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You are here: Home Teaching Lectures and Seminars Summer Term 2019 Seminar on Topological Effects in Condensed Matter Systems

Seminar on Topological Effects in Condensed Matter Systems

Seminar (physics655)


Time:    Thu, 16:00 - 18:00

Place:   Konferenzraum I, W 0.027, PI

The first meeting of the seminar will be on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

During the first meeting on April 11, the topics will be introduced and discussed, and the talk assignments will be made. 

The seminar talks can possibly be given jointly in a symposium towards the end of the semester, thus leaving sufficient time for preparation. The seminar dates or the symposium date will be arranged during during the first meeting in accordance with all participants.


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In everyday life, topology is often associated with the overall shape of a body, like the number of holes in a pretzel, in a cup with handle, or in a donut.

In a more mathematical language, the body is described by a mapping from a continuous coordinate space onto the surface of the body. The topological structure is then a property of that mapping, for instance, the number of holes in a body. This number cannot be altered by any continuous deformation and is, therefore, called a topological invariant.   

Mappings appear also in many aspects of condensed matter physics, most prominently perhaps as the electron band structure, that is, the mapping from momentum space (Brillouin zone) to the eigenvalues or parameters of the Hamiltonian. Topological insulators, discovered experimentally several years ago, are an important class of materials with a topologically non-trivial band structure. The concept of topology in condensed matter has developed into a booming field of research and has led to a unifying view on phenomena as diverse as the quantum Hall effect (QHE), topological insulators, or graphene. In this seminar we will discuss the foundations of topology and the appearance of topological structures in various condensed matter systems, as well as their consequences for observable properties.

                       Topologically non-trivial band structure of a topological Kondo insulator (Master thesis, S.Arabi)

Possible seminar topics include:
  • Basics of topology: topological invariants, homotopy classes, etc.
  • Berry phase and topological invariants
  • Topological insulators and Su-Schrieffer-Heeger (SSH) model
  • Quantum Hall effect
  • Floquet topological insulators: periodically driven systems and topology.
  • Chern-Simons field theory
  • Dirac and Weyl semimetals
  • Topological superconductors
  • Topology and interactions

Representative Literature:

B. A. Bernevig and T. L. Hughes: Topological Insulators and Topological Superconductors, Princeton University Press (2013).



The Period for registration for a seminar course is March 27 -- April 21, 2019.

Cancellation of participation is possible until April 28, 2019.

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