Advanced Seminar (Oberseminar)

Fri 12:00-13:30
seminar room | Institute for Theoretical Physics

The seminar will start on Fri April 13th, 2012 at noon.


In the field of topology, one investigates properties of a system (e.g. the number of knots in a rope) which remain unchanged when one tries to deform it continuously. In physics, the topological properties of the quantum mechanical wave function of a many-particle system turn out to be the essential ingredients to some of the most fascinating phenomena in solid state physics.

The concept of topological order can, for example, be used to classify different states of matter which cannot be distinguished by any local measurement. Furthermore, it is the key to understand how it can happen that particles with exotic "fractionalized" quantum numbers (e.g. 1/3 of an electron charge) are formed at low energies. Such exotic states have attracted considerable interest in proposals to build future quantum computers that are robust against decoherence due to their topological nature.

The seminar will give an introduction to the concept of topological order and its relation to quantum computation. After a discussion of some classical examples, e.g. the quantum Hall effect, we will focus on the most recent ideas to realize interesting topological states of matter.


For some talks previous knowledge in Quantum Field Theory is useful, but several topics can also be covered with a basic background in quantum mechanics.

Tentative schedule of talks