Aashish Clerk
Institute for Molecular Engineering,
University of Chicago,
5640 S. Ellis Ave.,
Chicago, IL, 60631.
Tel: (773) 834 4568
Office: Eckhart 289
email: aaclerk at uchicago.edu


My group is broadly interested in a variety of driven-dissipative quantum phenomena occurring in engineered quantum systems. Our research is at the intersection of condensed matter physics, quantum optics, and quantum information. While we are theorists, we work closely with a number of leading experimental groups around the world.

Brief Bio:

  • Professor, University of Chicago, 2017 -
  • Canada Research Chair (Tier I), 2015 - 2017
  • Professor, McGill University, 2015 - 2017
  • (Assoc. Prof. 2009 - 2015, Assistant Prof. 2004 - 2009)
  • Simons Foundation Fellow in Theoretical Physics , 2017
  • Rutherford Medal, Royal Society of Canada, 2015
  • E. W. R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (NSERC) , 2014
  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, 2007
  • Canada Research Chair (Tier II), 2004 - 2014
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale Univ., 2001 - 2004
  • Ph.D. Physics, Cornell Univ., 2001
  • Hon. B.Sc. Mathematics & Physics, Univ. of Toronto, 1996

Openings, News, Etc.

Research Interests

  • Driven-dissipative quantum systems
  • Quantum optomechanics & electromechanics
  • Superconducting circuits and qubits
  • Quantum electronic systems (transport, noise, etc.)


Effective temperature (possibly negative!) of incoherently tunneling Cooper pairs. Read the paper.

Recent Research Highlights

Topological bosonic states via squeezing


There is enormous interest in engineering topological photonic systems, where topological protection guarantees the existence of robust edge modes. Most works in this field amount to replicating a well-known fermionic single-particle Hamiltonian. We recently studied a class of systems where this correspondence fails. Here, topology is induced by coherent two-photon driving (i.e. parametric driving). While these systems have a Hamiltonian resembling that of a fermionic topological superconductor, the bosonic physics is completely different. In particular, the topologically-protected edge states can act as frequency-converting channels, and can even serve as quantum-limited amplifiers and squeezed light sources.

Nature Communications, 2016

Phys. Rev. X, 2016

Non-reciprocal interactions via dissipation engineering


Can we make two systems A and B interact with one another, so that system B is influenced by system A, but system A is completely insensitive to B? We recently devised a very general way to construct such "non-reciprocal" interactions, by having both systems talk to a dissipative environment in just the right way. Our approach doesn't rely on magnetic fields or magnetic material, and could be used to construct new kinds of directional quantum microwave and photonic devices. Implenting these kinds of interactions on a lattice could also lead to a range of unique quantum phases.

Phys. Rev. X, 2015