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UGent

Ghent University
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1,070 Projects, page 1 of 214
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 625378
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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 647905
    Overall Budget: 1,927,500 EURFunder Contribution: 1,927,500 EUR

    One of the major challenges in theoretical physics is the development of systematic methods for describing and simulating quantum many body systems with strong interactions. Given the huge experimental progress and technological potential in manipulating strongly correlated atoms and electrons, there is a pressing need for such a better theory. The study of quantum entanglement holds the promise of being a game changer for this question. By mapping out the entanglement structure of the low-energy wavefunctions of quantum spin systems on the lattice, the prototypical example of strongly correlated systems, we have found that the associated wavefunctions can be very well modeled by a novel class of variational wavefunctions, called tensor network states. Tensor networks are changing the ways in which strongly correlated systems can be simulated, classified and understood: as opposed to the usual many body methods, these tensor networks are generic and describe non-perturbative effects in a very natural way. The goal of this proposal is to advance the scope and use of tensor networks in several directions, both from the numerical and theoretical point of view. We plan to study the differential geometric character of the manifold of tensor network states and the associated nonlinear differential equations of motion on it, develop post tensor network methods in the form of effective theories on top of the tensor network vacuum, study tensor networks in the context of lattice gauge theories and topologically ordered systems, and investigate the novel insights that tensor networks are providing to the renormalization group and the holographic principle. Colloquially, we believe that tensor networks and the theory of entanglement provide a basic new vocabulary for describing strongly correlated quantum systems, and the main goal of this proposal is to develop the syntax and semantics of that new language.

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  • Funder: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. Project Code: PRAXIS XXI/BPD/22083/99
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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101061290
    Funder Contribution: 191,760 EUR

    Using the lens of the cattle frontier in Madagascar in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this project explores the transformation of livestock production, pastoralist societies, imperial economies and animal landscapes in colonial and postcolonial Africa. It builds on the concept of commodity frontiers, moving sites of capitalist commodity production and extraction, to disentangle the complex interplay between global capitalism, science and empire in the making and unmaking of the cattle frontier in Madagascar. COLCAT examines why and how European (mostly French) and Malagasy administrators, entrepreneurs and veterinary experts, in often conflictual interaction with indigenous pastoralists, tried to transform pre-existing cattle economies on the island and to turn cattle into profitable commodities. It argues that the making of a capitalist and imperial cattle frontier implied a broad range of interventions, from the improvement of local breeds and new methods of cattle disease management to the sedentarisation of cattle pastoralists and the establishment of meat factories and new cattle trading networks. COLCAT analyses the rationales and dynamics of these interventions, including the manifold conflicts, negotiation processes and (intended and unintended) social, economic and ecological consequences. It thereby pays particular attention to the role of science and expert knowledge. While COLCAT’s main focus is on the profound transformations of the colonial era (1895-1960), it embeds them in a longue-durée perspective, spanning late Merina rule in the precolonial period (1870s-90s) to the postcolonial era (1960s-70s). This will facilitate teasing out the tensions between capitalist, imperial and (post)colonial expansion and development goals. Overall, COLCAT will make a substantial contribution to the history of global capitalism, the history of (French) colonialism in Africa, environmental history and the history of science and knowledge.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 331934
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