How topology turned out to be a central tool in condensed matter

Par  David Carpentier, Laboratoire de Physique, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon

Mardi 14 Mai,  14h00, Salle des séminaires (215), 2ème étage, Bâtiment A4N

Abstract :

In the mid-twentieth century, the Nobel-prize winner George Gamow remarked that only number theory and topology had no application to physics. Fifty years later, it is hard to think of an area of physics where topology does not feature. Over the last decade, topology sparked a new line of research in solid-sate physics, leading to the 2016 Physics Nobel prize. Today, the use of topology extends far beyond the specifics of solids and offers a single framework to understand phenomena from the atomic to the planetary scale. In this seminar I will first review how topology revolutionized our understanding of electronic properties of matter. I will then discuss two systems beyond this domain, in which topology allows to unveil remarkable properties : (i) an artificial atom or quantum bit coupled to a microwave resonator in such a way that it pumps energy from one mode to another one; (ii) an elastic Möbius strip, whose deformations do not satisfy linear response theory as a consequence of topological constraints.