future events

Topological insulators and their implications for electronic order

Speaker:Prof. Joel E. Moore
Affiliation:UC Berkeley and LBNL
Location:Lidow Rosen Auditorium (323)

Much of condensed matter physics is concerned with understanding how

different kinds of order emerge from interactions between a large number

of simple constituents. In ordered phases such as crystals, magnets, and
superfluids, the order is understood through symmetry breaking.  A major

discovery of the 1980s was that electrons confined to two dimensions and

in a strong magnetic field exhibit a completely different, "topological" order

in the quantum Hall regime.  Topological order was recently discovered in

some three-dimensional materials, dubbed topological insulators, in zero

magnetic field. Spin-orbit coupling, an intrinsic property of all solids, drives

the formation of the topological state.  The first part of the talk will explain how

topological insulators were predicted and discovered by building on the

quantum Hall effect.  The second part will cover more recent work on

connections between topological insulators, magnetoelectric effects ("axion

electrodynamics"), and strong correlation effects.