"Photonic Topological Insulators"

TYPESpecial Seminar - Solid State Institute, Technion
Speaker:Mr. Yonatan Plotnik
Affiliation:Physics Department and Solid State Institute, Technion
Location:Solid State Auditorium(Entrance)
Remark:Ph.D. Student of Distinguished Professor Moti Segev
Abstract: The direct observation of lattice edge phenomena has recently gained a substantial boost by the use of photonic lattices. The optical experiments allow easy observation of wave phenomena unobservable in solid state and in cold atom experiments.  

Light propagating in a lattice of coupled optical waveguides evolves as would an electron in a two dimensional lattice. We use this equivalence to demonstrate wave phenomena in two dimensional lattices. Specifically, we arrange the waveguides in a honeycomb structure, resulting in a system which is equivalent to graphene, a hexagonal lattice of carbon atoms. This system was thus named photonic graphene.

In my talk I focus on the observation of edge states in photonic graphene and the discovery of an edge state that was not previously predicted. I then discuss how we used photonic graphene to demonstrate the first photonic topological insulator: a photonic lattice with unidirectional,
topologically protected edge states. This was also the first demonstration
of a Floquet topological insulator.

I end my talk by discussing some of the research that followed these discoveries and ongoing projects.