Colloquium

Topological quantum matter out of equilibrium

Nigel Cooper, University of Cambridge
Location: Online

Friday, 26 November 2021 02:30PM PST
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Synopsis

An exciting trend of recent times has been the development of numerous experimental platforms in which the non-equilibrium dynamics of quantum many-body systems can be studied in detail.  These include electronic materials driven out of equilibrium, cold atomic gases, internal excitations of atoms and molecules, and even architectures for potential quantum computers with large numbers of qubits.  Stepping beyond equilibrium phases opens up a vast range of possibilities for new forms of collective quantum many-body behaviour. In this talk I shall outline some of the recent understanding of the role that topology can play in constraining the dynamics of quantum many-body systems in non-equilibrium situations. At equilibrium, it is known that topological phases of matter have striking physical properties, notably the existence of robust surface states that may be of practical application. I will discuss the fate of these surface states in non-equilibrium settings, as well as in situations in which the system of interest is coupled to an external bath. The results elucidate routes to the preparation of topological phases, as well as potential challenges in utilizing topological systems for quantum technologies.