Physics Colloquium - Floquet Quantum States: Topological Transitions, Steady States, and Surprising Implications

Event Date: 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640

Event Contact: 


Gil Refael, Caltech


Manipulating a quantum system using a periodic drive provides a new means for external control. Such a periodic drive can give rise to topological states in trivial quantum wells, bulk semiconductors, and even in graphene, and it can also turn a quantum wire into a system which could have Majorana states - of two flavors even. Hitting a quantum system (more so, periodically!), may suggest complications, however, such as heating. 

I will show that this can be avoided by appropriately tailoring its environment. Altogether we will find that there is much rich physics in Floquet quantum states and their close relatives, and that one can work with them to obtain useful, and (thermodyanmically) cool, many-body steady states.