Project description

Subject: Theoretical physics.

An important task in condensed matter physics is to classify what types of phases of matter can exist in nature, and to determine their properties. With the discovery of the quantum Hall effect, it became apparent that specifying the symmetries of a phase is not sufficient to describe its properties. Instead, concepts from topology and quantum information have proven to be necessary to classify such ‘topological phases of matter’. Of particular interest are interacting topological phases, usually referred to as ‘topologically ordered’, because their excitations have very unusual properties such as fractional quantum numbers.

There is an open PhD position with start date in fall 2020 in the group of Maria Hermanns. The successful candidate is expected to study topologically ordered phases, focusing in particular on various aspects of three-dimensional systems. One part of the project will be concerned with interfaces between two distinct topological phases, which can accommodate richer physics than what is possible in truly two-dimensional systems. In addition, the successful candidate will study bulk properties of such phases, in particular in presence of lattice dislocations. An important question is whether the topological quasiparticles can be bound by such dislocations.


Ref. No. SU FV-0347-20

Closing date: 1 March 2020

Complete information here.