Kai Philipp Schmidt

The Project

Exotic phases and excitations of unconventional Mott insulators


Dr. Kai Phillip Schmidt
University of Dortmund
Otto-Hahn-Str. 4
44221 Dortmund


Thirty-two year old German citizen, Kai P. Schmidt, gained his PhD at the University of Cologne in 2004, and is now completing postdoctoral work at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). In 1997 he took up a scholarship to study physics at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney.
His research is located in the field of strongly correlated quantum systems
which can be find traditionally in condensed matter systems and nowadays also in atomic
systems where cold atoms are loaded in optical lattices.

Project Description

The goal of this project is the exploration of the remarkable properties that can be realised in Mott insulators due to strong correlations. While several exotic ground states of quantum matter such as supersolids, paired superfluids which are the bosonic analogues of superconductors, or the resonating valence bond liquid have been proposed, the identification of such phases in realistic microscopic models remains one of the biggest challenges in the field.

In this project, Schmidt plans to work on this problem along three main lines of research; the identification of novel phases; the quantitative description of excitations above already identified ground states, with a special interest in the formation of novel composite particles; and the development of novel methods to treat competing interactions in many-body systems.