17 March 2022

MCQST Member Awarded ERC Grant

Prof. Phan Thành Nam has received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council

Phan Thành Nam © LMU
Prof. Phan Thành Namhas been awarded a Consolidator Grant together with LMU. The award comes with funding of up to two million euros for a period of five years. By means of Consolidator Grants, the European Research Council (ERC) helps excellent academics expand and consolidate their innovative research. The basis for the decision of the ERC when awarding the prestigious grant is the academic excellence of the applicant and of the research project.

Phan Thành Nam is Professor of Mathematics at LMU and MCQST member. In his research, he is especially interested in many-body quantum mechanical systems and their properties. In particular, he works on approximation methods for solving Schrödinger equations.

The physical properties of many-body quantum systems are usually described using Schrödinger equations. However, as the complexity of the equations of the famous Austrian physicist grows with extreme rapidity as the number of particles increases, it is generally impossible to solve them with current numerical techniques. Therefore, physicists often use approximation theories in practice. These theories concentrate on just a few collective behaviors of the described systems. Researchers obtain confirmation as to whether the chosen models effectively describe the behavior by means of mathematical analyses. This is where the RAMBAS (Rigorous Approximations for Many-Body Quantum Systems) project from Prof. Phan Thành Nam comes in. The overarching goal of the project, which was recently awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant, is to justify some key effective approximations that are used in many-body quantum physics. The LMU mathematician wants to draw on his expertise in mathematical physics to develop new techniques for understanding corrections of special approximation theories for dilute Bose gases and then apply the findings to Fermi gases via bosonization methods. The goal is to investigate the ground state energy, the excitation spectrum and the many-body quantum dynamics over long timescales so as to derive quantum kinetic equations. With the partial help of new mathematical techniques from the fields of functional analysis, spectral theory, calculus of variations, and partial differential equations, the plan is for RAMBAS to raise standard approximations of quantum systems to the next level and thus provide physicists with new mathematical tools.

Phan Thành Nam studied mathematics and computer science at Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, before obtaining a master’s degree in applied mathematics at the University of Orléans. In 2011, Phan Thành Nam completed a doctorate at the University of Copenhagen. After research stints in France, Austria, and the Czech Republic he came to LMU in 2017 as Professor of Mathematics.

Source: LMU website.

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