University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Monday, October 8th 2018
Speaker: Fiona Burnell, University of Minnesota
Subject: The emergence of topology in strongly correlated many-body systems
Refreshments in atrium after the Colloquium.

At sufficiently low temperatures, quantum mechanics plays a key role in determining materials’ behaviours. Particularly in systems where interactions are important, this can lead to macroscopic physical properties that are fundamentally different from what we expect both from single-particle quantum mechanics, and from interacting classical systems. Among the possibilities are that two systems may locally look the same, but globally behave very differently. These global differences are described mathematically by a variety of topological quantities, which capture important physical differences such as statistical interactions between particles, and distinctive low-energy physics at the systems' boundaries. I will describe recent developments in our understanding of interacting topological phases in the presence of global symmetries, and how these are connected to the “unusual" (or, in technical terms, anomalous) properties of their low-energy boundary states.

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