Topological Quantum Matter: Concepts and Realizations

Coordinators: Andriy Nevidomskyy, Nic Shannon, Ronny Thomale, and Roser Valenti

Scientific Advisors: Yukitoshi Motome, Natasha Perkins, Oleg Tchernyshyov

One of the recurring central themes in physics is the search for exotic phases of matter stemming from strong correlations between constituent particles. Among these, topological states have become a major research direction in the past decade, from quantum spin liquids, to topological insulators and superconductors, to examples in photonics and mechanical systems. Despite a plethora of promising visions towards application and implementation, a number of serious challenges remain. One of them is the lack of reliable models, with the exception of very few that lend themselves to an exact solution, to address the emergence and stability of topological phases in the presence of strong interactions. Another major challenge is the difficulty in elevating the description of topological phases from the zero-temperature ground state to finite temperatures, which is necessary to probe them experimentally, and ultimately render them accessible at technologically operable conditions.

To successfully address these problems, this program will bring together theorists, computational physicists, and a broad range of experimentalists. The goal is to stimulate the dialogue between practitioners of different approaches, to identify, as concretely as possible, the open problems in the field, and by bringing together experts from different communities, to help advance the research frontier.