Harnessing symmetry to control quantum transport
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Manzano, D; Hurtado, PI. Harnessing symmetry to control quantum transport, Advances in Physics, 67:1, 1-67
SponsorshipThis work was funded by Consejeria de Economia, Innovacion, Ciencia y Empleo, Junta de Andalucia [grant number TAHUB/II-148], Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion [grant number FIS2017-84256-P], and Universidad de Granada [grant number TAHUB/II-148].
Controlling transport in quantum systems holds the key to many promising quantum technologies. Here we review the power of symmetry as a resource to manipulate quantum transport and apply these ideas to engineer novel quantum devices. Using tools from open quantum systems and large deviation theory, we show that symmetry-mediated control of transport is enabled by a pair of twin dynamic phase transitions in current statistics, accompanied by a coexistence of different transport channels. By playing with the symmetry decomposition of the initial state, one can modulate the importance of the different transport channels and hence control the flowing current. Motivated by the problem of energy harvesting, we illustrate these ideas in open quantum networks, an analysis that leads to the design of a symmetry-controlled quantum thermal switch. We review an experimental setup recently proposed for symmetry-mediated quantum control in the lab based on a linear array of atom-doped optical cavities, and the possibility of using transport as a probe to uncover hidden symmetries, as recently demonstrated in molecular junctions, is also discussed. Other symmetry-mediated control mechanisms are also described. Overall, these results demonstrate the importance of symmetry not only as an organizing principle in physics but also as a tool to control quantum systems.