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Wednesday, April 17th 2019

1:25 pm:

Topological materials are a new class of quantum materials with remarkable properties, which are rooted in the topology of the ground state wave function. Our understanding of topological electronic phases, in particular free fermion phases, relies on one of the central paradigms of modern electron band theory: the notion of a band inversion. In this talk I will first review what a band inversion is, and then describe our attempt to construct a many-body generalization of the band inversion transition, providing a new perspective for interacting topological phases. In particular, I will introduce a special class of band inversions in two dimensions for which interactions are expected to determine the fate of the transition and present evidence that these provide promising venues for a strongly correlated fractionalized fluid of electrons and holes. I will describe possible routes to material realizations and will discuss connections to new types of topological semimetals in three dimensions as well as superconductors.

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