First time in the history of our University an international ERC grant winner decided to carry out his research at the University of Warsaw. Prof. Emanuel Gull from the University of Michigan is a theoretical physicist specialising in developing numerical methods to describe complex quantum many-body systems. The ERC awarded him a prestigious Advanced Grant for the project on quantum algorithms. The researcher will move his laboratory from Michigan to Warsaw, where the UW’s Faculty of Physics is situated.

All the advanced materials we use, i.e. conductors, superconductors, and insulators, are based on quantum mechanics. Scientists know methods that can explain the occurrence of the characteristics of a particular material, however, it is much more complicated to design a material and predict what the material with specific properties should look like.


“Quantum Algorithms” is the acronym of Prof. Gull’s research project that will be conducted at the Faculty of Physics of the University of Warsaw. The Swiss-born scientist has received the European Research Council Advanced Grant to carry out his scientific works. The world-class theoretical physicist is engaged in developing methods that are key to understanding quantum systems in particular quantum materials.


“Quantum materials are materials, in which the strangeness of quantum leads to fascinating and technologically useful effects such as magnetism or superconductivity,” says Prof. Gull from the University of Michigan. “We find such materials in hospital MRIs, sensors, high-voltage DC transmission lines, and electric car batteries.”



In his research project, Prof Gull will combine existing and develop new methods, building on techniques from quantum field theory, condensed matter theory, quantum Monte Carlo, applied mathematics, as well as machine learning.


“While my research centres on theoretical physics, it has components that reach into the related fields of applied mathematics, high-performance computing, material science and quantum chemistry,” Prof. Gull explains.


Quantum research at the UW

The ERC grant winner will also collaborate with researchers from the UW’s Faculty of Physics.


“We are delighted that Prof. Emanuel Gull will join us. His research perfectly fits current topics at our Faculty ranging from solid state physics theory and experiment through quantum information and complexity studies up to ultracold atoms and molecules in optical lattices,” Prof. Michał Tomza from the UW’s Faculty of Physics points out. The researcher is the leader of the Quantum Molecular Systems group, involved in the quantum theory of ultracold matter and its interaction with light.


Prof Tomza indicates that the methods being developed by Prof. Gull can be applied, for example, to explain and predict new experiments with cold atoms.


“Some ultracold experiments realise immensely sophisticated quantum states of matter, which can be described by the algorithms that Prof Emanuel Gull develops. This area could be an overlap between our scientific interests,” Prof Tomza explains.

The European Research Council has granted funding, almost 3.5 million euro, to Prof. Emanuel Gull for the project “Predictive algorithms for simulating quantum materials”, which will be conducted through five years.