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The Erwin Schroedinger Institute for Mathematical Physics

Topological phases of quantum matter

In the foundational realm of quantum phases of condensed matter, the past decade has seen the concept of “topological invariants” emerge as a new paradigm beyond that of Landau-Ginzburg-Wilson. While the relevance of topology for the classification of phases had been known since the early days of the quantum Hall effect, the subject recently received renewed impetus by the theoretical and experimental discovery of novel topological phases for electron systems with spin-orbit coupling and time-reversal symmetry. Outstanding theoretical developments in the field include a massive research activity studying Majorana fermions as a tool for quantum computing, Kitaev’s proposed K-theory classification of free-fermion ground states, and the proposal by Wen and collaborators that group cohomology classifies symmetry-protected topological phases. The Programme will bring together a fitting group of physicists and mathematicians with the goal of disseminating and stimulating mathematical physics research in the area of topological quantum matter. Specific goals are to consolidate the understanding of free-fermion ground states with symmetries, and to further develop the tools needed to handle disorder and/or interactions.

Launched by Introductory Lectures from August 4 - 8, 2014 the programme will then schedule informal discussions and 3 talks a day by the participants in residence (see schedules of talks: August 11 - 14, August 18 - 22, August 25 - 29, September 1 - 5), and conclude with a Conference from September 8 - 12, 2014 held in cooperation with the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center 12. 

At a glance

Type: Thematic Programme
When: Aug 04, 2014 to
Sep 12, 2014
Where: ESI, Boltzmann Lecture Hall
Organizers: Nicholas Read (Yale U), Jakob Yngvason (U Vienna), Martin Zirnbauer (U Cologne)
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