Workshop Novel Quantum Materials and Systems

from 7 Sep 2015 through 11 Sep 2015


Scientific organizers:

Vadim Cheianov (Leiden, The Netherlands)

Mikhail Katsnelson (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

Mikhail Titov (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)


This workshop has been inspired by a recent surge of new results in the realm of quantum materials. Such materials can serve as physical media for the storage and transfer of quantum information, therefore one of the strongest forces driving research in this area comes from the challenges facing experimental quantum information science. Several conceptual approaches to the outstanding challenges that exist at present are pursued by different physics communities. In this workshop we have succeeded in bringing together leading experts representing such communities in order to promote exchange of knowledge and know-how. Researchers working in the areas of solid-state topological materials, ultra-cold atomic gases, photonics, even classical non-autonomous ensembles have had an opportunity to exchange their ideas, views and outstanding problems. A good balance between experiment and theory was maintained.


On the theory side, an excellent overview for the role of topological invariants in magneto-electricity of quantum materials was given by J. Moore. Hybrid structures with topologically-protected Majorana modes were described in a talk by C. Beenakker. An inspiring discussion of the theory of frustrated quantum systems was presented by S. Eggert. All workshop guests have been impressed by V. Vitelli's talk on the topological theory of constrained mechanical systems revealing a rather surprising connection between topological quantum systems and mechanical machinery. An exciting idea of a fractional Chern insulator was proposed in the presentation by E. Bergholtz's. On the experimental side, L. Kouwenhoven has given a thorough account of his group's search for the Majorana mode one of the most promising candidate for the topologically protected qubit. Prof. J. Smet reported on the investigation of the fractional quantum Hall states in bilayer graphene a new and largely unexplored quantum Hall system. Finally H. Hilgenkamp discussed recently discovered examples of criticality emerging in rather unusual settings.


Apart from recognized experts, younger researchers were given an opportunity to present their work at a poster session. Training sessions were also organized to introduce both the younger participants and non-experts into key developments in one of the specialized areas. An excellent introduction into topological phases in cold atomic gases was given by C. Morais Smith. A nice theoretical review of the applications of conformal field theory and tensor category to non-abelian topological states was presented by K. Schoutens.


The workshop stimulated new interactions between participants that will definitely result in interesting advances in the field with possible scientific breakthrough.


The workshop unraveled in a friendly and stimulating atmosphere. The schedule of the presentations as well as the compact and convenient sitting and accommodation of the participants allowed for plenty of time for informal discussions.