4 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Location: SLC 1.102
Dr. Liang Fu (MIT)
It has long been known that properties of solids depend crucially on symmetry. For example, diamond and graphite, both made of carbon atoms, have vastly different properties due to the difference in crystal symmetry; a ferromagnet differs from a paramagnet due to the spontaneous breaking of spin rotational symmetry. In the last decade, it has come to be recognized that quantum materials having the same symmetry can still be in distinct phases due to the difference in the topology of quantum wavefunctions. In this talk, I will describe the general concept of symmetry-protected topological matter and discuss its prime examples including topological insulators, topological crystalline insulators and topological superconductors, with a focus on their material realizations and unique electronic properties which can be further tuned by symmetry breaking.