Department Colloquia

From Topological Insulators to Majorana Fermions

Speaker: 
Charles Kane (Penn State)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2011-11-17 16:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
A topological insulator is a material that is an insulator on its interior,but has special conducting states on its surface. These surface states are unlike any other known two dimensional conductor. They are characterized by a unique Dirac type dispersion relation and are protected by a topological property of the material's underlying electronic band structure. Topological insulators have attracted considerable interest as a fundamentally new electronic phase with applications from spintronics to quantum computing.

Using graphene to study superconductivity (new tricks for an old dog)

Speaker: 
Nadya Mason (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2011-12-01 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Marcel Franz
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
Superconductors are materials that can have zero electrical resistance. They are thus of great interest for applications such as power transmission and energy storage. While the fundamental physics of standard superconductors has now been understood for over 50 years, questions remain about what happens when superconductors are coupled to other materials. For example, it was known that superconducting carriers could be transmitted through a normal metal, but the spectroscopy of the individual modes had not been measured.
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