Harold U. Baranger

Harold U. Baranger

Professor of Physics

Office Location: 
291 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90305, Durham, NC 27708-0305
(919) 660-2598


The broad focus of Prof. Baranger's group is quantum open systems at the nanoscale, particularly the generation of correlation between particles in such systems. Fundamental interest in nanophysics-- the physics of small, nanometer scale, bits of solid-- stems from the ability to control and probe systems on length scales larger than atoms but small enough that the averaging inherent in bulk properties has not yet occurred. Using this ability, entirely unanticipated phenomena can be uncovered on the one hand, and the microscopic basis of bulk phenomena can be probed on the other. Additional interest comes from the many links between nanophysics and nanotechnology. Within this thematic area, our work ranges from projects trying to nail down realistic behavior in well-characterized systems, to more speculative projects reaching beyond regimes investigated experimentally to date.

Correlations between particles are a central issue in many areas of condensed matter physics, from emergent many-body phenomena in complex materials, to strong matter-light interactions in quantum information contexts, to transport properties of single molecules. Such correlations, for either electrons or bosons (photons, plasmons, phonons,…), underlie key phenomena in nanostructures. Using the exquisite control of nanostructures now possible, experimentalists will be able to engineer correlations in nanosystems in the near future. Of particular interest are cases in which one can tune the competition between different types of correlation, or in which correlation can be tunably enhanced or suppressed by other effects (such as confinement or interference), potentially causing a quantum phase transition-- a sudden, qualitative change in the correlations in the system.

My recent work has addressed correlations in both electronic systems (quantum wires and dots) and photonic systems (photon waveguides). We have focused on 3 different systems: (1) qubits coupled to a photonic waveguide, (2) quantum dots in a dissipative environment, and (3) low-density electron gas in a quantum wire. The methods used are both analytical and numerical, and are closely linked to experiments.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Cornell University 1986

  • M.S., Cornell University 1983

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Güçlü, A. D., et al. “Localization in an inhomogeneous quantum wire.” Physical Review B  Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, vol. 80, no. 20, Nov. 2009. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.80.201302. Full Text

Wurm, J., et al. “Interfaces within graphene nanoribbons.” New Journal of Physics, vol. 11, Sept. 2009. Scopus, doi:10.1088/1367-2630/11/9/095022. Full Text

Kaul, R. K., et al. “Ground state and excitations of quantum dots with magnetic impurities.” Physical Review B  Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, vol. 80, no. 3, Aug. 2009. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.80.035318. Full Text

Ke, San-Huang, et al. “Thermopower of molecular junctions: an ab initio study.Nano Letters, vol. 9, no. 3, Mar. 2009, pp. 1011–14. Epmc, doi:10.1021/nl8031229. Full Text

Wurm, Jürgen, et al. “Symmetry classes in graphene quantum dots: universal spectral statistics, weak localization, and conductance fluctuations.Physical Review Letters, vol. 102, no. 5, Feb. 2009, p. 056806. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.102.056806. Full Text

Ke, S. H., et al. “Thermopower of Molecular Junctions.” Nano Lett., vol. 9, Jan. 2009, pp. 1011–14.