenting a short summary of examples of effective dynamics in quantum theory. We then study more closely the effective quantum dynamics of systems interacting with a long queue of independent probes, one after another, which are then subject to projective measurement. This leads us to develop a theory of indirect measurements of time-independent quantities (non-demolition measurements). Next, the theory of indirect measurements of time-dependent quantities is outlined, and a new family of diffusion processes — quantum jump processes — is described. Some open problems are proposed.
Peter Pickl
Free time evolution of a tracer particle coupled to a Fermi gas in the high-density limit
The dynamics of a particle coupled to a dense and homogeneous ideal Fermi gas in two spatial dimensions is studied. We analyze the model for coupling parameter g=1 (i.e., not in the weak coupling regime), and prove closeness of the time evolution to an effective dynamics for large densities of the gas and for long time scales of the order of some power of the density. The effective dynamics is generated by the free Hamiltonian with a large but constant energy shift which is given at leading order by the spatially homogeneous mean field potential of the gas particles. Here, the mean field approximation turns out to be accurate although the fluctuations of the potential around its mean value can be arbitrarily large. Our result is in contrast to a dense bosonic gas in which the free motion of a tracer particle would be disturbed already on a very short time scale. The proof is based on the use of strong phase cancellations in the deviations of the microscopic dynamics from the mean field time evolution.
Marcel Griesemer
On the dynamics of polarons in the strong-coupling limit
The polaron model of H. Fröhlich describes an electron coupled to the quantized longitudinal optical modes of a polar crystal. In the strong-coupling limit one expects that the phonon modes may be treated classically, which leads to a coupled Schrödinger-Poisson system with memory. For the effective dynamics of the electron this amounts to a nonlinear and non-local Schrödinger equation. We use the Dirac-Frenkel variational principle to derive the Schrödinger-Poisson system from the Fröhlich model and we present new results on the accuracy of their solutions for describing the motion of Fröhlich polarons in the strong-coupling limit. Our main result extends to N-polaron systems.
Alessandro Pizzo
Bose Particles in a Box: Convergent Expansion of the Ground State in the Mean Field Limiting Regime
I shall report on a novel multi-scale technique to study many-body quantum systems where the total number of particles is kept fixed. The method is based on the Feshbach-Schur map and the scales are represented by occupation numbers of particle states. Consider an interacting Bose gas at zero temperature, constrained to a finite box and in the mean field limiting regime, where the N gas particles interact through a pair potential of positive type and with an ultraviolet cut-off. The (nonzero) Fourier components of the potential are assumed to be sufficiently large with respect to the corresponding kinetic energies of the modes. For this system, we provide a convergent expansion of the ground state of the Hamiltonian in terms of the bare operators. In the limit \(N\to\infty\) the expansion is up to any desired accuracy.
Benjamin Schlein
Dynamical and spectral properties of Bose-Einstein condensates.
We consider systems of \(N\) bosons interacting through a repulsive potential \(N^{3\beta-1} V (N^\beta x)\) that scales with N. For \(\beta = 1\), we recover the well-known Gross-Pitaevskii regime. We present new techniques that allow us to prove the convergence towards the time-dependent Gross-Pitaevskii equation with optimal rate. Furthermore, we explain how , for small potentials, this approach can be used to show complete Bose-Einstein condensation (with a uniform bound on the number of excitations), for the ground state and, more generally, for states with small excitation energy. For \(\beta < 1\), the same method can be used to establish the validity of Bogoliubov theory for the low-lying excitation spectrum. This talk is based on joint works with C. Boccato, C. Brennecke and S. Cenatiempo.
Marcin Napiórkowski
Bosonic quadratic Hamiltonians and their diagonalization
In my talk I will review concepts related to bosonic quadratic operators and their connection with mean-field limits. In particular, I will provide general conditions under which such operators can be diagonalized by Bogoliubov transformations. Our results cover the case when quantum systems have infinite degrees of freedom and the associated one-body kinetic and paring operators are unbounded. This is joint work with Phan Thành Nam and Jan Philip Solovej.
Christian Hainzl
Macroscopic aspects of the BCS-theory of superconductivity
We present the linear two-body gap-equation in the presence of external macroscopic fields, in particular, a constant magnetic field, and derive the critical temperature s dependence on the fields strength. We further comment on possible relations to high-Tc-superconductors.
Mathieu Lewin
Jellium and the uniform electron gas
Jellium is one of the simplest, yet very rich, Coulomb systems in statistical mechanics. It has been shown to arise naturally in mean-field limits for confined classical systems. On the other hand, the Uniform Electron Gas (UEG) is a cornerstone of Density Functional Theory in chemistry and material science and it arises naturally in the limit of slowly varying densities. This gas, which is defined by the property that its density is exactly constant over the whole space, is usually assumed to be the same as Jellium. In the talk I will review some elementary properties of the UEG and mention several open problems, some of which are important for practical DFT calculations.
Chiara Saffirio
Mean field evolution of fermions with Coulomb interaction
We will consider the many-body evolution of initially confined fermions in a joint mean-field and semiclassical scaling, focusing on the case of Coulomb interaction. We will show that, for initial states close to Slater determinants and under some conditions on the solution of the time-dependent Hatree- Fock equation, the many-body evolution converges towards the Hartree-Fock dynamics. This is a joint work with M.Porta, S.Rademacher and B.Schlein.
Wojciech De Roeck
Adiabatic Theory for many-body systems
The adiabatic theorem is a central tool in quantum mechanics. It has also been used and applied very much in the many-body setting to describe eg crossing of quantum phase transition point (kibble-zurek mechanism), preparation of quantum states, quantum computation, etcetc... Nonetheless, what is commonly known as the 'adiabatic theorem', is not applicable to many-body systems, unless one would take the driving vanishing with volume. We point out this fact and we prove an alternative adiabatic theorem that is applicable to many-body systems. As a mathematical bonus, this yields a proof of the validity of linear response for gapped ground states. This is joint with sven bachmann and martin fraas.
Juan Velázquez
Blow-up and long time behaviour of kinetic equations with cubic nonlinearities
In this talk I will discuss some recent results about singularity formation and long time asymptotics for two kinetic equations containing cubic nonlinearities. These equations are the Nordheim’s equation for bosons and the kinetic equation for Weak Turbulence associated to the Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation. The solutions of these equations can yield singularity formation in finite time for homogeneous particle distributions. In the case of Nordheim equation the singularities are related to the formation of Bose-Einstein condensates. Issues like nonuniqueness of the solutions of this equation and self-similar behaviour for long times of the solutions of the Weak Turbulence equation will be also addressed.
Jani Lukkarinen
Quantum kinetic theory and (pre-)thermalization
Weakly interacting quantum fluids allow for a natural kinetic theory description which takes into account the fermionic or bosonic nature of the interacting particles. In the simplest cases, one arrives at the Boltzmann-Nordheim, aka Uehling-Uhlenbeck, equations for the reduced density matrix of the fluid. We discuss here two related topics: the kinetic theory of the fermionic Hubbard model, in which conservation of total spin results in an additional Vlasov-type term in the Boltzmann equation, and the relation between kinetic theory and thermalization. In particular, we compare recent simulations of an anharmonic chain with very slow thermalization to the corresponding kinetic description and to the "pre-thermalization" observed in certain quantum systems.
Stefan Teufel
Effective Hamiltonians for perturbed periodic quantum systems and their geometry
I first briefly review a well known procedure for an approximate block decomposition of perturbed periodic Hamiltonians. If the periodic system is time-reversal symmetric, the block subspaces are spanned by localised (composite) Wannier functions and each block of the Hamiltonian can be nicely represented by an effective Hamiltonian obtained through Peierls substitution. If the periodic Hamiltonian is not time-reversal symmetric, as in the presence of a constant magnetic field or in Chern insulators, generically no localised (composite) Wannier functions exist and the geometry of the underlying Bloch bundles, certain complex vector bundles over the torus, becomes relevant for the construction of effective Hamiltonians in the spirit of Peierls substitution. The recent results are from joint work with Silvia Freund, Domenico Monaco, Gianluca Panati, and Adriano Pisante, and originate from not so recent anymore work with Herbert Spohn.

Workshop Venues

Lecture Hall E.126 at IMETUM (adjacent to the Mathematics Institute, Garching campus, metro stop "Garching-Forschungszentrum" U6)

For lunch on Friday we recommend the Cafeteria at the TUM Mathematics department (directly adjacent to IMETUM, see map above). There will be a designated area of tables reserved for the participants of the workshop.

The talks on Saturday will be held at the Mathematical Institute LMU, Theresienstr. 39, room A027 Pfeil. Just enter the building from Theresienstr. at the A-tower (the one on the left), then room A027 is on the end of the corridor.

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner will take place at Hackerhaus Pfeil on Friday the 31th of March.

Directions: Suitable subway connections from Garching Forschungszentrum are via line U6 departing at 18:06, 18:16 or 18:26. When getting off at the station "Marienplatz", the "Hackerhaus" restaurant is within walking distance (approx. 5 minutes).


Invited speakers are asked to send their travel plans to Ms Wilma Ghamam and indicate if they prefer to stay in Munich or in Garching. In the former case they will be accommodated in Hotel Antares Pfeil, in the latter case in Hotel Hoyacker Hof Pfeil. We will pay the hotel receipts directly. We kindly ask the speakers to send us this information before the end of February 2017.

All other participants are kindly requested to take care of their hotel reservations themselves. The two hotels mentioned above can be recommended for this purpose.

Max-Planck Prize 2017

Herbert Spohn will receive the Max-Planck Medal 2017 Pfeil of the DPG Pfeil.

«In recoginition of his distinguished contributions to statistical physics regarding the elucidation of the transition from microscopic physics to macroscopic behaviour.»
The award ceremony will be held at the DPG conference in Münster on March 29th.

Image credits: Spiral Galaxy NGC 1232 Pfeil by ESO Pfeil, "Atom" by R. Sigaev/