Items tagged with "topological physics"
Phases are integral to how we define our world. We navigate through the phases of our lives, from child to teenager to adult, chaperoned along the way by our changing traits and behaviors. Nature, too, undergoes phase changes. Lakes can freeze for the winter, thaw in the spring and lose water to evaporation in the dog days of summer. It’s useful to capture and study the differences that accompany these dramatic shifts.
Identical twins might seem “indistinguishable,” but in the quantum world the word takes on a new level of meaning. While identical twins share many traits, the universe treats two indistinguishable quantum particles as intrinsically interchangeable. This opens the door for indistinguishable particles to interact in unique ways—such as in quantum interference—that are needed for quantum computers.
When you brush your hair in the morning, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not thinking about quantum physics. But the way your hair swirls as you brush is actually related to some features of the quantum world.
Topological materials have captured the interest of many scientists and may provide the basis for a new era in materials development. On April 10, 2020 in the journal Science Advances, physicists working with Andreas Elben, Jinlong Yu, Peter Zoller and Benoit Vermersch, including JQI Fellow Mohammad Hafezi and former JQI postdoctoral researcher Guanyu Zhu (currently a research staff member at IBM T. J.
Topology—the mathematical study of shapes that describes how a donut differs from a donut hole—has turned out to be remarkably relevant to understanding our physical world. For decades, it’s captured the hearts and minds of physicists, who have spent that time uncovering just how deep the connection between topology and physics runs. Among many other things, they’ve unearthed a prediction, born of topology, for a new particle with promising applications to quantum computing.
Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have created the first silicon chip that can reliably constrain light to its four corners. The effect, which arises from interfering optical pathways, isn't altered by small defects during fabrication and could eventually enable the creation of robust sources of quantum light.
Editor's note: After further analysis of their experimental data, the authors of the paper highlighted in this story no longer claim that they measured a quantized conductance—the key experimental signature that would suggest the presence of Majorana fermions. The paper has been officially retracted. We plan to leave our story up with this note because researchers believe the approach it describes remains a viable route to eventually detecting Majoranas.