The Della Pietra Lecture Series presents Dr. Charles Kane, theoretical condensed matter physicist and Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, at the Simons Center on Wednesday, May 8. He will discuss “The Emergence of Topological Quantum Matter” at a lecture for the general public at 5:45 pm in the Della Pietra Family Auditorium (reception at 5 pm).
A special presentation for students will be held on May 8 at 11 am.
Abstract: Matter can arrange itself in the most ingenious ways. In addition to the familiar solid, liquid and gas phases of matter, quantum mechanics enables the existence of electronic phases of matter that can have both exotic and useful properties. In the last century, the thorough understanding of the simplest quantum electronic phase — the electrical insulator — enabled the development of the solid state electronics technology that is ubiquitous in today’s information age. In the present century, new “topological” electronic phases are being discovered that may enable future technologies by allowing the seemingly impossible to occur: indivisible objects, like an electron or a quantum bit of information, can be split into two, allowing mysterious features of quantum mechanics to be harnessed. Our understanding of topological phases builds on deep ideas in mathematics. Dr. Kane will try to convey that they are as beautiful as they are fundamental.