2015 March Meeting in San Antonio
Rise of the Colloidal Machines
Talks given at the 2014 March Meeting in Denver
Talks given at the 2013 March Meeting in Baltimore
Why Condensed Matter Physicists Should Pay Attention to Atomic Physics
Talks given at the 2012 March Meeting in Boston
The Science of Invisibility
Talks given at 2011 March Meeting in Dallas, Texas
In condensed matter physics, complex order often emerges from simple interactions. Recent experiments show that topological order, previously seen only in 2D electron systems in high magnetic field, can exist in zero field and even in bulk 3D materials called topological insulators, in which spin-orbit coupling induces the topological order. Topologically ordered phases can support new kinds of emergent particles, such as the Majorana fermion. Current experiments in condensed matter, in both fractional quantum Hall systems and strong spin-orbit materials, are probing the physics of Majorana fermions, which may eventually enable a topological approach to quantum computing.
Solid-State Quantum Computers
I review the theoretical concepts for spin qubits and scalable quantum
computers in nanostructures and highlight the experimental progress in this
fast moving field . I describe the standard model of quantum computing
and the basic criteria for its potential realization in solid state systems
such as GaAs heterostructures, carbon nanotubes, InAs or SiGe nanowires,
etc. Other alternative formulations such as measurement-based and adiabatic
quantum computing are mentioned briefly. I then focus on qubits formed by
individual electron spins in single and double GaAs quantum dots.
Introducing the problem of decoherence arising from spin orbit and
hyperfine interactions, I discuss ways to overcome it, such as state
narrowing and nuclear magnetism induced by strong correlations .
 R. Zak, B. Röhlisberger, S. Chesi, and D. Loss, Rivista del Nuovo Cimento 033, 345 (2010).
 B. Braunecker, P. Simon, and D. Loss, Phys. Rev. B 80, 165119 (2009).
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov for their experiments on graphene, a single-atom plane of graphite. I will discuss why graphene has generated such excitement in condensed matter physics. Graphene is different: graphene's electrons mimic massless Dirac fermions. But graphene is also amazingly tunable: Band gaps can be generated by nanostructuring. Interactions can be tuned by the surrounding dielectric. Strain generates effective "pseudomagnetic'' fields up to 300 tesla. The work function can be tuned over a large range. Such tunability promises that graphene will remain interesting as a laboratory for condensed matter physics.
Talks given at 2010 March Meeting in Portland, Oregon
The interplay of light and mechanical motion on the nanoscale has emerged as a very fruitful research topic during the past few years. Optomechanical systems are now explored as ultrasensitive force and displacement sensors. By using light to cool a mechanical system to its quantum ground state, researchers hope to explore the foundations of quantum mechanics in a new regime.
The spin-orbit interaction in the solid state offers several versatile all-electrical routes for generating, manipulating, and routing spin-polarized charge currents in semiconductors. Recent experiments have explored several guises of this effect for the nascent field of spintronics. These include new opportunities for making the transition from fundamental studies to a spin-based technology for classical and quantum information processing.
A new class of high-temperature superconductors has been discovered in layered iron arsenides. In these materials, magnetism and superconductivity appear to be intimately related. small-12 columnss in this rapidly moving field may shed light on the still unsolved problem of high-temperature cuprate superconductivity.