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

Ke, San-Huang, et al. “Role of the exchange-correlation potential in ab initio electron transport calculations.The Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 126, no. 20, May 2007, p. 201102. Epmc, doi:10.1063/1.2743004. Full Text

Novais, E., et al. “Resilient quantum computation in correlated environments: a quantum phase transition perspective.Physical Review Letters, vol. 98, no. 4, Jan. 2007, p. 040501. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.98.040501. Full Text

Novais, E., et al. “Hamiltonian Formulation of Quantum Error Correction and Correlated Noise.” Corr, vol. abs/0710.1624, 2007.

Lee, J. W., et al. “Disorder-Induced Superfluidity in Hardcore Bosons in Two Dimensions.” Phys. Rev. B, 2007.

Ke, S. H., et al. “Development of ab initio calculation for electron transport and the effects of lead and contact structures in molecular electronics.” Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience, vol. 3, no. 5, Dec. 2006, pp. 819–23. Scopus, doi:10.1166/jctn.2006.022. Full Text

Priyadarshee, Anand, et al. “Quantum phase transitions of hard-core bosons in background potentials.Physical Review Letters, vol. 97, no. 11, Sept. 2006, p. 115703. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.97.115703. Full Text

Novais, E., and Harold U. Baranger. “Decoherence by correlated noise and quantum error correction.Physical Review Letters, vol. 97, no. 4, July 2006, p. 040501. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.97.040501. Full Text

Ghosal, A., et al. “Correlation-induced inhomogeneity in circular quantum dots.” Nature Physics, vol. 2, no. 5, May 2006, pp. 336–40. Scopus, doi:10.1038/nphys293. Full Text

Kaul, Ribhu K., et al. “Spectroscopy of the Kondo problem in a box.Physical Review Letters, vol. 96, no. 17, May 2006, p. 176802. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.96.176802. Full Text

Liu, Rui, et al. “Negative differential resistance and hysteresis through an organometallic molecule from molecular-level crossing.Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 128, no. 19, May 2006, pp. 6274–75. Epmc, doi:10.1021/ja057054z. Full Text