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Colloquium: Spotting Majorana Fermions amidst butterflies and disordered landscapes

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Smitha Vishveshwara, University of Illinois
When
31 March 2016 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Where
117 Osmond Laboratory
Contact Name
Chaoxing Liu
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In the hunt for Majorana particles, originally proposed in the context of particle physics, recent investigations  have led to exciting prospects in superconducting wires, including possible experimental detection. This colloquium will first introduce Majorana fermions and their possible presence in ‘topological’ superconductors. Then, the rich interplay between potential landscapes and superconductivity will be explored in this context. As one instance, it is known that lattices subject to quasiperiodic potentials can give rise to beautiful Hofstadter butterfly patterns in phase space; these patterns can form the backdrop from which regimes containing Majorana fermions emerge. As another instance, in the presence of disorder, it will be shown that celebrated studies of localization physics can be combined with our recent understanding of topological superconductors.

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