Symmetry, Topology and Electronic Phases of Matter

  • Speaker
  • Charles Kane, Ph.D.Distinguished Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania
Date & Time


TEA:
4:15 - 5:00pm
LECTURE:
5:00 - 6:15pm

Location

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium
160 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010 United States

About Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Mathematics and Physical Sciences lectures are open to the public and are held at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Tea is served prior to each lecture.

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Symmetry and topology are two of the conceptual pillars that underlie our understanding of matter. While both ideas are old, over the last several years a new appreciation of their interplay has led to dramatic progress in our understanding of topological electronic phases. A paradigm that has emerged is that insulating electronic states with an energy gap fall into distinct topological classes. Interfaces between different topological phases exhibit gapless conducting states that are protected and impossible to remove.

In this talk, Charles Kane will discuss the application of this idea to the quantum Hall effect, topological insulators, topological semimetals and topological superconductors. The latter case has led to the quest for observing Majorana fermions in condensed matter, which opens the door to proposals for topological quantum computation. He will close by surveying the frontier of topological phases in the presence of strong interactions.

About the Speaker

Charles Kane is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Chicago in 1985 and a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. in 1989. After a postdoctoral appointment at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. Kane is a theoretical condensed matter physicist who is known for his work characterizing quantum electronic states of matter, including quantum Hall states, Luttinger liquids, carbon nanotubes and topological insulators. His recent research focuses on the theory of topological insulators and their generalizations. Kane is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His work on topological insulators has been recognized with several awards, including the Oliver Buckley Prize (2012), the P.A.M. Dirac Medal (2012), the Physics Frontiers Prize (2013) and the Benjamin Franklin Medal (2015).

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