Information Transport in Quantum Materials: Harnessing Dynamics to Master Physical Complexity

  • TWCF Number:


  • Project Duration:

    December 1, 2018 - November 30, 2021

  • Core Funding Area:

    Big Questions

  • Region:

    North America

  • Amount Awarded:


Director: Fabio Anza

Institution: The Regents of the University of California (Davis Campus)

Transport phenomena—which concern the exchange of mass, energy, charge, momentum, and angular momentum between physical systems—are ubiquitous in science. In this project, Dr. Fabio Anza will tackle the issue of understanding their phenomenology and providing a unified theory to model their behaviour. This is a key step towards achieving an understanding of the dynamical behaviour of complex systems.

Problematically, prevailing transport theories (charge, mass, spin and the like) rely heavily on the properties of the carriers. The result of this medium-dependent approach is a set of separate theories that share some elements, but lack a unifying structure. To create a unified theory of transport, Anza will exploit the universal character of information theory, making a concrete distinction between "carriers of information" (e.g. charge, mass or spin) and the underlying "transport of information" mediated by the carriers. Separating the information-carriers from the transportation of information will reveal the carrier-independent mechanisms which underlie transport.

The tools from information theory will be combined with concepts and experimental results from computational mechanics, a theory that successfully describes how systems process information.


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