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Quantum is Different: Topology and Deconfinement in Solids

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 9:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Ashvin Vishwanath

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

UC, Berkeley
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

The idea that states of matter are governed by new emergent laws – ‘More is Different’ – has been the guiding principle in the theory of solids.Largely, this was exemplified by symmetry breaking states such as superfluids and ferromagnets, which are ultimately described by a classical order parameter, despite being composed of quantum mechanical particles. However, experimental results over the last several years have impelled us to look for new forms of emergence that are intrinsically quantum mechanical. I will briefly discuss topological insulators, a newly discovered class of solids with strong spin orbit-interactions where topology forms the basis of a subtle distinction from ordinary insulators. Subsequently, I will talk about strongly interacting systems like frustrated magnets that realize even more exotic phases and how quantum entanglement can serve as a fingerprint of these novel states.