The Nobel prize in Physics 2016 : Topological phases of matter

Jean-Noël Fuchs (Laboratoire de Physique des solides, Orsay ; Laboratoire de Physique théorique de la matière condensée, UPMC) — May 18

Abstract :
Last year’s Nobel prize in physics was awarded to Kosterlitz, Thouless and Haldane for their pioneering work on topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter. In this talk, I will present some of their work, focusing in particular on the novel understanding of band theory that emerged thanks to these researchers and as a consequence of the experimental discovery of the quantum Hall effect. I will also try to clearly distinguish between different uses of topology in condensed matter physics and to outline what is truly topological from what is merely geometrical (but not least interesting). The main examples that I will discuss are the integer quantum Hall effect and the anomalous quantum Hall effect (Chern insulator).

Biography :
Jean-Noël Fuchs is a CNRS researcher working in the field of theoretical condensed matter physics, sharing his time between LPTMC Jussieu (Paris) and LPS Orsay. His main interests are electrons in crystals, such as graphene and topological insulators, or quasicrystals in the presence of a magnetic field. He also has a long-term interest for spin waves in cold atomic gases.

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